SOUTHINGTON — A developer is looking to build an Ion Bank branch and two retail storefronts at the former site of Renaldo's Pizza.
The North Main Street property has been vacant since the pizza restaurant was damaged in a fire in 2016.
“We’re very happy to see the property be redeveloped,” said Economic Development Coordinator Lou Perillo.”It’s a very prominent spot on Route 10, obviously it’s been an eyesore with the fire, but we’re extremely pleased to learn that a brick and mortar bank is coming into our market.”
The Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission approved a site plan for the project Monday, allowing the proposal to move before the Planning and Zoning Commission.
The new development would demolish the vacant Renaldo’s building at 378 N. Main St. as well as a two story vinyl sided building abutting it to the north and replace them with a 4,000 square foot building. The bank would take up half that space and face the street, while the two retail storefronts would be behind it.
“There's a multiplier effect with new construction and usually banks build a higher per square foot cost building, so it's something that generally kind of ups the game if you will and puts more pressure on like businesses to kind of dress up their place as well,” Perillo said.
Given the pandemic and the disruptions the banking industry was facing already, Perillo said Ion Bank’s decision to build a new branch in town shows that they have confidence in the local economy.
“I'm obviously biased, but I think you have some very intelligent and hardworking business owners,” he said. “They were able to adapt during the pandemic...”
Although this is Ion Bank’s first location in town, Southington Chamber of Commerce President Barbara Coleman-Hekeler said they’ve been active members for years. Based out of Naugatuck, the bank has 20 locations across Connecticut.
“We're excited that Ion bank put in an application to put in a brick and mortar location here in Southington,” she said.
The property at 378 N. Main St. is currently owned by Shawn Daigle, who purchased it after a fire forced Renaldo’s Pizza to close in 2016. Renaldo’s relocated to Queen Street.
“I'm delighted, that building has been an eyesore for quite some time,” said Mike DelSanto, chairperson of the town Economic Development Strike Committee.