By Patrick McMahon
Suffield: Every community has assets to market from an economic development perspective, and Suffield is no different. We have existing buildings for lease or acquisition, land for development, redevelopment sites and tourism attractions. We would like to introduce you to opportunities in our town in North Central Connecticut which includes a portion of Bradley International Airport, New England’s second largest airport.
On September 27th the Suffield Economic Development Commission will be hosting its annual familiarization tour and golf outing at the Suffield Country Club.
Our familiarization event highlights Planned Development Industrial Park land (light ind./office/distribution) in the vicinity of Bradley International Airport, Industrial land off Rte. 159, and mixed-use opportunities in our town center. It will include a bus tour, sponsored by Merrigan & LeFebvre Realty, leaving from the Suffield Country Club, 341 N. Main St., at 10:30 a.m. The tour will be followed by lunch at the Suffield Country Club at noon, sponsored by the First National Bank of Suffield, and then a round of golf (9 holes shotgun start at 1 p.m.). We are inviting commercial realtors, state and regional ED professionals, utility reps, builders/developers, bankers, architects and engineers. Repeat customers are asked to bring a developer or real estate professional. RSVPs are required and the event is first come first served so reserve your spot today!
First National Bank of Suffield provides us with bags each year that we fill with information and giveaways from our Chamber and local businesses that are provided to each participant. We provide everyone name badges and encourage interaction between participants. Those who have attended the tour have found it very helpful to visualize the area and the specific properties we are marketing. We believe it keeps Suffield in the minds of important decision makers. You just never know where the next lead is going to come from!
The event will commence with an hour and a half bus tour of industrial and commercial districts in the community. Attendees will be provided a packet of information that includes an overall map of the tour and information on various key sites and buildings. During the tour, we provide commentary about unique assets in town, our goals for various properties, information on our approval process and available incentives.
Attendees will view property along Rte. 75 where there are over 200 acres of land still available. They will see opportunities in Marketing Research Park, Mach One Industrial Park and the New England Business Center. There is also land with rail access, one of the few rail locations available in Connecticut. All of the above sites have easy access to I-91 which can be reached by several different routes all about five miles in length.
Another attractive location is our Rte. 159 industrial area which is home to Praxair, C&S Wholesale Grocers and Hood. Several parcels ranging from 2.5 to 68 acres are available. Access to I-91 is a short drive on Rte. 159 to the 190 bridge in Enfield or the 140 bridge in Windsor Locks.
Attendees will see a unique redevelopment opportunity in our town center. The town is seeking a mixed-use developer to assemble and redevelop approximately 27 acres of land (24 acres privately owned former lumberyard and 3.5 acres town-owned). A market analysis has been completed by Camoin Associates of Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The analysis indicates that this property is a prime site for residential apartments, medical office, restaurants and local serving retail. CVS Pharmacy has been approved for the front two acres of the property. The Town is reaching out to hospital-affiliated wellness centers, as well as fitness clubs. Apartment developers are also currently investigating the site.
The next stage of the event is the networking lunch at the Suffield Country Club. The invited speaker is Jason Giulietti, vice president of business recruitment, Connecticut Economic Resource Center. Finally, for those who are interested we have a round of nine on a beautiful course.
Suffield is a prime location for business growth. It is centrally located between Springfield, Mass. and Hartford, Conn., an area now known as the “Knowledge Corridor” due to the many institutions of higher learning and the skilled workforce in the region. With Bradley International Airport enhancing its facilities and route development, locating a business in Suffield will provide great growth potential.
Patrick McMahon is director of economic and community development for the Town of Suffield, Conn.