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What Should Go In This Undeveloped Land on Main Street in Southbury?

There are 23 undeveloped acres for sale on Main Street in Southbury. What would you like to see go there?

Two adjoining parcels of undeveloped land on Main Street in Southbury are on sale.

The land is owned by the United States Parcel Service and sits directly next to the Southbury Post Offce. The 23.77 acre parcel is on sale for $1.5 million, or $71,519 per acre.

There are several acres of buildable space, according to the USPS.

Obviously, factors such as local zoning laws will have a say in what goes on the property next, but let's suspend reality for a while. What would you like to see there? Share your ideas in the comments!

penny botelho September 20, 2012 at 01:18 PM
I would like to see the town purchase it and put in a park ..one of those new excerise parks like they are making in NYC..
Lauren Brenneman September 20, 2012 at 01:21 PM
A wellness center that gives the opportunity for multi-generational interaction in a eco-friendly environment that has an outdoor foot bridge over water/ pond in a park setting. An outdoor area that maybe has a "winterization" option like a bubble roof for performances (ampitheater) for plays, talent shows, etc. Features of a building would include indoor skate park, meeting rooms with removable walls for larger occasion rental. The wellness center would offer the following programming: health related educational classes and meet ups, a focus on enriching our residents lives with culture - music, art, dance, drama offerings, foreign language for elementary (as long as our schools aren't offering it), children's activity classes, pregnancy/breastfeeding support classes, diet and nutritional offerings, cooking classes, structured teen activities, and space for local organizations and clubs to hold their meetings. Personally I don't think the center should be just all about sports. An indoor pool would be most beneficial to the most different age groups and abilities so my vote is for it to include a pool. Also, I think there should be a direct access from1-84 to this center. Perhaps a 14 A and 14B exit.
Lauren Brenneman September 20, 2012 at 01:25 PM
the skate park could have an elevated track that loops around it for indoor pedestrian walking to get multi-use out of the space. To offset the cost there could be retail space & include a Trader Joes! Think up instead of just out on the property.
notey1 September 20, 2012 at 01:45 PM
A community arts center and playhouse, similar to what the Ridgefield Playhouse offers. This would showcase local musicians, artists, actors, and host community events. This would also bring the Heritage Village Community and Region 15 community together to produce and perform plays and concerts and fine arts instruction and craft marketplace for selling of wares. It's time we bring the young and young at heart together to share talents!!! This would also build revenue if managed right.. Have a couple rooms available for rental for small banquets, small weddings, etc...Movies can be shown there just like Ridgefield Playhouse and Edmond Town Hall. Building can include a cafe for luncheons and dinners. The outdoors can have a nice walking walking trail and botanical gardens. Should this be purchased by the town so this is not developed into yet another retail plaza? I wouldn't mind if our tax dollars were put to good use if this is done right.
Rob September 20, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Definitely NOT a movie theater - don't want to draw more people, traffic and potentially an undesirable element into this town where we enjoy a comparatively low crime rate to other towns of our size. No more retail space either for the same aforementioned reasons - I don't want to see Main St. South start looking like Rt 25 in Newtown either. Ever been to Hilton Head? I find it to be a particularly well planned environment - retail spaces and commercial areas are hidden behind screens of greenery - far busier/populated than our town but it's not really visible from the main thoroughfare - whatever ends up going in next to the P.O. (a YMCA like in Wilton or Darien perhaps?) - my hope is that it does not become indicative of the typical signs of urban sprawl... I moved here to get away from that.
Rob September 20, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Now yours, notey1, sounds like a plan I could get behind!
hugh nelson September 20, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Why has nobody mentioned affordable housing would not that go a long way to solving some of our current problems
Rob September 20, 2012 at 02:31 PM
What "problem" is that? Why would anyone want to add more of a burden on the town's already strained infrastructure by adding more people to this equation? Low income housing inherently burdens town social services as well. I don't know about you, but, I worked my butt off to afford to live here and I certainly don't want to see my tax bill increased to accommodate the indigent.
Greg Kuehn September 20, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Love the idea of a community center, however please look at what Pleasantville, NY did in their AMAZINGLY cute little town… If we could combine the idea of a community center with what they did in the Jacob Burns Film Center and Media Lab, you'd bring together new groups like our film commission and REALLY have an amazing facility for our community. http://www.burnsfilmcenter.org
Kristiane Huber September 20, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Trails (for bikes and hikes) and kayak/canoe access to the river! (Maybe even a rental!) This would probably draw traffic and business to the existing stores in the area too.
Crystal Wood September 20, 2012 at 02:50 PM
No Trader Joes! We have 3 grocery stores already off of Main Street. Trader Joes would bring in a TON of outside traffic. This town doesn't want drive-in's at places like McDonalds to avoid traffic, but wants a store like that?! I think we should put in something that appeals to the teen crowd. Possibly a skate park and a track for jogging. The parking lots (especially Walgreens) are full of kids skateboarding. An accident is going to happen. :( That all being said lets fix our current parks first before investing in something new. At Settlers there is major drainage issues for the dirt drive and parking lot. It is super hot baking in the sun over the playground, due to a lack of sun sails. The tables are already gross and falling apart. Ballentine Park needs to be repaved in the parking lot, has broken playground equipment and broken fencing. I'd hate to see the town invest in new projects before fixing up the current community places.
