Friday, March 31, 2023



Comings & Goings: Orangetheory Fitness to PRE Image
Orangetheory Fitness opens at 645 Post Road East sometime before May, according to the manager of its Norwalk studio. The Florida-based franchise business has more than 500 locations nationwide. Wilton residents Mark and Fred Molina are the franchise owners of locations in Fairfield, which opened in 2014, Norwalk, which opened last year, and the Westport location. The Fitness center offers one-hour group classes tailored to the individual participant.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Comings & Goings: Stanton Miles to 1803 Post Road East Image
Stanton Miles, a Westport mainstay for 65 years as purveyor of home decorating and power vacuum service and sales, has relocated to 1803 Post Road East across from Stop & Shop. It was formerly located at 1620 Post Road East. Current co-owner Mike Roland said, “In our type of business, our customers might visit us only once a year or even less than that. So far, we’re happy to say, most customers are finding us here at our new location.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Comings & Goings: Skin Care & Laser Spa to PRE Image
Greenwich Skin Care and Laser Spa will open in March at 645 Post Road East, next door to Free People women’s trendy clothing, which also opens in March. According to a staff person at its Greenwich location, the Westport location is the first expansion of the business, which opened in Greenwich 11 years ago. The spa services include laser treatments, skin and body care. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

S&P Worried About Proposed Cost Shift Onto CT Towns

By Keith M. Phaneuf

A major Wall Street credit rating agency has issued back-to-back critical analyses of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s new, two-year budget proposal.

S&P Global Ratings warned today that Malloy’s proposals to shift one-third of the cost of the teachers’ pension program onto cities and towns, and to realign other grants, “creates budgetary uncertainty for local governments.”

“If implemented, these proposals will create winners and losers,” said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Victor Medeiros.

“Although we view the ability of a state to pass budget pressures on to lower levels of government in times of state budgetary stress as a credit positive for the state, the credit impact on local governments could be negative should they not be able to adequately adjust to this new funding paradigm.”

Comings & Goings: Free People to Post Road East Image
Free People, a trendy clothing and accessories store, opens at 645 Post Road East in March, according to workers on site. Owned by Urban Outfitters, it has more than 100 locations nationwide in more than 30 states. Other Fairfield County locations are at the Danbury Fair Mall and in Greenwich. The new store opposite Mitchells is the former home of (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Special Valentine’s Day at Westport Florist Image
Tina Ahlberg, manager of Westport Florist, 1 Treadwell Ave., today shows off a compact Valentine’s Day floral arrangement. “Our most popular items today were roses and compact floral arrangements like this one,” she said. She said Valentine’s Day is the second busiest day of the year for the store with only Mother’s Day weekend busier. Added Ahlberg: this is an extra special celebration for the store because this month marks the second anniversary of its opening at the intersection of Saugatuck and Riverside Avenues. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Feds Blink on High-Speed Rail Plan in CT

By Ana Radelat

Washington – In the staredown between the Federal Railroad Administration and opponents of part of its plan in Connecticut to bring high-speed rail to the Northeast Corridor, the federal government has blinked.

It has agreed to consider additional input from those concerned about the route in Connecticut, and more importantly, the FRA is willing to modify that plan.

The NEC Future plan has been in the works for years. The FRA says it would reduce travel time between New York and Boston by 45 minutes and between Washington, D.C., and New York by 35 minutes and add tracks and railroad cars to a refurbished railroad system in the Northeast.

Other states have lauded the plan. But NEC Future has met heavy resistance from Connecticut, a pushback centered largely on a bypass of an existing rail line along the coastline that would run through Old Lyme and other historic coastal towns.

Click HERE for more of story

Comings & Goings: New Indie Pharmacy Opens Image
A new independently owned pharmacy, Shoreline Integrative Pharmacy, has opened at 1835 Post Road East at the intersection of Bulkley Avenue North. Owned by Weston residents (l-r) Karen and Phil Hein, pictured with pharmacist Rachel Babineau, the 2,200-square foot facility offers a wide range of health services, including prescription fulfillment, a full line of natural products, supplements, baby and child care products and other health-related products and services. “We’re a homey, independent therapeutic business involved in the community,” said Phil Hein. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Legislators Begin to Push Back on Malloy’s New Budget

By Keith M. Phaneuf

The General Assembly today began its review of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s new two-year budget with a strong, bipartisan pushback from the Appropriations Committee.

Lawmakers challenged proposals to reallocate local aid, open nonprofit hospitals’ real property to municipal taxation, continue dedicating some sales tax revenues to transportation, and close 40 percent of next year’s deficit with state employee concessions.

Malloy, who met with Capitol reporters at a separate news conference, said legislative resistance comes as no surprise.

The governor, who highlighted several key aspects of his plan in the days leading up to its full presentation on Wednesday, acknowledged there are a lot of difficult choices.

Upfront Payment Puts Land Swap Back on Table

By James Lomuscio

A land swap between the town and a developer that would net the town nine parking space on Elm Street is back on the table, according to Selectman Avi Kaner and developer David Waldman. Image
This building housing the Villa Del Sol Restaurant at 35 Elm St. would be razed and swapped for part of the town-owned parking lot across the street. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Waldman had scrapped the land swap idea in early December, saying the numbers did not work in terms of what the town wanted financially and what was economically feasible for him.

“The economics just didn’t work for me, and as a developer I had to let it go,” Waldman, principal of David Adam Realty who is heading up the nearby Bedford Square Project, told WestportNow on Dec. 5. (See WestportNow Dec. 5, 2016)

Since then, Waldman working with Kaner and Brian Stern, chairman of the Board of Finance, appear to have reached an agreement. It is expected to go before the finance board in April, and if successful, the Planning and Zoning Commission for approval.