Warren Town Center to get new life
WARREN — A longtime resident and business owner has bought the Warren Town Center with plans to restore it and bring businesses back to the center of town.
The 1.2-acre property at the intersection of Routes 45 and 341 has three commercial buildings with office and retail space, all connected by a walkway. The general store, which has offices on the top floor and a retail space on the first floor, was built in the late 1800s. A garage was added in the 1930s or 1940s.
A gas station was also part of the original layout, but converted into an antique store in the 1970s. The general store also has a deli space.
The buildings once housed the Warren General Store, the Privet House and Vol 1 Antiques, as well as a number of independent professionals, but has been vacant for eight years.
John Favreau said he bought the properties because he sees the opportunity to economically and socially revitalize his hometown.
“Our town has such a vibrant and committed community; it’s fun and exciting to see new activity at the Town Center,” he said. “I want to bring it back to life as the center of Warren.”
Favreau closed on the property this month and has already started working with local contractors and tradespeople to restore the building. The work includes replacing windows and water heater, upgrading the electrical system, redoing the parking lot and repainting the buildings white to fit with Warren’s aesthetic of a small New England town.
“It’s a wonderful mix of a traditional New England town, but bringing it into the modern world,” he said.
He expects the renovations to take several months, but hopes to open later this summer. He is posting updates on the project on the site’s Instagram and Facebook accounts, which can be found under “Warren Town Center.”
He has already started meeting with interested tenants.
Favreau, who has lived in Warren for 14 years and sits on several town boards, said he views the project as a way to give back to the community. He has scheduled a free ice cream truck to celebrate the town’s Memorial Day parade on Sunday and is hosting the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council’s Open Your Eyes Studio Tour Preview Party on June 16. He said he hopes to have more community events like these.
“It’s all about giving back to the community that has so welcomed me,” he said.
This is Favreau’s first foray into smaller development, though he worked in corporate development for years and is a small business owner.
“It’s really exciting,” he said. “I’m having a lot of fun.”