New Post Office To Open ‘Hopefully By Thanksgiving’; Gates ‘In the Coming Weeks’

Planning officials on Tuesday night received updates on two of New Canaan’s most widely anticipated projects downtown: the Post Office and Gates. New Canaan’s Richard Carratu, developer of the Post Office, told members of the Planning & Zoning Commission at their regular meeting that he’s contractually required to “hand off” the building to the U.S. Postal Service at the end of August. “The plan is they take two to three months to do the interior—they want it open by Christmas—so hopefully they will have it open by Thanksgiving,” Carratu told P&Z at the meeting, held at Town Hall. Asked by P&Z Commission Chairman John Goodwin whether he has a “high confidence level” that he will meet that deadline, Carratu responded: “If I don’t I think the penalty is $550 a day, so we are highly motivated.”

The Post Office is taking shape opposite Joe’s Pizza on Locust Avenue, in what had been two separate buildings—the former Carpe Diem restaurant and (going way back) former Nicoletti’s Market. (Carratu, represented by his attorney Michael Sweeney of Stamford-based Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP, was appearing before P&Z to request a small alteration to his site plan.)

P&Z during the same meeting unanimously approved outdoor signs for New Canaan Chicken—now open in the former Chicken Joe’s space on Elm Street—and Gates, which has been closed since last April and is undergoing an extensive renovation (sneak peek here).

Did You Hear … ?

2016 Cyclocross National Champion David Thompson Junior Men 9-10

Uploaded by Cyclocross Magazine on 2016-01-09.

Congratulations to New Canaan’s David Thompson, who last weekend earned the title 2016 Cyclocross National Champion in the Junior Men 9-10 division (see video above). We hear that David is a 9-year-old who attends the fourth grade at West School, and local cycling guru Lou Kozar of New Canaan Bicycles informs us (dryly) that David’s accomplishment is “kind of a big deal.”


After impounding and multiple roaming dogs that all had invisible fence collars on them, New Canaan Animal Control Officer Allyson Halm is urging residents to double-check the batteries on those devices as well as their systems at home. A golden retriever on Skyview Lane, Labradoodle on Jelliff Mill Road and a pair of dogs on Oenoke Lane—a German shepherd and pit bull—all were collected by the New Canaan Police Department Animal Control section in recent days. ***

We’ve got the details on New Canaanite and “What’s Up With Wendy” radio show host Wendy Lowy Sloane’s sixth anniversary broadcast at 11 a.m. on 1490 AM-WGCH and online at Her guests include actress Monica Potter, NBC Sports broadcaster Leigh Diffey and Bob Leary, founder of Trimino.

Did You Hear … ?

Friends and family of a 2009 New Canaan High School graduate who died suddenly this summer honored their loved one at a fundraiser on Saturday. Participating in a rappelling event in Stamford to raise funds and awareness for Shatterproof, “Team E” was named by Andrea Reinhardt for her brother Evan, who passed in July at age 24. Together with fellow New Canaanite Miles Turpin, Sara Sparks of Fairfield and Dan Egan of Norwalk, “Team E” rappelled 21 stories down Landmark Square as part of Shatterproof’s national movement to fight drug and alcohol addiction. With offices in Norwalk and New York City, Shatterproof is holding 26 rappelling events nationally this year. ***

Two miniature ponies from Comstock Hill Road got loose on a recent evening and ran in the road to a nearby residence.

Decorative Lampposts, Hanging Baskets Extending to Locust Avenue Between Main and Cherry

The decorative lampposts that adorn much of the “magic circle” downtown soon will grace both sides of Locust Avenue from Main to Cherry Street, following allocation of a state grant. The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday approved a $59,440 contract with Danbury-based F&M Electrical Supply Company to purchase 16 of the lampposts. The lampposts take 10 to 12 weeks for delivery, so town officials “need to jump on this now,” Tiger Mann, downtown captain and assistant director of the New Canaan Department of Public Works, said during the selectmen’s meeting, held at Town Hall. Funds for the project will be drawn from a $215,000 state grant—New Canaan is one of 14 Connecticut towns that received a grant in 2013 from the Main Street Investment Fund. The five lampposts installed on Morse Court last week by well-established local New Canaan business Santella Electric, and new stretch of connecting sidewalk along the south side of Heritage Hill Road, both had been funded by the grant.

‘An Important First Step’: Post Office Signs Lease for Planned Locust Ave. Building

The U.S. Postal Service announced Thursday that the federal agency has signed a lease to occupy a future building planned for Locust Avenue. With a signed lease, the agency can “move forward with the New Canaan Post Office at the new location,” David D. Mastroianni, USPS district manager, said in a press release. “Signing the lease is an important first step towards the delivery of our new, first class home in the community. We join New Canaan in welcoming this development.”

After sorting out some final concerns regarding traffic flow and parking, town officials in May approved a site plan for a new building at 18-26 Locust Ave. Plans call for a two-story brick, cupola-topped, Federal-style structure with a total of 8,220 square feet and office space on the second floor. The property’s owner, hopeful Post Office developer Richard Carratu of LJ18 Properties LLC, in April acquired additional land abutting the proposed site in order to expand parking (and won support for the project from the Parking Commission).