The New Canaan Building Department last week received an application to fit out a prominent commercial space downtown for an established custom shades, blinds and drapery shop.
The Shade Store is planned for 1 Elm St., according to a building permit application filed Dec. 3. The corner space at Main Street has been known to locals as the site of Crew Cuts children’s clothing shop.
The estimated $90,000 interior fit-out involves two rooms at what promotional materials describe as an approximately 1,000-square-foot space, the application said. The work will include new power and lighting installations, it said.
The property, known as 113 Main St. in local tax records, is owned by a limited liability company that is itself owned by Hugh Halsell of New Canaan.
The Shade Store has more than 85 showrooms and has locations in Westport and Greenwich, according to the company’s Facebook page. It’s a “family-run, premium custom window treatment company with a rich heritage in luxury textiles and interior design,” the page says. “Our exclusive collection of more than 1,300 in-stock fabrics and materials provides customers with an unparalleled level of style and customization options.”
Asked for her thoughts on the store’s plans to open here, Laura Budd of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce said the organization was sad to hear about Crew Cuts leaving “but it is encouraging that the space was rented right away.”
“The Shade Store will be a complimentary addition to New Canaan’s downtown, we look forward to working them,” she said.
It isn’t clear just when The Shade Store will open—a message left for the company wasn’t immediately returned.
The architect on the fit-out job is MB Architecture and Design LLC of Little Falls, N.J. A contractor hasn’t yet been selected, the permit application said.
Just curious what the “application” process is for businesses wanting to rent out storefronts in town. It seems a home decor business as specific as this won’t get a lot of walk-in or repeat business (the way, say, a clothing store does with seasonal style changes, bakery/coffee shops, book store, jewelry and basically all the other shops on Elm/Main) and therefore won’t bring a lot of foot traffic for other shops. Curious if something like that is ever of concern when approving what businesses get to lease space?
The building permit application is only required because an interior fit-out is planned, same as homeowners need to file for a permit prior to doing home renovations (sometimes those are issued “after-the-fact,” without inspections, and we note those cases in the “Did You Hear” feature). There are rules in the New Canaan Zoning Regulations about what types of businesses are allowed in street-level commercial spaces in the Retail A and other zones. One across-the-board allowable category is retail, and the Planning & Zoning Commission in recent years has expanded what’s allowed to include service businesses with a retail section toward the front—that’s what opened the door for things like Stretch Lab and Club Pilates on Main Street. As far as what type of retail operations these are, that’s really a conversation among the broker, property owner and prospective tenant.
Seems to me, Laura Budd and Hugh Halsell should be joined by the rest of New Canaan to wish The Shade Store a warm welcome and good prosperity in New Canaan!