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February 26, 2020

West Hartford approves $7M Corbin's Corner facelift, Trader Joe’s expansion, new restaurant

Photo | Trader Joe's The landlord of West Hartford's Corbin's Corner is expanding Trader Joe's grocery store as part of a larger renovation of the shopping center.

The owner of West Hartford’s Corbin’s Corner received town approval Tuesday to renovate the shopping center, expand the existing Trader Joe’s Grocery store and add a new restaurant on-site.

West Hartford’s town council on Tuesday unanimously approved a plan by Florida real estate investment firm Regency Centers to upgrade the New Britain Avenue property at an estimated cost of $7 million. Regency is aiming to complete the improvements before this year’s holiday shopping season, according to economic development specialist Kristen Gorski.

According to plans, the management company is looking to add 2,500 square feet of storage space to the rear of Trader’s Joe’s existing 10,000-square-foot space and upgrade current building facades, reconfigure parking and install new landscaping, lighting and other amenities for pedestrians at the retail center, which houses about 25 retailers and eateries including Best Buy, Edge Fitness, Old Navy and Total Wine & More.

It’s also planning to either demolish and replace the former 6,000-square-foot Jared jewelers store with a new 7,360-square-foot restaurant, or redesign the existing facility to house a new restaurant and outdoor dining area. 

The single-story shopping center was last renovated “decades ago,” town records show.

Regency, which manages 419 retail facilities, or 56 million square feet across the country, could not be reached for comment Wednesday on when it plans to begin the renovation project.

The Corbin’s Corner upgrades will be implemented just months after Regency filled a major vacancy at the retail corridor abutting REI Co-op and Saks OFF 5th department stores.

In December, Edge Fitness took over a 38,800-square-foot space formerly occupied by a Toys R US store the children’s retailer vacated in 2018 after its bankruptcy and eventual store closures.

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