This should excite the neighborhood

Bob Luckey for Greenwich Time

Bob Luckey for Greenwich Time

CL&P wants to build a new substation on Railroad Avenue

Eversource, the energy company formerly known as Connecticut Light and Power, will host an open house at Greenwich Town Hall on Tuesday to present plans for a new power substation on Railroad Avenue.

“Building a new substation is not something we do frequently,” Eversource spokesman Frank Poirot said. “It happens when customer demand for electricity continues to grow, and we’ve been marking that trend in Greenwich in particular for years now.”

The current bulk substation, in Cos Cob, was built in 1964, when there was less demand for energy in American’s daily lives. Eversource anticipates the need will exceed its capacity at some point in 2017, Poirot said this week.

The energy company filed a municipal consultation earlier this month, outlining a multiyear plan to bring a new substation into town at 290 Railroad Ave., a building the company has owned since the 1970s. That location is home to Pet Pantry, a pet store, which recently bought the old Baang property on East Putnam Avenue for $2.7 million.

The first step of that process is the open house, which will be held in the Town Hall Meeting Room from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, where representatives from Eversource will explain plans for the project and invite questions from the public.

Poirot said if it’s approved, construction would likely begin as soon as August 2016, kicking off a process he said is estimated to cost $104 million.

The property has been owned by the utility for decades: one of my after-school jobs in high school was working for Jack Cohen, owner of Pet Pantry, and when we moved here from Mason Street in 1971, Jack got, I think, a 30-year-lease in what was already an old building. At the time, Jack told me CL&P didn’t foresee an immediate use for the property – hence the long lease, but was holding on to it for the time they’d need it. That time has come, apparently.

There should be no argument about the need for this new capacity, and the location, surrounded by other commercial buildings and the railroad tracks, with no immediate residences nearby should, in a rational world, raise no objection, but it’s Greenwich, so I foresee a lengthy battle, just because.


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36 responses to “This should excite the neighborhood

  1. Libertarian Advocate

    How is it even controversial?

  2. Publius

    I think a nice compromise would be to combine a new sub station with a pool at this location as opposed to Byram. They can build a large wall around the sub station and have it clad in the limestone panels that once graced the Central Fire House.

    • Flash

      That is a great idea, and let EVERSOURCE roll the pitiful pool cost into the $104 million. Giving back to the community is a good thing.

  3. anonymous

    Isn’t there a propane storage tank and welding shop in that same parking lot of Pet Pantry? electricity and propane don’t exactly play nicely together.

    • housecat

      Oh you are so picky!

    • Buck Swope

      The welding gas shop is right next to the train tracks with the overhead power lines sparking everytime a train goes by. A modern sub station that will be fully indoors will not be an issue. Propane is heavier than air so if there was ever a leak, it would run down into the brook and collect.

    • There is – substations aren’t prone to blowing up, but if this one does, at worst it damages the train tracks.

  4. PresterJohn

    I hope that it is a big COAL FIRED plant.

  5. Anon

    Didn”t Pet Pantry just buy the old Bang restaurant building in Riverside?

  6. TheBox in 'Byram'

    It’s cool you worked for them, but how the local pet supply shops stay in business boggles my mind. All pet stores command a big markup, but Pet Pantry and Choice Pet Supply are particularly spendy (although Choice Pet in Rye Brook has a good Groupon deal on wash-your-own-dog service). I guess Greenwich folk don’t want to venture to Stamford or Port Chester to hit up Petco, PetSmart, Costco, Super Stop and Shop (the one in PC has an impressive pet isle) or Target or use Amazon Prime for automatic deliveries.

    • TheBox in 'Byram'

      Case-in-point, there is a particular natural treat I like for my dog, they are like $9 a bag at Choice Pet and Pet Pantry, $6 a bag on Amazon and – believe it or not – $5.50 a bag at Whole Foods. Think about that – Whole Foods is half the price… ouch.

      • Rick

        Another case in point. I was in Choice Pet a couple of weeks ago and made an impulse buy of some treats for our cat for just under $9 per bag. He loved them, so I began looking around. Under $3 on Amazon, just over $3 at Petsmart in Port Chester. My jaw just dropped.

    • Anonymous


    • dogwalker

      As long as I can remember, Pet Pantry has employed people who might not be considered by other employers. They closed the Greenwich store one morning for everyone to attend another employees’ funeral. If Pet Pantry has something I want, that is where I buy it. I don’t care about the price. They get all my business.

  7. outdoorswimmingpoolforarmstrongcourt

    Another FU to the poor people of Chickahominy, I wonder what would happen if they tried building it a bit further down the road in Belle Haven?

  8. Anonymous

    Across the street at the Audi storage lot, there used to be a couple of old guys who had a pigeon coop on the roof of one of the car storage buildings. I’d see them up there many mornings, for several years. Gotta be old Italian guys. The coop is gone, went away last year. Anyone know the scoop on the coop, as it were?

    • There was an article on them, some years ago, in Greenwich Time but unfortunately all I remember is that there was an article on them. Readers?

      • Anonymous

        If they were Italian, they probably burned down the coop for insurance and ate the pigeons that cooked inside.

        • Anonymous

          As someone who unfortunately, as a kid, had to scoop the poop from the racing pigeon coop, I looked somewhat with a warm heart at seeing those guys up there enjoying their mornings. It’s a cultural thing, esp. among the WWII vet generation–of whom, sadly, many are passing or have passed.

      • Cos Cobber

        I only remember the coop with the birds and it was hilarious. I think those dudes have moved up the ladder to Cos Cob.

    • TheBox in 'Byram'

      The little building overlooking the Lexus storage lot? I remember seeing guys sitting in little plastic chairs up there outside the coop – didn’t notice it disappeared, I’ll have to look on my way to work.

  9. Anonymous

    byram box, yes i meant lexus storage yard. not audi. pardon the pun.

  10. Pidgeons

    There was a brick bldg called Stamford Pidgeon Racing Club off exit 6 near Post Rd and Cyanamid for years. Pidgeon racing has gone the way of newspapers … popularity peeked in post depression era … time when radio was dominant … like the telegram … now a lost passion … What was the most popular sport for kids in 1915 … ? Fencing! (like Robin Hood influence).