May 9, 2021

Needleman and Clark Partnership Buys and Clears Westbrook Road Property

ESSEX— A partnership run by First Selectman Norman Needleman and local businessman Herb Clark has purchased a second parcel on Westbrook Road in the Centerbrook section. Clearing of the site began last week and is nearing completion.

Needleman said Wednesday he and Clark, operating as Centerbrook Properties, recently purchased the 3.5-acre parcel from Daniel Hamburg for a price of $130,000. The parcel is located just south of the Meadowbrook Rest Home at 63 Westbrook Road, also known as Route 153. The land abuts the Doane Airport property, also owned by Needleman and Clark, and a larger 22.5 acre parcel the partnership purchased in 2007.

Needleman said the site will be seeded, and some new trees will be planted in various locations. He said Winston Scott, a local farmer and orchard owner, would be allowed to use sections of the parcel for agricultural purposes, as he now does on the larger parcel.

Needleman said he and Clark had acquired both properties, which are zoned industrial, “with the primary intention of making sure the wrong things are not built there.” He noted the land could have been sold for development as a large, and unsightly, distribution warehouse based on its zoning.

Needleman said the partnership has “no immediate plans,” for the parcels, while adding they could eventually propose a small industrial park-style development on the north side of the parcels, which abut the Essex Industrial Park.  He said some of the land could eventually be donated to the town for municipal or recreation-related uses.

Needleman added that as first selectman, he believes clearing the newly acquired smaller parcel would improve sight lines and visibility for pedestrians walking around the sharp curve on Westbrook Road in the vicinity of the parcel and the former airport hanger.