Fiddich Review Centre

With Enfield Square faltering, town looks to manage traffic if rebuild ever comes

ENFIELD, Conn. — At full build out, the 86-acre site of Enfield Square mall could host 690 apartments, 150 townhomes, 100,000 to 150,000 square feet of retail, two restaurants, 38,000 square feet of medical offices and 65,000 square feet of entertainment venues.

Problem is, where can the town of 42,000 put all those cars when the nearby Interstate 91 interchange already sees 80,000 cars on an average day?

“People want a walkable, livable community,” said Nelson Tereso, director of economic and community development for Enfield. “Where you can work, live and play.”

Enfield and the Hartford area’s Capital Region Council of Governments is doing a traffic impact study of the mall and its Elm Street, Freshwater Boulevard, Hazard Avenue neighborhood. The traffic plan will look at 15 intersections and what might have to be rebuilt and improved and what should happen to the mall’s existing four entrances and exits.

All of them currently offer both in- and outbound lanes.

“We want to see if that’s still the best way to do it,” Tereso said.

The public meeting is from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Scitico Room at Enfield Town Hall, 820 Enfield St.

Further meetings are expected next year.

The build-out estimates are from a 2021 market study the town and Capital Region Council of Governments commissioned. The 80-page report, available online at, takes into account not just what will fit on the land, but what demand is and what area residents want to see built there. That survey is why entertainment venues were included.

The study, which is speculative, included demographic information and traffic estimates.

Namdar Realty Group, which owns most of the mall, has no plans in front of the town.

“The only thing that is going to trigger change is if it develops,” Tereso said. “This is just a study.”

Namdar bought the mall in 2019 out of a foreclosure auction and sold the Target store in 2021 to a different group of investors but retained the rest of the property.

Namdar didn’t return calls for comment Tuesday.

Target is the mall’s sole remaining big-box anchor tenant. But the Cinemark Enfield Square 12 remains open and a few of the in-line mall shops remain.

“People aren’t interested in indoor shopping malls as much anymore,” the study said. “At Enfield Square Mall, the loss of key anchor tenants resulted in less foot traffic causing adverse effects to other retail tenants. High-end and luxury are not likely to be viable, at least in the near-term, given demographic characteristics.”

Enfield officials removed part of the wooden superstructure near Macy’s in August because it had become a safety hazard.

The 677,000-square-foot mall was built in 1971. In those days it had G. Fox of Hartford, Steiger’s of Springfield and JCPenney stores as anchors.

As malls withered, Enfield boosters pitched the property as a possible location for a casino or for an Amazon headquarters. Neither proposal worked.

In Springfield, the owns of Eastfield Mall, Mountain Development Corp., are still working on attracting partners to their redevelopment proposal which would see the Eastfield Mall largely replaced by the same type of multistory live-work-play redevelopment Enfield envisions for its mall.

Mountain sold a 16 acre sliver of its property at Eastfield Mall to a housing builder in May after getting the zoning changed to allow for denser housing.

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