GREENWICH, Conn. The grocery store that once united backcountry shoppers and brought business to the North Street Shopping Center, has been vacant and growing progressively dilapidated for more than a year. Small business owners at the center are hoping a renovation project will bring a sense of renewal to the area and echo back to a better time.
I think its a shame theyre letting this community hang on the wire since IGA left, said Andrea Crikelair, a resident of backcountry Greenwich who was shopping at the center Thursday evening. We need another anchor store.
Stephanie Primm, owner of the Flower Shop, said holiday business has been slow. Its hard for everybody with out the traffic. Residents are desperate for a grocery store. It is a gem of a place, and with a bit of effort it can be magical.
The shopping center held a holiday afternoon of appreciation, and each small store gave away a free gift or tasting Thursday afternoon. Without IGA, its a bit of a blackhole for the businesses here, said Primm, who joined forces with Katie Stephens and husband Noah Goldberg from the Study to organize the event.
We feel this was a good way to connect with everyone. It was really reassuring on a human level for everyone to get involved, Stephens said of the giveaways. The Study was offering free wine tastings, and Lorenzoni Marble was handing out free marble coasters.
We wanted to do an affordable, if not free, event that will remind the community that were here, said Primm.
A poster board centered in Primms store shows off renovations that may be made. Crikelair checked out the drawings. I think it looks great. Its somewhat Adirondack rustic, which I think fits in with the backcountry look, said Crikelair. I think it will attract more people. Its got a nice fresh look.
Primm said landlord Guy Sutton has already begun some infrastructure work on the drainage system and cleaning out IGA. Its in a state of disrepair from the septic system, drainage and the roof is leaking. [Sutton] said that by spring well be able to see visible results, she said.
Backcountry residents and the local businesses will have to wait until renovations are under way to find out what will make its home in place of the vacated IGA.
Calls to Guy Sutton, the landlord of the shopping center, were not returned.
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