P&Z: Barbecue restaurant plans Shelton location

A new barbecue restaurant is coming to Shelton.
Mission BBQ will open a 3,400-square-foot eatery in the new Fountain Square complex being built at the United Illuminating site at 801 Bridgeport Ave.
Shelton will be the second Mission BBQ location in Connecticut, with the existing one being in Southington.
The restaurant and up to seven retail clients would occupy space in a building in the corner near Bridgeport Avenue and Parrott Drive on the 19.1-acre property.
A CVS Pharmacy was originally expected to occupy this entire building. Dominick Thomas, the developer’s attorney, said the chain pharmacy now plans to go somewhere else on Bridgeport Avenue and won’t be part of Fountain Square.
The restaurant’s name was revealed as part of the development’s phase three detailed plans at the March 12 Planning and Zoning Commission. Fountain Square will have retail space, restaurants, a coffee shop, hotel, bank and offices. Other restaurants so far are Chick-fil-A and Panera Bread.
The Maryland-based Mission BBQ has locations in 16 states in the East and Midwest. The company opened its first location on Sept. 11, 2011, the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, and pays tribute to military veterans and first responders through its decor and special discount offerings.
Thomas said the company emphasizes patriotism and has asked the developers to put up a flagpole at the site so an American flag can be displayed.
Mission BBQ will focus on sit-down service but also offer take out and catering. There won’t be a drive-through window.
The P&Z also approved the design of the new 123-room Residence Inn by Marriott hotel at Fountain Square. Members hadn’t liked the initial modern angular design so it’s been altered somewhat to have earth-tone colors and gabled roof lines. The hotel will cater to short-term business travelers, Thomas said.

Downtown apartments
Developer Angelo Melisi has proposed an 80-unit apartment complex with ground-floor retail at Howe Avenue and Center Street.
The 138,351-square-foot structure would be built at the site of Dunkin Donuts and its rear parking lot as well as the Pub on Howe, which is the former Danny O’s downtown location. Existing structures would be demolished and Melisi would have to buy two small lots from the Orazietti brothers.
He owns the one- and two-story building that includes Dunkin Donuts and some offices, and said Dunkin Donuts would relocate if the project moves forward.
His development entity, 427 Howe Ave. LLC, would construct a six-story structure with 115 parking spaces. The four upper floors would each have 20 apartments, and most would be one-bedroom units.
At the ground level, there would be 3,250 square feet of retail space along Howe Avenue and parking behind it. The lowest floor would be all indoor parking. Vehicle access would be from a new entrance on West Canal Street in the rear.
In written comments, Assistant City Engineer Rimas Balsys said driver sight lines from the new West Canal Street driveway could be an issue unless on-street parking is prohibited on the road in that vicinity.
Melisi built the adjoining 50 Bridge Street structure with retail and apartments at Howe Avenue and Bridge Street, known as Bridge Street Commons. It opened in 2017 and involved creating a Planned Development District.
The new site is 1.07 acres and Melisi is seeking to expand the existing PDD for the project. Melisi said once P&Z approval is secured, he wants to start building “as soon as possible.”

New Scinto building
R.D. Scinto Inc. wants to build a new office building at 20 Commerce Drive, which is between Progress and Research drives.
Scinto is seeking to modify previous approvals for a building that was never built at the 4.95-acre site. The property is part of a Planned Development District.
The new structure would have three stories of offices, with both parking underneath and surrounding the building. There would be a total of 238 spaces.
The calls for 68,888 square feet of floor area. The application describes the new proposal as “less intense” than the original one approved in 2000 and “slightly” larger than the one approved in 2014.