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October 30, 2019

Developer breaks ground on $200M Avon Village Center project

Avon Village Photo | Contributed A rendering of Avon Village Center's first phase, which will include construction of a Whole Foods as part of 119,000 square feet of retail space.

Construction on a $200 million mixed-use development in Avon that has been held up in the permitting process for more than a year officially kicked off Wednesday.

“The process of permitting is a difficult process, you have to go through a whole set of state and local processes,” said Kelly Coates, CEO of Rhode Island developer Carpionato Group, which is helming the Avon Village Center project that is being described as a “live-work-play gathering space” located on the former Ensign Bickford campus along Route 44. “It’s like pregnancy: pain for a purpose.”

The Carpionato Group marked the beginning of the project’s first of five phases, which will consist of five new retail buildings totaling about 119,000 square feet, anchored by a new 45,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market.

Phase I should be finished before Thanksgiving next year, and space will be filled by local merchants as well as regional and national businesses, Coates said, though he declined to name any potential tenants.

“We’ll have a robust number of small local and regional and national [businesses],” Coates said. “We’ll be making announcements [about tenants other than Whole Foods] over the coming months.”

While the initial phase will only include retail space, phase II of the project will include office and residential units, the developer said. The whole project spans 97 acres and will include public spaces like a park and the newly redeveloped Farmington Valley Bikeway, the developer said. The $200 million estimate on the project is likely on the low side, Coates added.

Coates said he expects the entire project will be completed in five years.

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October 30, 2019

A huge parking lot is not a good start to a walkable, pedestrian-friendly town center plan. That is (or should be) mixed-use development 101. Come on, people. Do better.

October 30, 2019

Very excited about this project!
Avon needs a town center, if done right it could be a great place to stroll around.

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