by Bill Purcell, President, Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce
Although Derby is the smallest City in Connecticut with a population of 12,000 residents and with a land area of just 5 square miles, it is known by its current and former Mayors for having the biggest heart! Among the major developments in Derby over the past year are the following projects:
Griffin Hospital remained as the Valley's largest employer with approximately 1,100 FTE's and a Volunteer Corps numbering more than 400. Griffin continued to reinvest in its facilities by completing a multi-million dollar renovation and construction project for an Outpatient Surgical Center.
Derby Pershing Shopping Center was officially opened in 2015 on the site formerly occupied by Valley Bowl. Tenants include Aldi's, an international discount Grocery Store that now has more than 1,500 stores across 32 states; Panera Bread, which joins with Shelton to become the second Valley location for this national company founded in 1981 as Au Bon Pain Co.; and Physician Care One, formerly known as Urgent Care of Connecticut, a practice that was established in Southbury in 2008 by three local Physicians to provide acute care for non life-threatening medical conditions. This project was developed Pershing Partners Development, which is comprised of Jerry Nocerino, Charlie Smith, Mario Perone, Lou Salemme and Anthony Minopoli.
Commerce Park, a 22-acre industrial park that runs from the Derby Train Station at Route 34 to the BJ's Club along Pershing Drive, was advertised through a Public RFP Process with developers responses due in the 1st Quarter of 2016.
Town Fair Tire moved to a new location along New Haven Road (Route 34) in a newly constructed building at the former Marcucio Gardens, a Valley institution for many years.
New England Auto Mall acquired and substantially renovated the former Dworkin Chevrolet site into a center for Pre-Owned Auto Sales & Repair.
Route 34 Reconstruction began in earnest in 2015 with significant improvements made to the bridge and Route 8 Entrance Ramps. DOT began the process of assembling properties for a multi-million dollar reconstruction of this State Road through the very heart of downtown Derby, which is expected to get underway in 2017.
The Derby Restaurant & Nightlife scene saw positive growth with the establishment of The Hops Company, a German-style Beer Garden that opened in the former Grassy Hill Lodge; the opening of Riverhouse Cafe in downtown Derby, and the transformation of the former Gators/Whiskeys into River Rock Tavern at the intersection of Route 34 and Route 8.
Greater Valley Chamber Staff, Interns & Members