Former Wallingford bank branch to be converted to mixed use, including apartments

Photo of Luther Turmelle
In this file photo, Joe Gouveia of Gouveia Vineyards, Wallingford.

In this file photo, Joe Gouveia of Gouveia Vineyards, Wallingford.

/ Hearst Connecticut Media file photo

WALLINGFORD — A local business owner is investing once again on the community’s North Main Street business district.

Joe Gouveia, who owns has a successful vineyard on Whirlwind Hill Road and the successful Library Wine Bar & Bistro on North Main Street, recently paid $1.2 million for a former Wells Fargo Bank branch at 86 N. Main St. , next door to his restaurant.

The North Main Street Wells Fargo branch was consolidated with a location on North Colony Road earlier this year.

Gouveia said he plans to convert the two-story building into a mixed-use property with retail on the ground floor and apartments on the second floor. The space in the upper level was used for offices while Wells Fargo still had a branch there, he said.

“It’s a nice building and we’re going to put in as many as nine apartments there,” he said. “There is not any need for additional office space there. A lot of people want to move to downtown, not just here, but communities around the country.”

Gouveia said he expects the renovations, which including creating three or four retail spaces on the ground floor, should be completed by next June.

“We’ve already had a few inquiries from people who want to live in the apartments,” he said.

Part of the reason Gouveia acquired the property, he said, was that the former bank branch’s rear parking lot is adjacent to the parking lot at his wine bar. Parking is at a premium in that part of town on weekends when Gouveia’s restaurant and others in the area are busy.

Tim Ryan, Wallingford’s economic development specialist, said Gouveia “is one of those guys that everything he touches, he does right.”

“Having someone who invests in our downtown the way he has can only benefit the community,” Ryan said. “He’s looking to enhance the downtown experience. And he has a real attachment to the community.”

luther.turmelle@hearstmediact.com