Former Stratfield Market changes hands again
FAIRFIELD — The former Stratfield Market has changed hands once again, and this time, to a local investor.
The property at 1280 Stratfield Road, vacant for about a decade as Walgreen’s waged an unsuccessful battle to open an outlet there, was sold for $1.2 million to 1280 Realty, LLC. Greenwich-based Urstadt Biddle acquired the site a few months ago, as part of a larger purchase of a group of properties owned by Samuel Lotstein Realty, LLC.
“We are pleased to have disposed of this unoccupied property that will soon be renovated to become a food store to meet the needs of the Stratfield community,” Willing Biddle, president and chief executive officer of Urstadt Biddle, said. “We were able to accomplish this and still generate a profit for our company. We were required to purchase the property as part of a larger transaction earlier this year.”
Ustadt-Biddle paid $3 million for the Stratfield Market in March of this year.
James McCusker, president of the Stratfield Village Association, said the discussions the neighborhood had been having with Urstadt-Biddle concerning the property’s future has continued with the new ownership group.
“This buyer is in line with the what the neighborhood wants, so everyone saw this as a good thing” McCusker said, adding the new owners are longtime Stratfield residents.
According to state records, 1280 Realty, LLC, lists MG Moorin Realty, LLC, its manager and Michael Moorin as the agent, with a Toilsome Hill Road address.
McCusker said the new owner plans to make improvements and renovations to the property immediately, even without a tenant. Improvements are slated, he said, for the parking lot and landscaping. “So, we’ll at least see things improve aesthetically,” McCusker said. “We’re excited and we have high hopes.”
Walgreen’s had 12 years left on a 20-year lease on the site, but that stumbling block was removed as part of this latest sale.
“It was a situation that neither Walgreens nor the landlord wanted to be in for an extended period of time,” Biddle said.” We were able to identify a buyer who intends to use the property for the sale of food, which the community wants, and we were able to negotiate an early lease termination with Walgreens which made the transaction possible.”
The lease was terminated in exchange for a cash payment to Urstadt Biddle from Walgreen’s.
The market operated for 50 years, but closed in 2006 when lease negotiations with Lotstein failed. It was then Walgreen’s sought zoning approval. When the proposal was not approved, the application ended up in the court system, but the town and neighbors ultimately prevailed in 2011. More recently, plans for a day care center received zoning approval, but that plan was abandoned when the owners couldn’t get Lotstein to agreed to the remediation of asbestos and PCBs at the property.
The two-story building is 9,612 square feet, and sits on .90 acres at the corner of Stratfield Road and Fairfield Woods Road.
“The new property owner are focused on securing an appropriate tenant for the neighborhood, said Jon Angel, whose company, Angel Commercial, LLC, brokered the transaction. “While a new food market is certainly a possibility, there are many potential uses for this property, and it remains available.”