The anchor retailer at Litchfield Crossings shopping plaza on Danbury Road (Route 7) in New Milford will be Kohl's Department Store.

Paul Scalzo, a partner in Danbury Road Developers, said groundbreaking is scheduled for July.

The national retailer plans to open next March in the 169 Danbury Road plaza. It will join three tenants already on site: AT&T, Housatonic Internal Medicine & Pediatrics and Union Savings Bank.

Mr. Scalzo said confidentiality agreements have been signed with several other national tenants and coming plaza tenant capacity is now at 50 percent.

"We anticipate announcing other major retailers in the weeks and months to come," Mr. Scalzo said.

Mayor Pat Murphy of New Milford is "excited" with the plaza's accelerated progress.

"We're very excited," she said. "There's a national chain restaurant and other major clothing and household stores in negotiations now."

Thousands of jobs are expected to be generated through the construction, implementation and coming store openings in the plaza, the mayor said.

Future tax revenues to the town are estimated at $750,000 annually at the present tax rate, said Vin Nolan the town's economic development supervisor.

Mayor Murphy said she and Mr. Nolan have been working with Mr. Scalzo for two years to get state and local permits in place and encourage major retailers to locate in New Milford.

"Kohl's decision sends a positive signal to business throughout the region that New Milford is prepared to lead the way out of the recent recession," Mr. Nolan said. "The mayor did a tremendous amount of personal work on this. I'd like to take the credit, but much of it has to go to her."

Mr. Scalzo said he and his partners are "grateful to the mayor and the town for their dedicated support in helping us bring this retail center to life.

"As in any project of this magnitude, there have been challenges to overcome," Mr. Scalzo said.

Litchfield Crossings sits on a 40-acre site across Danbury Road (Route 7) from the Stop & Shop/Walmart Plaza owned by Biddle Urstadt Properties.

The Litchfield Crossings plaza has some 1,800 feet of frontage on Danbury Road and will cover about 30 acres of the site. A total of 282,000 square feet of retail space is anticipated when the plaza is completed.

Mr. Scalzo heads the Bethel-based Scalzo Group. His partners are Ridgefield resident Joe Sisca, who is the property manager for Litchfield Crossings, and Hal Kurfehs and Danny LeTourneau.

That group purchased the site in 2005. With the economic downturn in 2008, early plans for the plaza fell through when Target, another national retailer interested in being the anchor store, pulled out.

Kohl's operates 1,097 stores in 49 states, including one in Brookfield. It has been ranked number 10 for customer service by the National Retail Federation.

"Kohl's decision sends a positive signal to business throughout the region that New Milford is prepared to lead the way out of the recent recession."

Vin Nolan

New Milford's economic development supervisor