New Long Hill shopping center opens in Trumbull

TRUMBULL — In what seemed like a cross between a business opening and a scavenger hunt, several Trumbull officials and members of the local business community trotted from business to business at the new Long Hill Market Friday morning, cheerfully cutting ribbons and posing for photos at the new businesses.

It was a way for each business to be celebrated, without interrupting the employees too much, said Trumbull director of economic and community development Rina Bakalar. “Everybody’s trying to operate while we do this,” she explained.

But behind the somewhat chaotic atmosphere of the serial ribbon-cuttings at 6450 Main St. was what Bakalar and others see as a real source of pride for Trumbull and its residents.

The Long Hill Market, at the former site of Marisa’s restaurant, has been in development for several years, and now is the home of four new businesses — Summer Evans Studio, Dunkin Donuts, Elevate Physical Therapy, and Premier Martial Arts — with Italian eatery Ecco slated to open around Thanksgiving.

Bakalar said the 16,000-square-foot marketplace is a real turning point for Trumbull, going from a blighted property that had been unoccupied for some time to a sparkling business complex. “This is a big improvement,” she said. “It’s an aesthetic improvement and an environmental improvement.”

Those on hand at the event included First Selectman Vicki Tesoro, who also praised the project. “This is a real home run for our community,” she said, adding that Trumbull is a great location for growing businesses looking to find their niche.

“What do you need as a business? You need customers,” Tesoro said. “We’re bringing you our customers and you’re bringing us your businesses.”

The business owners who temporarily stepped out to take part in Friday’s ribbon-cutting included Julian Trotman, owner of the Premier Martial Arts at the marketplace. Part of a nationwide chain, Premier offers a variety of classes for children and adults, and the Trumbull site is Premier’s first location in Connecticut, Trotman said. He said he had been looking for a site for his franchise, and “this is by far the best site I’ve found.”

Others who showed up at the ribbon-cutting included Fred Petrossi, the incoming chairman of the Trumbull Chamber of Commerce. “I think it’s a nice complex,” he said. “We’re very optimistic. It’s a great location.”