Milford approves new car dealership for former Howard Johnson site

MILFORD — Genesis of Milford is planning to move out of its shared space with Hyundai and build a new dealership in the city at the existing Howard Johnson’s building.

The proposal for the new Genesis space was recently approved by the Planning and Zoning Board. It includes a 24,600-square-foot showroom and repair facility with 286 parking spaces.

“We have a purchase and sale agreement in place to buy the combined properties at 1040 and 1052 Boston Post Road, and also the property at 990 Bridgeport Ave.,” Chuck Dortenzio, director of operations for the Key Automotive Group, said at a recent meeting. “Despite the fact that these properties have remained in their current state for quite some time, we fell in love with them the first time we walked them.”

Jason Edwards, civil engineer for the project, said the original parcel line went through the hallway at the Howard Johnson’s and the Friendly’s restaurant.

“Friendly's Restaurant was on a separate parcel in front of the Howard Johnson’s,” said Edwards. “That parcel still exists, but we are proposing to merge parcels into one larger parcel. So 1040 is going to be going away, and I believe it will all be 1052.”

Dortenzio said they want to build in Milford despite there not being any financial incentives available.

“We have been searching to find a site appropriate for building a luxury retail facility. We’ve received approval from Genesis North America to relocate our current franchise to 1052 Boston Post Road,” said Dortenzio.

“We want to build a gateway property,” he said, adding several local officials agreed.

Dortenzio said they just renovated the Hyundai dealership at the current location, 566 Bridgeport Ave.

“There’s incentives for both manufacturers for their stores to be exclusive,” he said. “Genesis will be the only new car franchise there, but as most new car dealers have, we do expect to sell other brand used cars.”

Phase one of the proposal includes developing about half of the site, demolishing the existing structures and building the new 24,600 square foot car dealership and service center as well as the parking spaces.

“The only time factor is the cellular equipment owners on top of the building. They have to move their stuff off,” said Edwards. “We can’t do it immediately. We have to wait for them to take it off.”

He added the only other items remaining in phase two are grading and stabilizing the remainder of the western parcel.

The proposed Genesis of Milford building is going to have a 69-foot carousel roof with clear windows with architectural metal panels as a showroom.

“The carousel doesn't move constantly. It’s a parking and display piece,” said Dortenzio. “The only time it would move is when we would need to get a car down or if we need to load cars into it. Essentially, it gives us the ability to park 14 cars in a two-car parking space, and also display the cars, which is what we want to do.”