CHESHIRE — Bergamo Martial Arts has plans to move from its current location at 460 West Main St. to a new facility at 266 Sandbank Road.
At a Planning and Zoning Commission meeting last month, Ralph Bergamo, owner of Bergamo Martial Arts, said his businesses has been in town since 1980, and the Sandbank Road location is “ultimately the best location for it.” Other businesses in the area include F. F. Hitchcock Co., NDZ Performance, and the Dattco bus depot.
“We need much more space,” said Bergamo. “What we have on West Main Street is more concierge-focused and the facility on Sandbank allows for us to focus more on martial arts.”
The current studio, where Bergamo and his team teach martial arts, self defense, and personal fitness to students of all ages, will be moving into a 2,800-square-foot building. Bergamo plans on having a grand opening on Jan. 1.
“Hopefully, with the new space we can include more events for the community,” he said. “We maybe can start doing more after-school classes.”
During the presentation of the special permit application, Commissioner Louis Todisco raised some concerns about any changes that would be made to the exterior of the building. Bergamo responded by saying that no exterior alterations will need to be made, and he will be painting and upgrading the interior to suit his needs. Bergamo also noted that, within the 2,800-square-foot facility, there will be a 600-square-foot waiting and office area.
The Fire Department also required that Bergamo install a master key lock box at the facility. The key would be used by the fire department in order to access the building if there are any emergency issues.
Bergamo told the commission that he has already complied with the request.
This decision passed by an almost unanimous vote, with Commissioner Matthew Bowman abstaining.