Saturday, September 26, 2009

Harrisons Hardware Gets New Lease On Life

The famed downtown landmark Harrison's Hardware will get a new lease on life as a developer has expressed interest in fixing up the old store. Harrison's, has a rather challenged history, it has fallen victim to fire, the Home Depot Superstore, a failed re-development attempt, and city complaints by Historian Tim Chaucer over bird infestations and dangerous sidewalks.

This location is a key location to our downtown re-development and although no formal plans have been submitted the owners of the property have promised to pay heed to the charm and character that the building has come to possess over its many years as a Milford landmark. At the moment a restaurant with attached leasable business locations is one of the ideas on the drawing board.

Some have welcomed the idea of yet another downtown restaurant, others have been more critical because of fears of escalating problems associated with the night life of drinking activity. Some in the comments sections of the blogosphere have said Milford is only one Bar away from becoming the "Sono North" alluding to the drinking and partying pandemonium associated in the South Norwalk business district.

Local crime statistic show that there is a real cause for concern because over the last few years the types of crimes that go along with this type of development have increased significantly. These crimes include Drunk Driving, Public Assaults, and Theft the most common hallmarks of "free flowing" alcohol and loud music.

While this type of development can be beneficial, a special emphasis to crime must be taken into consideration when engaging a new business requiring a liquor permit. Milford's critics may have a point, especially after the many headlines and problems surrounding the already belabored Daniel Street pub and concert hall.

While personally I am very happy to see more improvement to our downtown area, I personally will stress that the developers of that property, the Economic Development Commission and Zoning and Planning use caution and common sense in any approval that could further jeopardize Milford's quality of life. Building any new drinking establishment may have a propensity to attract an unwelcome, late night chantery of drunkards. Milford is already overdeveloped in that area and the wrong type of establishment will further exacerbate our troubles.

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