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Trampoline park planned for former Stop & Shop in East Hartford

EAST HARTFORD — Any hopes of a new grocery store in the former Stop & Shop at Charter Oak Mall on Silver Lane could fade as a company proposes to build a 68,000-square-foot indoor trampoline park.

The applicant, Nova Trampoline of Plymouth, Massachusetts, submitted an application to the Planning and Zoning Commission seeking permission to use the property for recreational purposes. Steve Hnatuk, the city’s deputy development director, said Wednesday the request is expected to be heard by the commission at its first meeting in June.

According to the application, Nova Adventure Park East Hartford would feature trampolines, slides, a battle beam, a ropes course, a zip line, a ninja course, a foam pit and two basketball courts.

The facility would also feature distinct activities for toddlers, including a ball pit, tube slide, spiral slide and fiberglass slide. The applicant also plans 11 party rooms.

Mayor Connor Martin said Wednesday that the city welcomes “the trampoline park because it provides a safe and organized environment for our children to play.”

“By adding new entertainment spaces, families will benefit,” Martin said. “The trampoline park also makes better use of space that has been vacant for two years and will complement some of the other development works underway along Silver Lane.”

Residents have been looking for a new grocery store in the space since Stop & Shop closed in December 2021.

Since then, city officials have tried unsuccessfully to attract a new grocer to the site. Former Mayor Michael Walsh said that after Stop & Shop closed, he contacted nearly a dozen grocery chains but was rebuffed.

Martin agreed that was the case, pointing out that Stop & Shop’s annual sales in East Hartford were about $26 million, while the Glastonbury store’s sales were closer to $76 million.

“From a financial standpoint, East Hartford didn’t spend enough money on the store to meet their financial goals, so they left,” Martin said. “We will continue to work to bring grocery stores to our community, but ultimately, if our city’s spending habits are not worth it financially, that is beyond our control.”

Martin also noted that the city is not particularly focused on recruiting a grocery store, as residents have five to shop in town, including Aldi, Key Food, CTown, ShopRite, Accra Market and the new Apna Bazaar .