WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — A brand new ballgame in Waterbury.
The mayor considers this day an economic win for the city.
“From an economic development perspective, Dick’s Sporting Goods is a major sporting supplier in Connecticut and it’ll bring an awful lot of customers into our Brass Mills mall,” said Mayor Neil O’Leary.
Last June, the future of the retail complex was in doubt. It lost a key anchor store when Toys R Us shut down here and across Connecticut, leaving the future of 48,000 square feet of retail space and a bundle in tax revenues in question.
“We were really worried,” said O’Leary.
Dick’s now occupies that space. The mayor says the city is on a campaign to market itself and make it more desirable for new business. We asked a store spokesman what drew Dick’s to Waterbury?
“We felt this was a great opportunity for us. We know Waterbury and the surrounding communities is a strong passionate areas for sports and activities,” said Dan Labreck, Dicks Sporting Goods.
Shoppers showed that Friday.
“Madison got stuff, Cameron gets stuff, mommy gets stuff, and daddy gets the bill,” said Pete Johnson, at the register.
For Pete Johnson it means he no longer has to travel longer distances to get to the Dick’s stores in other areas.
“The next closest one would be Plainville which is a good half hour ride,” Said Johnson.
And the move here also means 60 new associate jobs. More good news for a city with an unemployment rate of about 6 percent.
The mayor tells News 8 that he expects this new store to be anchored here for years to come.
“Dick’s has put a major investment. The business will be very, very good over there. Their length of stay I think will be substantial,” said O’Leary.
“Brass Mill Commons has been great to work with and we’re really excited for the future,” said Labreck.