With 1.3 million sq. ft. of gross leasing area and minus two anchors with the departures of Sears and J.C. Penney, The Connecticut Post Mall in Milford is encountering the same questionable future being faced by so many massive, enclosed shopping centers built in the Seventies and Eighties.
“Our occupancy was declining for some time, but it was exacerbated by COVID,” said Jon Meshel, senior VP of development at Centennial, the owner of Connecticut’s largest mall. “Our mall is oversized and we need to downsize.”
On Wednesday, Centennial CEO Steven Levin, along with the company’s economic consultant, architect, and engineers, presented a plan to the Milford Planning and Zoning board that would transform the Post Mall into a mixed-use property by adding a 300-unit luxury apartment complex. If approved, they argued, the town would not only be able to preserve the mall’s $3.8 annual tax payment, but add more than $1 million to it from the residential addition.
“The town had a lot of questions. The discussion was spirited and informative, though I don’t know if it was a negative or positive reaction,” Meshel said. “I think we’ll get the approvals. We made sure the tax story was well-communicated.”
The $75 million renovation and construction of the apartment building will add hundreds of new jobs to the community and provide it with a much-needed residential option, Meshel said.
“We intend to build to the top of the market to attract millennials and empty-nesters. There’s definitely a demand for this type of housing in the market,” he maintained.