Thursday, May 30, 2024



Comings & Goings: Car Club to Former Steinway Building Image
A private car club will open at 499-501 Post Road East, the former Steinway showroom adjacent to Westport Fire Headquarters, according to Westport resident Gioel Molinari. Molinari said he is in the process of buying the building, which Steinway closed in December 2017. Over the years, the town has considered purchasing the property to expand Fire Headquarters but ultimately found the price too steep. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Comings & Goings: Destination Maternity Closing Image
Destination Maternity, the maternity apparel and accessories store at 180 Post Rad East for more than 10 years, will close by the end of the year, according to a store employee.The Moorestown, New Jersey-based company petitioned for bankruptcy status recently and plans to close 183 of its 446 stores located in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico according to industry sources. The retailer operates stores under several brands, including Destination Maternity, Motherhood Maternity and A Pea in the Pod. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Facilities, Taxes Dominate Finance Board, BOE Debates

By James Lomuscio

Tonight’s Board of Education and Board of Finance candidates debates sponsored by the Westport’s League of Women Voters (LWV) had a recurring, haunting refrain — the high cost of building renovations and resulting higher taxes. Image
League of Women Voters of Westport officials tonight ponder questions for the candidates. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Front and center at the Town Hall event that drew about 200 were the $32 million price tag for a Coleytown Middle School (CMS) renovation underway and a report showing that $96 million will be needed for facilities upgrades over the next 10 years.

While candidates for both boards fielded myriad audience questions presented by moderator Sheila Ward, LWV past president, many of them stemmed from the CMS mold crisis that shuttered the school a year ago resulting in a whopping estimated $32 million renovated cost.

Candidates vying for the school board were Republicans Vik Muktavaram, an incumbent, and Liz Heyer and Democrats Youn Su Chao and Lee Goldstein, known for their PTA work

Tax Breaks for Seniors Could Widen Gap Between CT’s Rich and Poor

By Keith M. Phaneuf

Connecticut has just begun a seven-year program to ease the tax burden on its elderly, a process that will provide nearly $170 million in annual relief by 2025.

But much of that relief is targeted at seniors with pensions and annuities — benefits that are increasingly less common for low- and middle-income residents, particularly minorities.

At the same time, lawmakers have chipped away at other tax credits for the poor and middle class and imposed new burdens on this income group, such as the sales tax surcharge on prepared meals and a fee on plastic bags.

It appears that in their push to make Connecticut a more attractive place to retire, lawmakers also inadvertently worsened the inequality gap in a state already known for its extremes of income wealth.

Saugatuck Neighbors Brace for Developer’s Suit

By James Lomuscio

After 16 years of battling a developer to save their Hiawatha Lane Ext. neighborhood from a multifamily, rental housing complex directly across the street, Carolann Curry and her partner Selma Miriam last month had breathed a sigh of relief. Image
Carolann Curry (l) and Selma Miriam outside their Hiawatha Lane Ext. home. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) James Lomuscio for

In a work session on Sept. 19, the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) denied developer Felix Charney’s proposed 187-unit rental complex in the Saugatuck section of Westport near Exit 17 off I-95.

It was Charney’s seventh failed attempt — and the seventh and seemingly ultimate win for Curry and Miriam in preserving what Curry has called “the most closely knit neighborhood in the Town of Westport.”

Fronted by preexisting companies that include Gault, Inc. and Penna Construction, the mostly single-family, modest home community includes Ferry Lane West, Indian Hill Road, Davenport Avenue, West End Avenue and Gillette Circle Drive. The neighborhood was built in the 1950s to resettle the Italian American community that had been uprooted as the Connecticut Turnpike cut a swath through Saugatuck.

Gallery: Earth Animal Reopens at 925 Post Road East

The Earth Animal retail store celebrates its move to 925 Post Road East (the old Starbucks) on Sunday with a grand opening from noon to 5 p.m. The store traces its origins to 1979 when Dr. Bob Goldstein and Susan Goldstein embraced the transition from conventional veterinary medicine to an integrative or holistic approach focusing on the whole animal. The opening will include live entertainment, dog agility demonstrations, pet photos, pizza, beer, and coffee. Additional events celebrating the new store opening will be held on weekends throughout the year. Dave Matlow for

Comings & Goings: Preschool Takes Floor in Church Image
Bright Beginnings Early Childhood Program has leased a 7,513-square feet in the United Methodist Church of Westport and Weston, 49 Weston Road. The space, an entire floor at the property, is currently being remodeled to fit the needs of the preschool (pre k) and day care center, said Franco Fellah, executive vice president at HK Group, the only broker involved in the transaction. Bright Beginnings offers full-time and part-time programs for infants, toddlers and preschoolers and has four locations in Stamford, Fairfield, Norwalk and now Westport. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Lamont Names Fairfield County Task Force

Gov. Ned Lamont today announced that as part of his ongoing efforts to promote economic development and meet the needs of Connecticut businesses and the workforce, he is forming a task force of local and private sector leaders and state agency representatives to advance transit-oriented development (TOD) within Fairfield County.

The mission of the group, the Governor’s Task Force on Transit-Oriented Development in Fairfield County, will be to advance a shared regional vision that drives economic vibrancy and growth in the region by providing residents with access to opportunities for employment, education, and housing in walkable communities co-located with transit, an announcement said.

“We’re building a Connecticut that supports continued growth through the next generation, leaning forward to meet the needs of our residents and businesses now and in the future,” Lamont said.

“In tandem with our laser focus on improving transportation across the state, we also need to advance the development that our workforce, communities, and employers want to see — walkable communities with a range of housing options and services, co-located with transit hubs.