Chain-link fence now up around Stop & Shop gas station site

Progress is continuing to prepare a vacant Bridgeport Avenue building for demolition to make way for a new Stop & Shop gas station.

In the past few days, a chain-link fence has been put up around the two-story building at 900 Bridgeport Ave. and other prep work has been completed on the site.

The building is between the Stop & Shop supermarket in the Shelton Square shopping center and the Burger King. It used to house a Wachovia Bank branch and the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce office.

Indications are that the building could be knocked down as soon as next week, although the exact timetable is uncertain.

Permit paperwork has been reviewed

Joseph Ballaro, the city’s chief building official, said while Stop & Shop still hasn’t formally applied for the demolition work, he’s been interacting frequently with the company’s representatives.

“We’ve done all the preliminary work,” Ballaro said late Friday. “We reviewed their paperwork earlier this week.”

The contractor appears to be waiting for the electrical connection to the structure to be shut off. Before a structure can be knocked down, all utility lines need to be properly disconnected.

A property owner also must secure state permission for a demolition.

Once a demolition permit application is submitted, permission can be granted by the city almost immediately if all conditions have been met.

Outer facade taken down

In recent weeks, the outer wall facade has been taken down, metal has been stripped from the building, and a large cement block has been poured at the site (perhaps to be used to demolish the structure), among other activities.

The 9,900-square-foot building is on a 1.3-acre lot. The property’s legal owner is Shell Pet LLC of Greenwich, according to the city assessor’s office.

The gas station will be run by Stop & Shop, also using the legal name of Ahold USA Retail LLC.

Will be 10 gas pumps

The Stop & Shop fueling station was approved in January by the Shelton Planning and Zoning Commission. It will have five two-sided pump islands, with a kiosk for the attendant, all under a canopy.

During the zoning approval process, Stephen Bellis, attorney for the applicants, said the application had been modified to address traffic concerns.

“There is going to be an opportunity for cars to queue up without going onto Bridgeport Avenue,” Bellis said.

Cars entering from Bridgeport Avenue, near Burger King, will drive 200 feet before reaching the gas station entrance.

The applicant also had to consult with the state Department of Transportation on the Bridgeport Avenue driveway entrance and address any issues.

The nearest Stop & Shop gas stations are in Ansonia and Milford, and another Stop & Shop gas station has been proposed for Monroe.