Mayor of Bristol
This month, I want to highlight a few business openings, closings and demolitions in our city. We’ll also highlight several ongoing projects that mix a bit of each of them.
First, Ruby Tuesdays at the Bristol/Farmington border on Route 6 was recently demolished to make way for two new businesses, Starbucks and Chipotle. This Starbucks store will be geared more towards a drive-thru operation. There are no plans to change anything with the Bristol Plaza store. Chipotle is a brand new offering in Bristol with a new fast casual option. Construction of the two new businesses will begin soon and the developer is expected to hand over the buildings to the two businesses by the end of the year.
Several homes and the commercial building at the corner of Route 72/69 in the West End will be demolished to make way for better traffic on CT Route 72. The project is expected to begin with staging and utility work on Divinity Street later this fall. . This long-awaited project will include significant streetscape and security improvements. This will obviously affect traffic and owners/businesses for some time. However, the city has acquired a vacant lot in the area to provide commercial parking during the construction phase. The West End Intersection Project will consist of moving CT Route 69 north, reducing the size of the existing municipal parking lot, terminating at the Divinity Street cul-de-sac west of the intersection, interconnecting Divinity Street and Park Street by extending Pratt Street and constructing a new/larger parking lot at the northwest corner of the intersection.
Unfortunately, we have had two major business closures in Bristol this month. We wish the best to the workers who will be displaced from Marilyn’s as well as to Barnes, who has announced that he will be closing his manufacturing facility within the next year. The question is how can we retrain and provide new jobs for displaced people? Bristol Works, a vocational training centre, will be able to offer a range of certificate programs for the unemployed and underemployed. This exciting new project was funded through an ARPA grant from the city and could train students by January 2023. Courses will focus on certificates in several key job growth areas. These areas will evolve based on economic needs, but currently focus on early childhood education, healthcare, information technology, and manufacturing.
On a slightly different note, recently the city had to demolish a residence at 287 Round Hill Road. After several years of COVID, we have stepped up our enforcement and will focus more diligently on the blight in the city. The action of demolishing a home only becomes necessary when homeowners cannot maintain safe and presentable structures. Our goal is always to bring homes and businesses into compliance and in many cases we are seeing positive results. Our current orders are in place to protect both property owners and ratepayers. For questions about our ordinances or building codes, please visit our city’s website or call my office at 860-584-6250.
Jeffrey Caggiano is the Mayor of Bristol