Old Greenwich residence could become an arts and crafts studio

An application for change of use from residential to retail has been submitted for the property at 257 Sound Beach Ave. in Old Greenwich, Conn., photographed here on Monday, March 11, 2024.

Tyler Sizemore/Hearst Connecticut Media

GREENWICH — A do-it-yourself arts and craft studio could be coming to the Old Greenwich business district.

An application has been filed with the town planning department to convert a former home at 257 Sound Beach Ave. into an art studio where people of all ages paint and make craft projects. The conversion would require a change of zoning from residential to retail.

The operation would be run by The Big Picture, an arts and crafts store that opened on East Putnam Avenue in Riverside in 2022. The motto of the business is “Create a Brighter World through Art.”

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According to Rachel Orsi, a planning consultant representing the project, ” ‘The Big Picture’ is a modern art establishment that is designed to build community, foster creativity and create fun for all ages.”

The site has four parking spaces, while ten would be required for a retail operation under the town code. Orsi said the developers were looking for an exemption from the parking requirements, noting there is a municipal parking lot behind the Sound Beach Volunteer Fire Department, as well as street parking. Participants in the art classes would be encouraged to walk, bike or get dropped off at the location.

The operating hours would run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, according to the application, and the maximum number of participants would be 10-12 students. Two instructors would also work at the studio.

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The types of classes would include “Mommy and Me” art classes, after-school activities for elementary school students and teen classes in the evening. The site would also offer birthday parties and summer activities.

The former Colonial-style home, now vacant, was built in 1899, according to the property tax card, and it changed ownership in 2023 for $1,150,000 million. The current owners are listed as Carolyn and David Hahn.

The conversion would create instruction space on the first and second floors, and a small garage at the site would be used for art supplies.

The business would be set behind a row of stores on Sound Beach Avenue, housing a yoga studio, a clothing store and an upcoming dance-fitness operation. The art studio is located near the Old Greenwich School.

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The application has not yet been scheduled for review by the Planning & Zoning Commission.

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