Bob's Discount Furniture, other proposals on the table in New London

New London — Bob’s Discount Furniture appears poised for a return to New London.

The furniture retailer is expected to occupy a 35,600-square-foot building proposed for construction on a long vacant lot to the rear of the New London Mall, at 389 Frontage Road. A building that formerly housed a Chuck E. Cheese’s at the site was demolished last month.

A Bob’s retail showroom would be the first phase of construction under a two-phase plan pitched to the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission by property owner Waterstone Properties Group, which is based in Needham, Mass., and locally uses the name New London Property Development LLC.

A site plan developed by CLA Engineers of Norwich is expected to be taken up by the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission this week. Those plans include a second phase: the construction of a 26,250-square-foot building housing a self-storage complex.

Felix Reyes, director of the Office of Development and Planning, said he was excited to have a long-blighted area reclaimed by a development by a reputable and recognizable company.

“It’s what people see when they drive past New London on I-95,” Reyes said. “It’s another sign of economic development and progress in the city. We look forward to being community partners with them and look forward to their success here.”

A representative from Bob’s, which operates a retail showroom in East Lyme and a warehouse and distribution center in Norwich, was not immediately available to comment. A timeline for the project was not available.

Bob’s previously had operated a retail operation on Colman Street in New London which closed sometime after the opening of its East Lyme store in 2006. Founded by Bob Kaufman in 1991, Bob’s now has more than 100 locations in at least 15 states.

The Planning and Zoning Commission meets Thursday to consider the site development plan and special permit request for the development.

The commission also will consider a request for special permit to allow a change of use of a warehouse at 139 Shaw St. to allow operation of an indoor skate park. The applicant for the proposal is Charles King, the founder of Hive Skate Shop on State Street, who also has worked for years to locate a skate park in the city.

Construction of a marijuana dispensary at the corner of Colman Street and Broad Street also is up for consideration by the commission. Cedar Grove Realty LLC has pitched a plan to construct a 3,000-square-foot building at 436 Broad St., near Dollar General.

The Planning and Zoning Commission in March agreed to interpret the classification of a medical marijuana dispensary as a retail use, treated the same as a pharmacy would be.

g.smith@theday.com

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