Derby Shopping Center Sold For Big Bucks

A $9 million land sale on Pershing Drive included a $23,000 conveyance tax for the City of Derby, Town Clerk Marc Garofalo announced Tuesday.

That’s good news for a cash-strapped city.

Officials at Urstadt Biddle Properties Inc. of Greenwich announced Friday they purchased the 38,750-square-foot Pershing Square Shopping Center, which is home to an AT&T store, Panera Bread, Pet Valu, and a just-opened Popeye’s.

A 17,000-square-foot Aldi grocery store anchors the shopping center, which is on Pershing Drive across from Shop Rite between Red Raider Plaza and the Italian Pavilion restaurant.

Aldi opened for business in late 2014.

The Pershing Square Shopping Center was formerly Valley Bowl, the local landmark that closed its doors in 2010 and was torn down in 2012.

Urstadt Biddle purchased the shopping center from Pershing Partners, LLC.

State records show the limited liability company is controlled by Jerry Nocerino and Charles Smith, who have extensive holdings in downtown Ansonia.

Nocerino is in negotiations with Ansonia to purchase two buildings on Main Street to convert into restaurants and apartments.

Friday’s announcement is one of several positive economic developments recently in Ansonia and Derby.

In Ansonia, the Farrel Corp., on Main Street for generations, is completing the construction of its new headquarters at the Fountain Lake Commerce Park, also in Ansonia.

Several restaurants have opened in downtown Ansonia, and Road Ready Used Cars breathed new life into the former Healey dealership.

Massimino’s Pizzeria is building a new restaurant on Main Street in Ansonia, too.

Meanwhile, in Derby, the Valley Indy reported last week a brewery is looking to start making beer at an old factory on Roosevelt Drive.

Calvert Safe & Lock is putting a new building on Roosevelt Drive, too.

And the old Dworkin Chevrolet, which had become a literal dumping ground on Seymour Avenue, is now home to New England Auto World.

Derby is also taking steps to get a sensible development into its long-stagnant downtown redevelopment zone on the south side of Main Street.

DPZ Partners is finalizing a development plan for the area in order to attract investment.

At a Derby Planning and Zoning meeting Tuesday, members voted to endorse a conceptual road configuration layout for the redevelopment zone.

A conceptual plan presented by Derby Economic Development Director Leslie Creane showed a development that could yield 469 residential units, 96,000 square feet of retail, and 66,000 square feet of small manufacturing.

DPZ Partners is working on zoning regulations for the redevelopment zone and a request for proposals from developers — using the guidelines being created by DPZ and Derby government — will be issued at a later date.

The state still plans to widen Route 34/Main Street going downtown, but the downtown development concept endorsed by the Derby P&Z Tuesday is designed in a way that does not rely heavily on when that project starts.

Assuming the city lures a developer, work can start before the state widens the road, officials said.

That’s important because Derby has momentum, said Ted Estwan, the chairman of the Derby Planning and Zoning Commission. The city needs to keep moving forward, and use the attention of Friday’s $9 million land deal to its advantage.

“Somebody took a development from the ashes of the old Valley Bowl and the cinema and actually built something from the ground up, from start to finish,” Estwan said. “Now we have activity.”

In related Derby economic development news, the commissioners Tuesday approved plans for MedExpress to open a 4,800-square-foot walk-in medical clinic in Red Raider Plaza at the intersection of Pershing Drive and Division Street.

The facility will take the space formerly used by Radio Shack, Frankie’s restaurant and a laundromat.

The info about Friday’s $9 million sale was first reported locally on the Valley Indy’s Facebook page:


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