Work continues on the 3-story storage building of the former Zandri’s Stillwood Inn

WALLINGFORD – Work to convert the former Zandri’s Stillwood Inn on Route 5 into a CubeSmart storage facility is underway.

In February, the Planning and Zoning Commission voted 6-0 to approve a three-story CubeSmart free storage building next to Zandri’s old building, which sits at 1074 South Colony Road. The work will add an additional 90,000 square feet of storage space to CubeSmart’s operations already on the property.

The former banquet hall is now CubeSmart’s office, with Jim Zandri using the kitchen space for his catering service.

City planner Kevin Pagini said each floor of the new building’s three floors will feature 30,000 square feet of air-conditioned units. Storage unit users will have access from Northfield Road and South Colony Road (Highway 5).

The work also includes the demolition of some of the property’s smaller warehouses.

“They go above the existing parking lot, so they don’t disturb much,” Pagini said. “They are tearing down the old parking lot, moving the building there, rearranging some of the parking spaces and redoing part of the front facade.”

There will be approximately 150 parking spaces, down from the 230 spaces used by the banquet hall.

New England Storage Contractors LLC is the company under which the project is licensed. Sweenor Builders, one of the owners of the property, is the company doing the construction. Project manager Steve Dare said they are currently constructing the three-story building, which he says will be erected in the middle of the property. If all goes well, the work should be completed in about a year.

“It’s wild, it’s not just property, it’s like everyone’s livelihoods and families and history have passed through here,” Dare said of the property. the long-standing banquet hall.

The Wetlands and Inland Waters Commission approved the plan in November. The property is 12.24 acres, much of which is within the Wharton Creek floodplain.

“That’s where you see the structures, that’s the wooded area out back,” said Erin O’Hare, the city’s environmental and natural resources planner.

O’Hare inspected erosion control on the property prior to construction.

The Zandri family sold the facility that housed the Zandri Stillwood Inn to the development company, Grove Real Estate LLC, which is under contract with CubeSmart. Jim Zandri, owner of Zandri’s Catering, rents the kitchen to continue his catering business.

“The catering kitchen is still in operation here, even though there are new owners of the property,” he said.

Zandri has a provisional three-year lease for the kitchen. He said it could be shorter or longer. He also rents out the kitchen to people who have catering businesses, but don’t have their own kitchen.

“We always use the kitchen, of course, ourselves,” said Jim Zandri. “But we have other people preparing food for delivery, people’s homes, some people wholesale groceries, so they’re scheduled.”

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