Old Lyme Shopping Center heads to online auction
Old Lyme —The online auction of a shopping center on Halls Road later this month is being met with optimism by some business owners.
Built in 1964, The Old Lyme Shopping Center is home to a variety of businesses including Andy’s Deli and Market, The Hideaway Restaurant and Pub, and Hair Trendz salon.
The auction, scheduled for August 23 to 25, will be hosted by online real estate exchange Ten-X on behalf of NorthEast Private Client Group of Shelton, which represents the current owner.
The starting bid on the property, a 5.2-acre site comprised of two buildings totaling approximately 50,000 square feet, is $1.5 million.
NorthEast Private Client Group Associate Chris Bierezowiec said Tuesday that there is a reserve — or mininum acceptable price — on the property, but noted that the reserve is not required to be disclosed. The company characterized the auction as a “normal sale and due to a favorable market.”
Christi Laquitara, owner of Hair Trendz, who moved her salon to the plaza from East Lyme four years ago, said on Monday that the volume of traffic in the shopping center is good, but she would love to see more. She thinks that an update to the external appearance of the buildings could help increase people’s interest in coming to the shopping center.
“I hope that somebody who buys it is looking to update and make it more curb appealing and bring more traffic into it and not just let it sit here and keep going the way that it is,” Laquitara said. “It would be good if it was somebody local.”
Jim Caramante, who bought the Hideaway Restaurant and Pub in 2005 after working as the Hideaway’s chef for 11 years, agreed the traffic is decent in the plaza, noting specifically the high traffic at Andy’s Deli and Market in the mornings and afternoons. Caramante said he’s not concerned about a change in ownership, which might lead to improvements, and that he knows of at least two business owners in the plaza who had recently expanded their businesses or were planning to expand.
“The owners now, they’re doing a fine job, but it could use some upgrades,” he said. “It is a beautiful piece of property."
Despite a couple of empty store fronts on ground level, the listing boasts a 77% occupancy of the plaza, which in addition to the retail and restaurant businesses includes office space and a Yale New Haven Health office in an adjacent building.
The property was previously offered for sale at $4.8 million in 2011, according to information on the listing website. According to town records, the shopping center was sold in 2015 to 19 Halls Road, LLC of Yonkers, NY for almost $3.6 million. It was appraised at $3.96 during a revaluation completed in 2019.