The town of Tolland was considering the potential for the Tolland Village Area, a land area off of exit 68 on Interstate 84 to the north. The Village Area was zoned for a mixed use area including the potential for residential units, a hotel, restaurants, and other retail. The town wanted to consider what the area’s market supported, and whether there was a unique value proposition, as well as what the potential could be as a result of The University of Connecticut’s recent mixed use expansions.
The town hired CERC to conduct a retail market study to assess existing and emerging retail opportunities. The primary goal of the analysis was to quantify the potential impact of the development of Storrs Center and the expansion of UConn on the demand for retail and support services in the Tolland Village area. The retail market study consisted of a qualitative assessment of the impact from developments at and around the UConn as well as a comprehensive demographic, industry, workforce, and retail marketplace analysis. The goal of the study was to gauge demographic and market characteristics to determine the types of establishments that will experience an increased demand so that the town of Tolland can better target its recruitment efforts.
The study concluded that as development at and around the UConn continued, it would be increasingly important for Tolland to differentiate itself as a suburban community that offers a different set of amenities with a different local population than that of neighboring Mansfield. As such, it would be important to consider retail development that will enhance the livability of the community as it pertains to the crucial demographic group of graduate students and faculty. The workforce implications from the Next Generation Connecticut expansion will generate an increased demand for housing and retail establishments in Tolland. The success, of which, can be magnified by strategically targeting specific types of retailers that will enhance the appeal of Tolland to this demographic. After considering the appeal to the target population, the best positioned retailers to enhance the livability of Tolland include Pubs & Taverns, Specialty Grocery, Book Periodical & Music, and Lawn & Garden establishments.