Construction began this week for the long-awaited anchor stores at Litchfield Crossings.

Kohl's is targeting an October opening in the shopping plaza at 169 Danbury Road (Route 7 South), according to developer Paul Scalzo.

Joining it will be Home Goods, Big Lots, Petsmart, Panera Bread and Famous Footwear.

Already on site are an AT & T Mobility store, Unions Savings Bank and the Danbury Hospital Office of Physicians.

"We're on a roll," said Scalzo, a partner in Danbury Road Developers, the owner of the property. "What we are doing now is providing specialty stores in lieu of one big store."

Christie Wolfe of Kohl's media relations declined to comment about a store coming to New Milford. She said announcements may be coming in the future.

Yet Pat Murphy, New Milford's mayor, confirmed April 6 Kohl's has received a building permit from the town.

"Kohl's came in and got their building permit, a $6,400 boost to the town's economy right there -- before they even open their doors," Mayor Murphy said. "Then there's the permit revenues from the other stores."

She said the construction and opening of the six new stores at the Litchfield Crossings site -- across Route 7 from a shopping plaza including Walmart and Stop & Shop -- will not only boost the economy through taxes and jobs, the stores' presence will enhance "our western corridor."

"It's going to make that area so much more attractive," Murphy said.

Problems early on plagued the plaza's development. And the economic downturn in 2008 saw Target, a major retailer, pull out of the project.

The 40-acre parcel sat clear-cut of trees for nearly three years before development began. The southwest corner of the property was developed in 2010.

stuz@newstimes.com; 860-355-7322