Brewery modeled after Tree House planned on Meriden’s Research Parkway

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MERIDEN — A developer with a portfolio of more than 10 million square feet of commercial space in central Connecticut has plans to build a brewery at 701 Research Parkway with visibility from Interstate 91.

Dominick DeMartino, doing business as DFC of Research 701 LLC, plans to construct the 16,000-square-foot brewery modeled after the Tree House Brewery Co. concept in Massachusetts.

“It will be seen from I-91 between exits 16 and 17 next door to the old Perricone office building,” DeMartino said. “The visibility will be fantastic as cars are traveling northbound or southbound. We are putting in parking to accommodate approximately 200 cars. It will have an outdoor patio and pavilion.”

DeMartino said that if approved, this could be Meriden’s version of the popular Tree House venues that draw thousands of visitors annually to four Tree House locations in Massachusetts and one in Woodstock, Connecticut.

The 13.5-acre parcel shares nine acres with Bishops Pond that will provide the background to the outdoor pavilion area. There are about five acres of buildable space.

“The patio will overlook the pond as a backdrop,” DeMartino said. “I see this as being a destination in Meriden that will draw people throughout Connecticut.”

Middletown to Meriden

DeMartino is involved in multiple projects on Main Street in Middletown with the most current restaurant, Sicily Coal Fired Pizza, at 412 Main St.

He has four other projects involving restaurants, a basement speakeasy, upstairs market-rate apartments, a barbershop and Middletown’s first outdoor rooftop patio bar with ground-floor restaurant.

“In total, we are spending approximately $20 million in downtown Middletown,” DeMartino said. “I am bringing a concept like the Tree House to Meriden and am looking to do future development inside Meriden as well.”

DeMartino received approval to build a 47,000-square-foot warehouse and office building at 1051 Research Parkway last year, and for digital and static billboards at 1201 Research Parkway. He also owns property at 470 Murdock Ave. and on South Colony Road in Wallingford in addition to the Middletown development.

ZBA, wetlands

On Research Parkway, DeMartino intends to improve the water quality in the large pond, which will add to the appeal to outside visitors, said city Economic Development Director Joseph Feest.

“I’ve seen some conceptual drawings, it’s very attractive,” Feest said. “He’s had the idea for a while. It’s a great idea that will bring a lot of traffic, and the visibility off this is phenomenal. This helps improve the whole city.”

The area is zoned M-4 allowing manufacturing, research and development, warehouses and hotels, so DeMartino will need Zoning Board of Appeals approval as well as clearance from the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission.

He said he plans to spend about $10 million in Meriden in 2024-2025 on various projects.

It is possible there could be some American Rescue Plan Act funding for the brewery through the city’s Business, Investment & Growth program, Feest said.

DeMartino purchased the vacant property in 2021 for $162,000 from Medway Realty II LLC.

[email protected]: @Cconnbiz

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