The shop and businesses, which comprise the Village Shoppes on Lyme Street, have a new landlord.
Lee and Michelle Mergy, who live in the property on Lyme Street that was formerly Christ the King church, have purchased the Village Shoppes from the current owner, Warren Hannas. The sale, effective April 21, was completed under the name 26 Lyme Street LLC and kept under wraps until its announcement Wednesday.
The businesses located in the Village Shoppes include Vitality Spa, The Chocolate Shell, Sandy Garvin Fine Art and Marilyn C. Clarke, Attorney at Law.
After hearing of the purchase, Lindsay Eisensmith, owner of Vitality Spa, told LymeLine, “Vitality Spa & Wellness was recently made aware that one of our Lyme Street neighbors has purchased the building. We have not been informed about their plans for the Village Shops and therefore have not yet determined what lies ahead for the future of Vitality.”
She also noted, “We are hopeful that our new landlords will work with us to resolve our ongoing zoning concerns.” Eisensmith has recently been involved in a lively debate with the Old Lyme Zoning Commission regarding some of the new activities she has added at her business.
Lee Mergy commented online in response to an earlier article on LymeLine.com, “We are very happy to have the opportunity to own and manage The Village Shops, which has been a fixture in the Old Lyme historic village since 1932. We thank the previous owner for doing a terrific job in keeping the property well maintained.”
He continued, “We look forward to working with the business owners and neighbors to ensure that the Village Shops continue to be a great asset for the community, and in keeping with its location on Lyme Street in a residential district.”
In a subsequent email to LymeLine, Lee Mergy said, “The only other thing to add is that it is well known we have been looking to buy a commercial property on Lyme Street for a long time now and this opportunity arose and given its proximity to our home it seemed a great opportunity.”
He also stressed that he and his wife, “strongly support a vibrant small business environment in downtown Old Lyme that is in keeping with the residential neighborhood and historic district, and intend to maintain The Village Shops as a viable commercial enterprise.”
The Mergys are renowned for their monumental Halloween displays outside their Lyme Street residence, which each year incorporate a different theme. Lee Mergy concluded his email to LymeLine.com in a lighter vein, noting, “And in case anyone asks, we did not buy it because we ran out of space for our crazy Halloween decorations!”