Norwichtown Mall reconstruction to start in February

Adam Winstanley, president of Winstanley Enterprises LLC answers questions about the proposed changes to the Norwichtown Mall, now to be called Norwichtown Commons, during a public presentation at Norwich City Hall tonight.
Adam Winstanley, president of Winstanley Enterprises LLC answers questions about the proposed changes to the Norwichtown Mall, now to be called Norwichtown Commons, during a public presentation at Norwich City Hall tonight.

Norwich – Construction to convert the old Norwichtown Mall into a smaller Norwichtown Commons shopping center with 10 to 14 stores should begin by February, with names of tenants to be announced as leases are signed in the coming months.

Adam Winstanley and Edward Sylvera, partners in the purchase and $7.5 million to $8 million reconstruction of the mostly vacant Town Street facility, presented plans at a public forum attended by about 70 residents, city officials and business leaders tonight at City Hall.

Winstanley and Sylvera showed renderings of the new building, reduced in size from the current 270,000 square feet to about 150,000 square feet. The center space will be designed for a restaurant with outdoor courtyard seating. The plaza does not have enough space for a stand-alone restaurant, the two partners said.

Residents repeatedly asked what new tenants they could expect to see and offered suggestions – Starbuck's, Christmas Tree Shops, Panera Bread – but Sylvera said he could only announce the names of stores with signed leases or letters of intent.

Stop & Shop Supermarket has seven years remaining on its lease, and Winstanley hopes to reach a new deal with the store for a longer lease. Dress Barn women's clothing store will downsize slightly in a renovated space. Dollar Tree, currently the last remaining store inside the mall, will stay with a new and larger store. And the Fancy Nails salon will return to the new plaza.

The only new store announced tonight was Hair Cuttery, a national hair salon chain.

Sylvera, who is handling the leasing portion of the deal, said the group is in discussions with about 30 potential tenants, some of whom do not have stores in the state currently.

c.bessette@theday.com

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