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Amazon Wants To Build Distribution Center In Branford

Steven M. Mazzacane

Sep 15, 2021

BRANFORD, CT - Amazon is eyeing exit 53 in Branford for its next area distribution center.

BRANFORD, CT - Amazon is eyeing exit 53 in Branford for its next area distribution center.

The property, owned by the Shapiro family directly across from the current Wal-Mart, would house a 98,000 square foot distribution facility, to cover what is often referred to as the “last mile” in delivery of goods.

Officials for the project, including John Mancini of BL Companies, presented to project in a preliminary discussion at the Branford Economic Development Commission, stating that an application process could start as early as next of October.

Amazon at Exit 53
The site has seen multiple applications in the past after being a retail location for years. After a fire started by a homeless occupant forced demolition of the buildings, the 21 acre site has remained paved, meaning the new facility would not add any additional impervious coverage.

If approved, the facility would house about 100 workers and approximately 100-150 delivery trucks, producing significantly less traffic than what was previously on the site, or what the site was approved for in the past, Home Depot, before the big box store chose to build in East Haven.

First selectman Jamie Cosgrove discussed the project with the Commission, stating that the proposal addresses a longtime need to fill an empty site in a commercial area, adds environmental benefits with regards to water runoff, and that the applicant is a key player in a growth industry, as opposed to struggling traditional retail.

A key aspect of the plan was its ability to conform with a plan commissioned by Cosgrove to fix traffic lanes and the exit 53 intersection. Part of that plan was to see the on/off ramp to exit 53 connect with Commercial Parkway instead of Route 1, eliminating an intersection. Mancini stated the Amazon plan was created to be able to incorporate such changes, if the state approves them and finding is secured, something the town is hopeful can be applied for as part of an upcoming Federal infrastructure package.

For approval, the applicants need to present to Inland Wetlands, the towns Planning and Zoning Commission and the state. Planning and Zoning recently made changes to the code to allow warehouse development on the site that has struggled to attract retail over the last two decades.

The EDC unanimously voted to support the project moving forward.

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