OXFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The roar of construction equipment clearing out heavy rocks is music to some people’s ears in Oxford — people like Thomas Haynes, President of Haynes Development Company.
His crews are taking pride in helping to build the next part of what will become Oxford’s new crown jewel — Quarry Walk — a retail and shopping and entertainment/apartment community that people hope will turn into the new Oxford town center.
“It’ll bring Christmas, it’ll bring holidays, attraction, it’s going to bring everybody here,” said Jimmy Savanella, a construction worker with Haynes Development who’s paving the way for the new Oxford Town Green.
Half of the complex is already done and it’s already raking in a different kind of green.
“This Quarry Walk will provide an additional $900,000 to a million dollars of net tax revenue to the town of Oxford,” Haynes said.
It has brought in new shopping options and that’s welcome news to many residents.
“We never had anything in the area so for me being close and the ability to come down here and shop and not have to go too far has been great,” a shopper named Joyce said.Related Content: Future vision for New Haven’s Long Wharf District
One goal of the new Quarry Walk development is to attract more young people and young families to Oxford. Developers hope a new state-of-the art daycare center and a town medical facility will do the trick for families. And an upscale, yet affordable apartment complex hopes to do the trick when it comes to attracting young people, like Joyce’s two sons who are in their twenties.
“I look at my kids and I see some of the friends who have stayed in town and I think they would be looking for an option to move out of the house but stay local,” Joyce said.
About half of the project is already completed across the driveway from where Jimmy and his buddies are still clearing out boulders so they can lay the foundation for the new town green, new apartments, more stores and a new medical center. In the finished area, you’ll find Five Guys and other restaurants, a Wine Market, a SuperCuts, a nail spa, and state-of-the-art day care center. The stylish grocery store, Market 32 by Price Chopper, has its own Starbucks.
“I think this is great,” said Gene Atkas, a longtime Oxford resident who snagged one of the 300 jobs Quarry Walk created. Gene nailed down a new position at the Ace Hardware store there. “The Quarry Walk has been so good. I think really it’s going to become the center of Oxford.”
That’s the game plan for what used to be an old quarry off of Oxford Road. Once the entire project is completed, it could mean 200 more jobs, bringing the total to 500.
Jimmy feels like he’s part of something special as he and his buddies at Haynes Development keep on truckin’.
“Been in the company for 18 years and I see so much development going on,” he said. “And now it’s a beautiful mall and it’s supplying more jobs for the community…It’s going to bring everybody here, even dogs.”