Old Lyme – The online auction of a shopping center in Halls Road later this month is met with optimism from some business owners.
Built in 1964, The Old Lyme Shopping Center is home to a variety of businesses including Andy’s Deli and Market, The Hideaway Restaurant and Pub and Hair Trendz Salon.
The auction scheduled for August 23-25 will be hosted by the online real estate exchange Ten-X on behalf of Shelton’s NorthEast Private Client Group, representing the current owner.
The starting bid for the property, a 5.2-acre lot consisting of two buildings totaling approximately 50,000 square feet, is $1.5 million.
Andy’s Deli & Market is a cornerstone of Old Lyme Shopping Centre. The mall will be auctioned online later this month. (file photo)
Chris Bierezowiec, an associate at NorthEast Private Client Group, said Tuesday that there is a reserve — or an acceptable floor price — on the property, but noted the reserve does not need to be disclosed. The company characterized the auction as “a normal sale and due to a favorable market”.
Christi Laquitara, owner of Hair Trendz, who moved her salon from East Lyme to the Plaza four years ago, said Monday traffic at the mall is good but she would like to see more. She believes that updating the exterior of the buildings could help increase people’s interest in visiting the mall.
“I hope that someone who buys it tries to update it and make it more attractive and get more traffic into it and not just let it sit here and go on with what it is,” Laquitara said. “It would be good if it was someone from the region.”
Jim Caramante, who bought the Hideaway Restaurant and Pub in 2005 after 11 years as Hideaway’s executive chef, agreed that the square’s traffic is decent, noting the heavy traffic at Andy’s Deli and Market in the mornings and noticed in the afternoon. Caramante said he’s not worried about a change of ownership that could lead to improvements and that he knows of at least two business owners on the pitch who have recently expanded their businesses or are planning to expand.
“The owners are doing a good job now, but it could use some upgrades,” he said. “It is a beautiful piece of property.”
Despite some vacant storefronts on the first floor, the listing shows 77% occupancy of the space, which includes retail and restaurant outlets as well as office space and a Yale New Haven health office in an adjacent building.
According to information on the listing website, the property was listed for sale back in 2011 for $4.8 million. According to city records, the mall was sold to 19 Halls Road, LLC in Yonkers, NY in 2015 for nearly $3.6 million. It was valued at $3.96 at a revaluation completed in 2019.