‘Closed up’: Sudden closure of Norwalk’s Mickey Mart surprise to mayor

Cary Ashby • Aug 4, 2013 at 7:36 PM

“Closed up.”

That’s what a handmade sign on the door says at the Mickey Mart at the intersection of League Street and Whittlesey Avenue in Norwalk.

The sudden closure of the gas station and convenience store has come as a surprise to city officials.

Norwalk Mayor Rob Duncan said he “absolutely” is as surprised about the news as anybody else. He doesn’t know when the decision was made to close.

“Mickey Mart never contacted us. Marathon never contacted us. I just did a little research (after I heard),” the mayor said.

Since Wednesday, yellow tape has blocked drivers from accessing the parking lot from both League Street and Whittlesey Avenue. Plastic yellow “sorry — out of service” sheets covered each of the gas pump handles Wednesday afternoon. The gas pumps are now gone.

Inside the convenience store Wednesday, Mickey Mart employees packed up various items. A vendor asked a worker about who was going to take certain display stands and merchandise.

By mid-afternoon Thursday, a Mickey Mart van with a trailer was holding large fixtures wrapped in plastic. The inside of the store was virtually empty.

Corporate officials at the site said “our lease was up” and said they were taking the fixtures to a warehouse, but referred further questions to owner Dan Coles. A Mickey Mart spokeswoman said Coles would be out of the office for several days.

Norwalk Economic Development Corp. Director Ellen Heinz and the mayor said they don’t know anything about the lease expiring. As of Thursday, Heinz was in the process of getting some information and still was making calls about the situation.

“I’ve heard there will be changes there, but I don’t have all the details. Some of the things are still unfolding,” she said.

Duncan said the city wants to help Mickey Mart relocate to a new location in Norwalk.

“That’s our strategy,” the mayor added.

“I think they’ve been there at least 15 years or so. … We really want to work with them to find a place in Norwalk if possible,” Duncan said.

Property manager Greg Bleile didn’t return a call for comment Thursday. He is the co-owner of the ACE Hardware in the same shopping center, Midtown Plaza, where Mickey Mart is located.

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