If you're a daily commuter on Route 7 in Brookfield and are wondering what's going on around the Still River Greenway area, we have some answers for you.

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It's an area I pass everyday on my way to the studio, so obviously I started to wonder what was going on when I saw that a large area right by the Still River Greenway Trail was under construction. A large part of the trees and brush are being cleared, but for what? So we talked to Brookfield First Selectman Stephen Dunn to find out what is going on.

There's a lot of construction happening on Route 7 (Federal Road) by the Still River Greenway, what's going on there?

"They're putting in a Food Emporium Supermarket with a couple of other retail stores included. It's not going to be a huge one, kind of like a Trader Joe's with apartments on the second and third floor of the building. Also as part of the deal, they will be putting in a municipal parking area and there will also be an extra pad because everyone is hoping to get a Starbucks in there as well."

This is exciting news Steve and I think if you can pull off a Starbucks too, your status in the town will be elevated.

"We had them in about a year and a half ago, what they look for is one thing, vehicle traffic - how many cars are going by this spot. If they have a certain amount, they know that a percentage of those people are going to come in."

So the concept is to use the new Supermarket to also lure in the Starbucks folks too. 

Yes, that's pretty much the idea. I think the Supermarket will increase the traffic in that area significantly. Don't get me wrong, everyone loves Shop Rite, but the parking there, especially on a weekend, is pretty tough."

Are you concerned that all these new business additions to the area will add more congestion to the area?

"No, if you remember before the Rt. 7 bypass opened, we had about 12,000 vehicles a day going up and down Federal Road to and from New Milford. That number went down about 60% since the bypass opened. It wasn't the best thing for local businesses. The ones who got hurt the most were the gas stations and some of the quick stops like the Dunkin Donuts and possibly the pizza shops. But it did bring back a lot of the residents. The bypass has also allowed us to attract developers like Brookfield Village, The Enclave, and now The Food Emporium. We talk about it as destination traffic, not through traffic."

Look for construction to continue in the area for the next few months.

Vacant Brookfield Properties Give Me the Creeps

Brookfield Connecticut is a beautiful New England town with picturesque landscapes and architecture. It does have one section of road that is about a mile long, that time has forgotten. When the highway got extended, the life started to drain from this portion of Federal Road and COVID-19 put the finishing touches on any business that was hanging on for dear life. There are supposed to be people in these places, that's why they were made. The absence of humanity in these spaces makes them tragic and chilling.

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