Fairfield County business is booming for commercial real estate developer R.D. Scinto Inc., which is in various stages of construction on some high-profile projects in Shelton and Trumbull.
“Things are going well for us right now,” said COO Robert A. Scinto. “By the spring we should have a lot of work underway.”
One of his company’s top priorities is a three-building, mixed-use development on a 5.3-acre site at the corner of Commerce Drive and Bridgeport Avenue in Shelton, not far from R.D. Scinto headquarters.
Once the U.S. headquarters of Tetley Tea — which owner Tata Global Beverages relocated to New Jersey in 2009 — Scinto purchased and demolished the building last March to construct the three buildings.
Westport’s Spotted Horse Tavern will occupy 6,000 square feet in the first building at 100 Commerce Drive, with a second restaurant likely to take its remaining 1,000 square feet, Scinto said.
Griffin Hospital Occupational Medicine & Rehabilitation Services will take over the 16,000-square-foot second floor of the second building at 330 Bridgeport Ave. The first floor, also offering 16,000 square feet of space, will be home to “a host of different tenants,” Scinto said, ranging from sushi restaurant Hunan Pan and liquor store Ninety 9 Bottles to a branch of pet store Pet Valu.
“That property leased up very quickly, even before we knocked down the Tetley building,” he said.
The third building will be a standalone, 2,000-square-foot Starbucks with a drive-thru window. Starbucks baristas should be ready to start slinging lattes and the like by late spring, he said.
The developer is also seeking approvals from Shelton officials for a 26,200-square-foot shopping center on about three acres of land at 899-905 Bridgeport Ave. That project would require demolishing five buildings on the site. Scinto said he envisioned the retail development as including at least one high-end clothing store and a number of restaurants.
“We’re still awaiting zoning approval on that, so we haven’t started pre-leasing,” Scinto said. The developer’s January meeting with the city Planning and Zoning Commission “went very well, so hopefully we’ll get a vote in February.”
Potentially standing in the way of that project is Save Our Shelton, a grassroots group of Shelton residents that has repeatedly objected to what it sees as the city’s overdevelopment. The organization’s leaders, Greg Tetro and Caitlin Augusta, at the Jan. 9 Planning and Zoning meeting expressed concerns about a lack of green areas and adequate accommodations for pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as how projects can change from initial proposals.
Meanwhile, R.D. Scinto has finished a build-to-suit, 84,000-square-foot warehouse and office building at 50 Corporate Drive in Trumbull for CooperSurgical Inc., a medical equipment manufacturer. Another construction project that will add 21,000 square feet to an existing Trumbull business is also underway, Scinto said.
Scinto declined to disclose costs for all of the family-owned company’s projects.
“We’ve got a lot of other projects in different stages of development in Fairfield County as well,” he said. “Unfortunately, I can’t give out details on those yet. But we’re staying busy.”