Community members and town officials gave suggestions for redevelopment, including the possibility of taking the decrepit Silver Lane Plaza by eminent domain, as they discussed the state of the Silver Lane corridor Wednesday night. Walsh said Silver Lane Plaza is the “single largest problem” the town faces and a “cancer” on the corridor. Without acquiring it, developments such as the apartments at the Showcase Cinema site will suffer or become impossible, he said. The mostly vacant plaza, which many consider blight, has a record of deferred maintenance, town officials say. Walsh said if the town is interested in moving forward with the process of eminent domain, a number of public meetings would be held and the Town Council would weigh in before any decision is made.
Development director Eileen Buckheit said calls for restaurants and entertainment tie into the work being done with the nearby apartments planned for the former Showcase Cinema site. The Town Council in February approved development and tax agreements for the New Britain-based Jasko Development, which intends to build at least 360 apartment units with a number of amenities. Officials expect the agreements to be finalized next year.