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The original item was published from 4/26/2007 12:00:00 AM to 10/30/2019 12:45:44 PM.

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Posted on: April 26, 2007

[ARCHIVED] 4/26/2007 - Economic Development Results Of The Survey Are In

Trumbull residents are loud and clear with their desires for the town. They want more shopping, more restaurants and a downtown shopping area.

They just want to make sure traffic doesn't increase, and that the town doesn't get any more commercialized.

The town's Economic Development Commission (EDC) released the results of its survey this week. In all, 560 residents replied.

Residents most frequently cited a need for more restaurants in town. Just under 60 percent specifically named seafood as a necessary addition, and 54 percent wanted a steakhouse. Ethnic restaurants (44.2 percent), coffee shops (25.5 percent) and ice cream/dessert shops (12.4 percent) made the list.

"People also wanted more casual family-friendly restaurants, even though there was no specific box to check for that," said EDC Director Deborah Evans Cox. "There also were a lot of people who requested upscale restaurants, so it looks like they want a place to go with their children and a place to go when they want to get away from them."

On the retail side, 59.3 percent of residents said the town needs an organic food store. That edged out bookstores (54.4 percent), home furnishings (54.2 percent) and high-end apparel (50.7 percent).

Martin Arnold, EDC chairman, said the results were encouraging, especially the high response rate.

"I think this reinforces our belief that people want to be a part of what happens in their town," he said.

Cox said the survey results give her a place to begin when discussing the town with potential entrepreneurs.

"In conversations I have with retail and commercial property owners, it's nice to be able to say, 'You might want to look at bringing in, say, a bookstore,'" she said.

The survey also has given Cox some ideas for what kinds of businesses to approach.

"When I am in Norwalk or Stamford, and I see a certain kind of store, I'll tell the owner we don't have anything like that in Trumbull, but our residents want it," she said.

In addition to input from residents, the survey also gathered information from people who work in town, Cox said.

"Although some responded from a residential perspective, some of the most frequently mentioned needs from the business community included restaurants, office supply stores, daycare and health and wellness facilities," Cox said.

Increasing the amenities at the town's office parks could help attract new corporations to town, she added.

"If you look at our office parks, there isn't a lot there," she said. "People that go to work there are clear that they want to be able to go out and grab lunch or go to the gym after work."

The commission also has shared the survey results with officials at the mall, the Trumbull Center retail group and the Planning and Zoning Commission.

According to Cox, the biggest surprise came at the end of the survey, when residents had a chance to suggest any other additions to town.

"There was a substantial number of people who said the town needed a community center," she said. "This surprised us because we took our survey before the schools started talking about building a community center at the high school."

Many people also requested more high-end shops and boutiques downtown.

"A lot of people definitely said they wanted a high-end store, like Nordstrom," Cox said. "But there was a large group that said they were tired of the big boxes. Plenty of people want a lifestyle area, where they can go and meet friends, have lunch or shop. They want Trumbull to be unique."
©Trumbull Times 2007

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