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Universal Hotel Liquidators moving to Rte. 1 in West Haven
WEST HAVEN, June 15, 2012 - By MICHAEL P. WALSH, Public Relations Information Coordinator

Universal Hotel Liquidators is relocating its New Haven retail and warehouse operations to Route 1 in West Haven.

UHL, the nation's largest hotel liquidator, recently reached an agreement to buy an 8.20-acre parcel at 855 Boston Post Road that houses three buildings with more than 70,000 square feet of commercial and retail space.

The transaction was finalized on June 15 when Bart Reality, UHL's real estate arm, closed on the property, owned by Hide Reality Associates LLC of West Hartford.

UHL owner David White this week confirmed the company's move from 1060 State St. in New Haven to the prime big-box location of the former Dadd's Xtreme Indoor Sports on Route 1.

White said the Dadd's building, which is 60,375 square feet, and its ample parking lot will better suit the company's retail showroom and offer an enhanced shopping experience for patrons.

"I am delighted to roll out the red carpet and welcome Universal Hotel Liquidators to its new home in Connecticut's Friendliest City," Mayor John M. Picard said. "The addition of UHL, which is strategically located on the bustling Route 1 corridor about a half-mile from the University of New Haven campus, will grow our grand list of taxable property and yield much-needed tax revenue for the city."

UHL provides "gently used furniture at exceptional prices" for the general public, including mirrors, pictures, lamps, curtains, desks and other furnishings found in hotel rooms.

The company will eventually sell the items at its new retail store, which is expected to operate seven days a week - 10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and noon-5 p.m. Sundays - once it opens on Route 1 in July.

White said the transition from New Haven to West Haven should take about a month, adding that the move is expected to create six to eight new jobs.

UHL, which White founded in the Elm City in 1999, works with such major hotel chains as Marriott, Sheraton, Ritz-Carlton and Hyatt.

In 2011, UHL's commercial division sold more than 7,500 rooms' worth of fixtures to independent hotels across the country. The company ships hotel furniture worldwide.

White, a Woodbridge native who now lives in Branford, said he's excited that the Route 1 shopping center is back in local hands, and that he's planning improvements to the complex.

"We welcome the opportunity to set up our business in West Haven, and we will be good neighbors," White said. "Boston Post Road is the mecca for retail, and we look forward to relocating there."

The Dadd's site, in the rear of the Route 1 parcel, is complemented by a 6,706-square-foot plaza, whose tenants include a bar and retail shops, and a vacant 5,588-square-foot building, which had long been a parlor for off-track betting.

Dadd's, which shuttered last month after an eight-year run, was preceded by Grossman's lumber, Warehouse Foods and Topps department store.

Colonial Properties of Orange, a commercial real estate brokerage firm, represented UHL in the purchase of the property, which was originally developed in three phases.

The Dadd's building was built in 1959, while the plaza and OTB building were constructed in 1979 and 1980, respectively.

White has yet to announce plans for the vacant OTB parlor.

"It was good to bring such a strong, well-established retail operation to the Route 1 corridor in West Haven," Colonial Properties President Mike Richetelli said.

"As a crucial business anchor for the area, UHL will also stimulate the local economy through the promise of new jobs and strengthen the ongoing renaissance of Allingtown," Picard said.

Richetelli said he also envisions UHL serving as a retail anchor for the area to help lure more businesses to Route 1.

"We worked almost two years to bring Universal Hotel Liquidators to West Haven, as the demographic profile and traffic flow met its needs exceptionally well," Richetelli said.

To celebrate the company's new digs in West Haven, White said UHL will soon herald "the largest garage sale Connecticut has ever seen."

"We have over 100,000 square feet of furniture in New Haven that we need to sell or move. We will need an army to move it to West Haven."