CROMWELL, Conn. (WTNH) – A so-called “mega warehouse” will not be built in Cromwell after the town rejected it. Mega warehouses are an e-commerce phenomenon that developers are trying to get established in the central part of the state.
Cromwell town officials voted down the warehouse proposal in a 4-3 vote. They were mostly concerned about the potential impact it would have on the nearby wetlands.
Danielle Fitzpatrick is one of many Cromwell residents with a “STOP Geer Street truck and freight terminal” sign on their lawn. She would have been living in the vicinity of a one-million-square-foot warehouse covering 250 acres in an area north of Geer Street if the town approved the developer’s application.
“I was concerned because we are next to a school and a park, and I don’t want any trucks driving by with the kids everywhere,” Fitzpatrick said.
Cromwell’s Planning & Developing Director Stuart Popper and the Indiana-based developer, Scannell Properties’ application for a wetlands permit was denied in the vote Wednesday night. The decision comes after Willington also denied a one-and-a-half million-square-foot mammoth warehouse.
While there’s been fierce opposition against giant warehouses, the East Haven mayor hopes two get built by the end of the year.
“We are looking at it in a positive way,” said East Hartford Mayor Mike Walsh. “There will be two extremely large warehouses.”
Those warehouses would be located off of Silver Lane behind the Rentschler Field, serving an undisclosed online retailer and a big box store. Walsh sees it as an economic development opportunity too great to pass up.
“There’s absolutely a factor you don’t want them in the community because of truck traffic,” Walsh said. “But for us, there will be 2,000 new jobs, which will bring jobs back to Silver Lane.”
Walsh says their close proximity to the Interstate 91 and Interstate 84 interchange is desirable for the companies operating these warehouses as they are looking to deliver products quickly across the northeast and to New York.
The last obstacle for the project is determining how to get the warehouses adequate power and water, but Walsh is still optimistic construction can start by late fall.