Norwichtown merchants plan to bury time capsule

Norwich - Individual stores have opened with ribbon-cutting ceremonies at the newly renovated Norwichtown Commons, and now the owners are planning a grand opening celebration for the entire plaza Thursday at 6:30 p.m. with a unique twist.

In addition to speeches by representatives of the Winstanley Enterprises LLC development team and local dignitaries and a traditional ribbon-cutting, the event will feature a time capsule dedication to mark the latest incarnation of the former Norwichtown Mall at 36-44 Town St.

The event will be held near the Dollar Tree store entrance and is open to the public.

The time capsule will contain items from each retailer in the plaza, as well as proclamations from local officials, and newspaper stories on the development. The capsule will be buried and will be scheduled to reopen in 20 years, said Winstanley spokesman Matt Watkins.

Winstanley purchased the nearly empty and rundown former Norwichtown Mall in July 2011 for $15.75 million and embarked on a $7.5 million tear-down and rebuild project that created a shopping plaza with no interior mall and each store having its own separate entrance.

Stop & Shop supermarket and Dress Barn remained, and some stores that had been in the mall returned to the plaza, including Fancy Nails, Hair Cuttery and Dollar Tree. New stores include Lucky House Chinese restaurant, Pet Sense, and Big Lots.

Soon to open will be the exercise gym, Planet Fitness and Yogurt City. Several other retail spaces remain available, Watson said.

Watson said Stop & Shop will place a re-usable shopping bag in the time capsule and other stores will place items with their brand logos in the box.

c.bessette@theday.com

UBox:

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Norwichtown Commons grand opening and dedication.

WHERE: Norwichtown Commons, 36-44 Town St.

WHEN: Thursday, June 27

6:30 p.m.

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