'Well-known' grocery store eyes Shelton's Fountain Square

Fountain Square's developers are seeking approval for a "well-known" supermarket to open a 15,000-square-foot store at the property.

Fountain Square's developers are seeking approval for a "well-known" supermarket to open a 15,000-square-foot store at the property.

Brian Gioiele / Hearst Connecticut Media

SHELTON — Fountain Square may soon be home to a “well-known,” but as of now unnamed, grocery store. 

Fountain Square, LLC, developers of the massive project at 801 Bridgeport Ave., at the intersection with Parrott Drive in Shelton, requested an amendment to its already approved uses to allow for a grocery store — which attorney Dominick Thomas, who represents the developers, refused to name at this point. The grocery store would be limited to 15,000 square feet. 

“The tenant has very serious interest in the site … and it is a very good tenant,” Thomas said. “It will be a wonderful addition to the City of Shelton.” 

The Planning and Zoning Commission, at its meeting Wednesday, asked zoning staff to prepare a favorable resolution for the amendment to the site’s already approved statement of uses. The vote will be held at a future commission meeting. 

The developers presented two options for the store’s location, but Thomas said, since negotiations are ongoing, no decision has been finalized. One called for a 12,500-square-foot grocery store to take the place of a stand-alone office building toward the rear of the property near the proposed hotel. 

The second option would have the grocery store taking 12,800 square feet of the 34,100-square-foot structure — identified on the plans as Retail No. 1 — which is already built on site. This plan calls for leaving the office building in place, removal of a proposed coffee shop and not disrupting the parking lot. 

The resolution would indicate the commission’s preference that the grocery store be in the larger retail building. If the tenant proposes an alternative location, commissioners stated that it would have to be re-submitted to Planning and Zoning for a public hearing and decision. 

Work on Fountain Square — which remained dormant for more than a year after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 — began again in earnest last fall. Panera Bread and Metro Mattress were the first tenants to open their doors this past summer.  The site was formerly occupied by the United Illuminating Co. 

Daniel Witkins, Sr., of DFW Building Co., the construction manager for the Fountain Square project, said when Panera opened that the site was 75 percent to 80 percent filled. He said the most talked about tenant, Chick-fil-A , is still coming. Plans for the eatery are in the city’s building office, Witkins said. 

Also coming, he has stated, are Wafu, a Korean barbecue restaurant; Jersey Mike’s; DQ Grill and Chill; Pokemoto; a liquor store; and a jewelry store. 

The Fountain Square project was first presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission in 2017. The project was split into six phases, and final development plans for all phases were approved separately between 2018 and 2020. 

The original approval allowed for three restaurants, a pharmacy, bank, coffee shop, other retail, a small office building and a 123-room Marriott hotel. Since that time, there were changes in the list of tenants, headed by the addition of a Chick-fil-A.