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by Adam Benson

Norwich, CT – Poor weather forced a Thursday night ribbon-cutting and formal grand opening of the Norwichtown Commons indoors to Stop and Shop.

But with the supermarket’s 47-year history in the community, the store provided a perfect backdrop for Adam Winstanley’s message to city leaders who attended the ceremony.

“When we first started this journey, a lot of people outside of the area said, ‘you’re not going to get retailers to come to this location. It’s a dead mall,’” said Winstanley, whose Concord, Mass.-based joint venture team purchased the property for $15.75 million in July 2011. “We never bought into that story. There’s a lot of vibrancy here.”

Almost immediately after buying the depressed Town Street property, Winstanley and his development group embarked on an ambitious — and aggressive — plan to transform the area into a major economic center by bringing in brand-name retailers and changing the facility into an open air shopping center.

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