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Herbst and Trumbull's Econ Development Chair Respond to Porricelli's Closing

The store was trying to work with the landlord of the Trumbull Center shopping plaza.

After hearing of Porricelli's closing, First Selectman Tim Herbst and Economic & Community Development Commission Chair Scott Wich say Trumbull's economy is strong and a replacement will be found.

"Trumbull’s economic development is strong and the Town is committed to doing everything in its power to work with the property owners to fill this commercial space as quickly as possible," Herbst said Friday.

Porricelli's company owner Jerry Porricelli announced the closure the same day in a press release, but Herbst said it was the first time he had heard.

"No one from the Town’s government was contacted by the owners to alert us to the closure and we have not received any explanation from management as to the reasons for the closing of their Trumbull location," Herbst said.

"What is surprising about this action is that at the end of 2011, the owners of Porricelli’s elected to exercise an option to renew their lease for another five years. Earlier this year, the owners of the market approached the landlord to convey how the economy was affecting their business and how meeting their monthly rent payments was becoming a greater challenge.

"The landlords thereafter agreed to give the owners of the Porricelli’s temporary rent concessions that were intended to help them weather the current economic climate, until conditions improved.  In speaking to the landlord, we have been advised that they were not informed by the tenant of this closure," he concluded.

'Porricelli's Has Not Had an Easy Year'

Economic commission Chair Scott Wich added, "Porricelli’s has not had an easy year. First, with the closing of its Old Greenwich location in August and now with the closing of its Trumbull location."

"It is truly unfortunate to see a well-regarded, family-run business like Poricelli’s leave Trumbull.  However, the Town will be doing everything in its power to assist in bringing a new quality business to Trumbull Center.  On behalf of the Town, I would like to thank the Poricelli family and wish them well for their contributions to the community," Wich said.

Numerous Patch Users said the family-run store, founded in 1950, was convenient and offered fresh foods. Trumbull's store opened in 2002, replacing the Grand Union. The two Greenwich stores closed in 2009 and 2012.

Herbst said he too was disappointed at the closure.

"However, we must now look forward and seek a suitable replacement for the benefit of our residents.  Trumbull residents should know that if there was no optimistic future for this property, the property owners would not be making a multi-million dollar investment in the property’s rehabilitation," Herbst said.

In the last year, the plaza has lost Frances' Pastry and Trumbull Aquarium and Pets. Outside of the plaza, the town lost P.J.'s Garden Exchange on Madison Avenue, which was started in the late 1930s.

"Further, at the peak of the last construction cycle, Trumbull had 68 commercial and industrial construction projects underway, despite the current economic conditions we are facing at the state and national level," the first selectman said.

Trumbull Economic Development Director Ed Lavernoich could not be reached for comment Friday.

But numerous readers suggested that a Trader Joe's would be a good fit to replace the store.

Marianne Van Zandt December 31, 2012 at 04:05 AM
There is NO WORKING out ANYTHING with DiNardo. I taught in Redding and am very familiar with Caraluzzi's. Yes, is a great market, BUT we HAD a GREAT market...Porricelli's......I , for one , won't "e-bomb" anyone except to get Porricelli's back.
raymond jaroszewski December 31, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Another failure by Tim Herbst, funny this was such a surprise to him I have been hearing rumors about the closing for months. Since Tim has been in office: Sewer debacle , No Trumbull Day , Concerts cancelled , Magnet school land swap that is not a swap , Loss of seating for Trumbull students in Magnet School , Dogs in Trumbull shelter no longer walked , Trumbull High renovations dragged on and on . Tim Herbst's bribe/threat for the Nature Commission to accept a million dollars to move off the Wagner Tree farm. Tim wants to take credit of mall renovations and tax cut ( home devaluations= increase in mill rate),well then he can step up and except some blame....yeah right! Tim is a divider, never letting a good crisis go to waste ( if he can make political gain. ) and never taking responsibility . He should have found a way to help Porricelli's stay here , that is what leaders do they find a way to make things happen , get people working together to solve problems. Wake up Trumbull !!!
MAC December 31, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Do you even read? Or is it that as a big government lover (and probable Obama worshipper), Raymond, you want government to control EVERYTHING, and make just about every decision in businesses' and citizens' lives?!! The closure of Poricelli's is NOT a "failure by Tim Herbst," as they did not even ask for his, or the town's assistance as THEY, the owners, were making the decision to close their business, after already closing/selling their other two stores! I guess you don't even believe in the foundation of our nation, which is FREE MARKET Capitalism! If you wish to contradict that assessment, you might start by reading the Constitution, and if that is too difficult for you--then you could at least read Gail Jarvis' comments on the original Poricelli's closing article on Patch.
Pam Georgas December 31, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Mac I agree with both you and gail on the free market issue, of which this issue is (for the most part). However, if the town and the 'people' of the town want Trumbull to remain a 'village' with small businesses and shops, we can help achieve this by encouraging a cultural infrastructure that supports these types of businesses. Instead a small group of vocal residents fight every new idea/proposal that is put forth in front of our boards and commissions, regardless of its merit. They just fear change, or believe any change is bad.
LovesTrumbull January 09, 2013 at 02:41 PM
Melissa, the hair salon closed after the owner passed away suddenly. This came shortly after Kenny Z's (which was temporarily housed in his location) opened their new location across the street where TD Bank is.

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