Trumbull Center owner discusses plans for the future

To the Editor:

I am involved in the partnership group that owns the commercial real estate known as Trumbull Center. In recent months, I have heard and read the concerns of many Trumbull residents about the vacancies and general condition of Trumbull Center.

The ownership of Trumbull Center was in legal limbo for some time after my uncle, Richard Aiello, passed away in 2004. It was only in 2009 that the day-to-day control of Trumbull Center was fully settled, and we immediately began planning improvements for the property. We have had numerous conversations with the town’s planning director and economic development director about our plans, and I believe they can vouch for our sincere intention to revive Trumbull Center.

By now, I hope many of you have noticed new sidewalks, facades and recent renovations to four of the buildings in the Center. These projects have cost our group a substantial amount of money in the past year alone, and we are not done making improvements.

It is our intention to ultimately improve every part of the Center. Additional buildings will be rehabilitated. However, we will work with Planning and Zoning, Economic Development, and other town officials to determine those buildings which are not economically feasible to rehabilitate, whether due to age or inefficient layouts, will be demolished and replaced with new buildings that are professionally designed, energy efficient for tenants, compatible with the best of the existing architecture, and attractive to businesses and their customers alike.

As we have evaluated every building in the Center, we have been very selective in our leasing — we cannot sign new leases with tenants for buildings that still have to undergo major rehabilitation, and we cannot put new tenants into buildings that may have to be demolished and replaced. We knew this would be a multi-year process. Even under these circumstances, there will be new tenants announced in 2013. Also, we are doing everything we can to assist our existing tenants, recognizing that the poor national economy of the last five years has put some out of business and had a major impact on virtually all of them.

Trumbull Center has been a vital point of the town of Trumbull for many decades. We recognize the importance of the Center to the citizens of Trumbull and to the tenants of the Center. We have strived to assist tenants wherever possible, and we are focused on the growth and vitality of the Center for the decades to come.

We recognize that many people in town care about Trumbull Center, and the same feelings that have made the Center so important to the Town and popular for several decades also come with a responsibility for us, as owners. Please know that we take the concerns and even the criticism to heart, and we will continue to work towards improving Trumbull Center.

Peter A. DiNardo