It appears that change will be coming to a key section of U.S. Route 5 in Wallingford, CT. For nearly 56 years, the property at 906 North Colony Road in Wallingford was home to the family-owned and operated banquet facility, Villa Capri. As of October 5th, 2016, however, the land is set to change owners and have its improvements demolished to make way for a new Cumberland Farms gas and convenience store.
The $2,350,000 sale from Altalia Property Associates to Cumberland Farms, Inc. was finalized on 10/5/2016, but the banquet facility had closed as early as July 31st of this year. In a released statement by the Mesite family, who ran Villa Capri for decades, it is clear that the decision was not easy: “We have had many offers in the past, but at this time in our lives, our family has decided to entertain an offer so that we can continue to concentrate on running all of our Sonic of CT franchise stores, while building our brand, and our current business investments along with new ventures to come.”
Cumberland Farms is set to demolish the 32,000 square foot banquet hall and construct a new, 4,700 square foot retail building in its place. For the new owners, transitioning has not been a relatively straight-forward process either. Demolishing the banquet hall eliminates the property’s existing nonconformity, limiting Cumberland Farms to only one permitted access way. The company received a zoning variance from the town to alleviate this issue, and is now seeking approval from the Department of Transportation to maintain these two access points on a state road.
It remains unclear whether Cumberland Farms plans to shutter it’s existing location at 868 North Colony Road, a mere .2 miles down the road from the newly proposed site. It is unlikely that the nation-wide company will operate two stores in such close proximity to each other, especially given recent trends by Cumberland Farms to focus on ways to renovate or develop new stores. For now, drivers on U.S. Route 5 can anticipate 906 North Colony Road as their new stop for service and convenience.