Kristy September 20, 2012 at 03:06 PM
The residents of Heritage Village will oppose expansion no matter what, I'm sure. I say we put SOMETHING there to benefit the community, especially us younger people who live (and work) here. A movie theater would be amazing.
Greg Kuehn September 20, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Kayak/canoe access - I like that, too!
Kevin September 20, 2012 at 04:18 PM
They should leave it alone. It's been that way for hundreds of years. Why do we need to build in every empty space? They did that in Waterbury already.
Crystal Wood September 20, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Kayak/Canoe access would be nice. I live off of the river and have people park on my property early in the morning abandon their cars and drive else where to start their canoe trip, coming back late in the day to get their cars. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has this problem. Its a big liability to the owners of the property that are being trespassed on. Public access would be wonderful!
Kris September 20, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Nothing for now...why even initiate the conversation until some buyers/developers have some (viable) propsals? It will be a worthy discussion then.
teri kopp September 20, 2012 at 05:03 PM
I agree with Rob. I moved here to get away from apartment style living and the unslightly side of having people who really couldn't get here any other way diminish the quaint style and reasonable taxes. It is not our "problem" and does not have a place in this discussion.
K Brush September 20, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Youth center is a great idea!
HB September 20, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Some land could be utilized as a community garden. Maybe even make it possible for people to rent certain sized land plots (gives it a little economic incentive). We currently have one at my graduate school and it is great!
Trish September 20, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Our Youth and Teens need a safe place to gather and have fun. In absence of our community providing them a place designed for this purpose, they have no option but to go find their own fun.
Chainsaw Dave September 20, 2012 at 07:38 PM
when i was a young child that place was a picnic grove with picnic tables and grass feilds and out houses for people to use it should revert to this use and a walking bridge over the river to platt park would be great
Pgmr9 September 20, 2012 at 07:49 PM
so you want Southbury to turn into another DANGLEbury, or Newtown, build where ever you can, and they wont use it anyway, they will just sit home playing video games like they do now. there are many children on the road i live on and how many do you think i have seen out playing, NONE
Susanne Navas September 20, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Several of you have expressed your interest in having a community center in town (and I wholeheartedly agree, though its location would be determined by what the center would consist of). As it turns out, the town has been exploring this possibility and there is an online survey (launched today!) for town residents to give their feedback. The results will be discussed during a town meeting at Southbury Town Hall on Oct. 11th and 7pm. I really hope that as many people as possible participate in both the survey and the meeting, since this is a great chance to state our opinions, and then participate in the center's creation (should the town residents deem one necessary). This is the survey link - please spread the word!! https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/southburycommunitycenter
Rob September 20, 2012 at 11:35 PM
I think yours is an especially good idea, particularly suited in the area of the subject lands that are within the floodplain...
Marni Krause Baggett September 21, 2012 at 01:54 AM
love the idea of a YMCA-style, multi-generational community center incorporating an outdoor, urban park....
Greg Kuehn September 21, 2012 at 02:05 AM
HB, contact the Parks/Rec dept. They already have a community garden in place at Settlers Park. Wonderful thing! I just wish they would have allowed the garden committee to promote it the way they wanted to... maybe in the future.
Laura September 21, 2012 at 03:19 PM
how about nothing? every available square inch does not, in fact, need to be developed.
Justin Bette September 21, 2012 at 08:25 PM
What a great thread! This is what we want more of Patch editors (hint, hint). Thanks to Susanne as well for the link. Thanks to Greg Kuehn for the link to something we can (and in my opinion, should) aspire to. Keep in mind that this land has not been purchased and developed because the site proposes many challenges. Only 4-6 acres are "high & dry" enough to be built on. The rest is wetlands and/or in the flood plain. My personal belief is that the town should not buy any more real estate until the Corporate Park has been developed as that site may also provide a location for a Community Center. Please fill out Susanne's survey and attend the meeting Oct 11th. As a volunteer on the town's Commissions, I am very interested to hear our citizen's opinions!
Thad Burr September 24, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Regardless of what goes in on the parcel on the east side of the Pomperaug River, I would hope that the remainder of the land on the west side of the river, would be preserved and added to the Southbury Land Trust Property which abuts it. As it is now, the USPS does nothing to clean that area up after our Spring flooding, and I can't imagine any developer/business owner doing anything either.
Webster February 04, 2013 at 03:31 PM
Notey1 and Kristi have it right. Southbury needs an entertainment venue ! Movies shown at the Heritage Inn and The Library are being outgrown by their popularity .I disagree about attracting unwanted elements in to Southbury by building a movie Theatre- this would not be an x rated theater but more of a venue that would cater to everyone from toddlers to teens, families to Heritage Village residents. This town needs to take some chances otherwise, Kids will continue to have nothing to do, Villagers will continue to go to sleep at 7 PM for a lack of something to do and families will spend their discretionary entertainment income in Danbury or Waterbury. Southbury needs to get off its collective butt and think outside of the proverbial box. A small multi plex theatre would bring a lot of benefit to Southbury.

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