SOUTHINGTON — Plantsville realtors aim to bring new residents and business to the downtown area with the recent refurbishment of 7 W. Main St. Owners are currently in talks with several prospective tenants for the space and expect it to be filled sometime this summer.
Plantsville-based Precision Realty bought the building in March of last year and began renovations in late January. There will be four apartments on the second floor and a new retail business space on the ground floor.
Constructed in 1890, the building sits prominently on the corner of West Main and Main streets. Co-owned by cousins Chester and James Potrepka, the property housed Plantsville Pharmacy for more than 60 years — having been originally purchased back in 1958. After the pharmacy closed in December of 2018, the building remained vacant until recently.
With limited parking available in the area, the group seeks to fill it with a retail or a professional services space. They want to keep in conversation with the other businesses in downtown Plantsville, to bring more foot traffic along that section of town along with the restaurant spaces.
“My partner and I own five buildings, right in that downtown Plantsville area,” said Michael Dziedzic, a broker with Precision Realty and a Southington resident. “We’re very strategic about who we kind of wanted to bring in as tenants. And our long-term goal for that area is to kind of extend people who come down and park in Plantsville to now continue to walk through at least where the pharmacy building was.”
Dziedzic’s aim is to draw visitors in to explore the whole of Plantsville’s downtown to benefit all the businesses along that stretch of road.
“So your foot traffic can start from the trail area in the summertime, past the coffee shop, whatever restaurant eventually goes back into Zingarella's, and you kind of bring the foot traffic back. Eventually you get the foot traffic turned to South Main Street to those buildings, and then now you have a bit of a renaissance of downtown Plantsville,” Dziedzic said.
The news comes after the recent closure of Zingarella’s Pizzeria & Ice Cream Cafe, along with Fireside on Main this month, two restaurants that occupy prominent spaces in Plantsville center. Both have had to shutter due to the difficulties of rising costs of food, deliveries, and staffing — leaving residents to worry about the future of Plantsville village.
Though Zingarella’s owner Mark Zommer expressed a desire to find a tenant to take over the restaurant space before its closure on Feb. 14, no plans have yet been announced.
Despite the recent hardships for the area, community representatives remain optimistic about what the new business will bring to the area after the long vacancy period, restoring vibrancy to that prominent intersection of town.
“I think it's exciting news that someone has purchased the building,” said Joanne Alfieri, a co-chair of the Village of Plantsville Association. “I think that when the building at Plantsville Pharmacy is finished, it's probably going to look really nice and blend in with the aesthetics of the community down there. So I think it's all positive. It's good news for Plantsville, that's for sure.”
Alfieri said that, while it’s unfortunate that Zingarella and Fireside on Main are slated to close, with how nice the properties are and in a prominent section of town they won’t remain vacant for long.
“They are two really nice buildings. Hopefully somebody's going to come in and put restaurants in there and Plantsville will start to become more vibrant. It's unfortunate that that happened, but hopefully they'll be able to get some new businesses in there,” said Alfieri.
Precision Realty will make details available about the property on its website in the coming months as it’s developed, Dziedzic said.