East Lyme’s former Triumph building to soon be occupied by ABC Supply chain

East Lyme — Town officials have confirmed that the former Triumph Building, located on Industrial Park Road behind Stop & Shop, will soon be re-occupied by the American Builders & Contractors Supply Co., a national chain better known as ABC Supply Company.

The building had been occupied since 2002 by Triumph Group and was used for manufacturing aerospace parts until a couple years ago, when the company consolidated its operations elsewhere in Connecticut, leaving the building empty.

According to First Selectman Mark Nickerson, news of ABC Supply’s arrival signifies positive re-development strides for the town as the reuse of the building will help bolster the town’s tax base while bringing additional business to the area.

“We are just thrilled we are able to welcome another successful business into the East Lyme community,” Nickerson said. “It’s a big building and a big facility. I was concerned that, with Connecticut’s economy, we would not find a tenant to occupy it. I’m thrilled that they are.”

Both Nickerson and Zoning Official Bill Mulholland said it is not yet clear the exact date ABC Supply Co. will occupy the building, “Though we think it will be sooner rather than later,” Mulholland said.

A spokesperson from ABC Supply said Monday that the company did not have any updates on when it plans to move in and open.

Founded in 1982, ABC Supply, a roofing supply company based in Wisconsin that sells windows, gutters and siding for residential and commercial buildings, bills itself as "the largest wholesale distributor of roofing in the United States.” The company operates more than 760 locations in 49 states, with eight presently located in Connecticut.

The more than 57,000-square-foot building at 29 Industrial Park Drive, which had been owned since 2002 by HTD Aerospace Inc.— a subsidiary of the Triumph Group — was sold for $1.7 million in August to B&D Holdings, a real estate management firm based out of Warren, N.J., according to land records. The building was originally built in 1969 and includes 98 parking spaces.

B&D Holdings will lease the building to ABC Supply Co., said Niantic-based real estate attorney Theodore Harris, who was hired by B&D Holdings to obtain the permits ABC Supply needs to occupy the building.

Harris began that process earlier this year, according to town records, and went before the Zoning Commission in August, requesting a special permit, as well as approval for a new site plan, to allow an industrially zoned building to be used for retail purposes. His application was approved by the Zoning Commission Aug. 1.

Harris also helped clarify whether ABC Supply is subject to the town’s Aquifer Protection Agency regulations.

Though the building at 29 Industrial Park Drive does sit above the town’s aquifer, ABC Supply Co was not required to apply for a special permit with the town’s Aquifer Agency to locate there because it will not be conducting a regulated activity outlined by the APA Regulations.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection confirmed those details in a letter to Harris and Mulholland in May. DEEP wrote in that letter that ABC Supply should follow the best management practices outlined in the town's Aquifer Protection Area regulations, and that “all hazardous materials, packaged for retail sale, must be stored inside the building in the effort to reduce risk and contamination of the aquifer.”

The letter also added, “And, at no time, shall the business conduct any regulated activities as defined by the Aquifer Protection Area Regulations.”

Mulholland said earlier this month that the company is presently completing sidewalk, drainage and building renovations, and is also installing a decorative fence along the road. He said town zoning staff has issued all the approvals and permits needed by the company.

m.biekert@theday.com

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