By Betsy Paynter
Brookfield, Connecticut is the perfect lace .to live, play, raise a family and run your business -
Brookfield, Connecticut is the perfect place to live, play, raise a family and run your business. A 20 square mile town, located in Fairfield County in southwestern Conn., Brookfield is a quintessential New England town. Strategically located between metropolitan areas of NYC, New Haven, Hartford and Boston, make Brookfield an appealing location for industry to move their products with ease. Vehicular access exists along Interstate 84, running east-west from Pennsylvania through Brookfield to Hartford onto Boston. US Rtes. 7, 25 and 202 intersect I-84 within Brookfield. It’s convenient proximity to interstate highways, air and rail transportation along with a highly skilled work force make Brookfield a great place to do business.
The town is boarded by two beautiful lakes, Candlewood Lake and Lake Lillinoah, along with miles of hiking trails with sprawling open space for residents to enjoy. Federal Rd. provides a commercial corridor of superior shopping plus industrial areas which together create a strong commercial tax base and allows for the lowest tax rates in the region.
The town center, located in northern Brookfield along Rte. 202, along the banks of the Still River, is undergoing a “renaissance.” Recent zone changes have allowed for mixed use development in the town center, attracting investors who are developing commercial space on the ground level with rental apartments above. The town has supported the development with recent installation of phased “complete streets” street-scape including sidewalks, cross walks, granite curbing, pedestrian lighting, park benches, bicycle lane and additional amenities.
The Still River Greenway pedestrian and bike trail is a two mile long, paved, 10 ft. wide recreation path for all to enjoy. The greenway trail meanders through the economic hub of the town center into the neighboring woodlands up to the municipal campus and athletic fields. The trail brings anywhere from 500-700 people a day to the commercial district on the weekends and strong participation during the week.
Brookfield Town Center 4 Business is a newly formed business association created by the businesses within the town center. The group’s mission is to create events within the town center to attract patrons to the area, stroll the sidewalks and Still River Greenway while enjoying time within the commercial district.
Along Brookfield’s commercial corridor, Federal Rd., there are new businesses and business expansions in the works. A Noodle Bar, J Ramen, is currently working on renovating their new home at 316 Federal Rd. The Traveling Chic Boutique, a women’s clothing store, is opening at 800 Federal Rd. this June. IM Burger is coming to Brookfield this spring at 7 Federal Rd., bringing a twist on healthy burgers. Their new neighbor, The Hummus & Pita Company, will also be opening their doors at 15 Federal Rd. this spring. Five Guys Burgers & Fries is expanding their current restaurant into a larger space within the Kohl’s shopping center at 84 Federal Rd.
Brookfield has restaurants and retail along with art and culture elements for residents to enjoy. Art and theater are part of attractive quality of life in Brookfield. The Brookfield Craft Center is a gem within the region. It’s recognized as one of the finest professional schools for creative study in America, dedicated to teaching traditional and contemporary craft skills, and fostering the appreciation of fine craftsmanship. Classes range from wood turning, blacksmith, jewelry making, pottery and more. Their website has information on the various classes, www.brookfieldcraft.org.
The Brookfield Theater for the Arts is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to providing quality community theater and educational opportunities in the Brookfield area. Their regular season consists of five shows, providing a meaningful and entertaining experience that will appeal to a wide ranging audience. Check out their website to learn more at www.brookfieldtheatre.org.
There are multiple size parcels of vacant and/or under developed commercial land available for development within the town’s borders. Brookfield offers opportunities for industrial, professional, retail and residential development. It’s an exciting time in Brookfield, Conn.
Betsy Paynter is the economic & community development manager for the town of Brookfield, Conn.