Old Brookfield Motel Shows Signs of Life, What’s Next for This Building?
For many years this building was a motel in Brookfield, CT known as the Newbury Inn.
The Building is located at 1030 Federal Road in Brookfield just beyond the four corners and right on the Brookfield/New Milford town line. I've stayed there a dozen times over the years because of its proximity to my office. This building was walking distance from the radio station and my company would pay for me to crash there when really bad snowstorms were coming to town.
If we had a significant snowfall coming, I still had to be at work so it meant an overnight stay at the Newbury. In the early days of my career, it was more fun. I was younger, it felt like an adventure and I'd be crashing along with multiple colleagues. As the years went on, the group got smaller, the building and I got older and the nights felt colder.
When COVID-19 hit, it hit this region hard and the Newbury Inn was one of its business casualties. Since then, the property has been empty until recently. I noticed some activity a few months back when I was leaving work. There was a small team of what appeared to be construction workers and business types gathered in the parking lot. I made a mental note of this meeting and tucked it away.
Then, just the other day I saw several trucks there and I decided to pickup the phone and see what is going on. I texted Brookfield First Selectman Tara Carr to see if she knew anything. I asked "can you tell me what is going to happen with the motel next door? Is it going to be used for affordable housing?" Carr replied:
"It's going to be 30 one & two bedroom apartments, all market-rate or so I'm told."
She added that she'd heard the new complex will have a swimming pool which is nice. Anything beats a creepy, empty building. We all know structures like that end up becoming magnets for crime and danger.
We will share more information as it becomes available because I want to know what kind of neighbors we will have on Federal Road.
We talked about this on the Friday (2/17/23) edition of the I-95 Morning Show, listen below.
P.S. If COVID did not take down the Newbury, their Yelp reviews would have. These are just some of the more notable reviews they received online:
"Quirky and not for arachnophobes, but I'd recommend it. (We stayed here in June.)
The room we stayed in was wonderfully clean, not even just by motel standards. I've stayed in hotel rooms that weren't this clean. Lowest price around too. Beyond that, things go a little weird. They didn't have Do Not Disturb signs, at least that's what we were told when we asked at the desk. Throw the bar and wear pjs if you're a late sleeper. The bathroom door didn't actually shut enough to lock, but this wasn't a problem for a couple sharing a single room. Wifi only worked at the head of the bed.
IF YOU'RE AFRAID OF SPIDERS, DO NOT STAY HERE IN THE SUMMER! There were no spiders in the room, but there were a bunch outside the rooms, and they were MASSIVE!"
Good thing the Wi-Fi works at the head of the bed, that is where I keep my phone, and my head. Who needs doors that shut? What are we royalty?
"This place was horrible!!! We got there at about midnight and they were nice enough to leave the key hanging outside the door. We were so tired we had to stay. I wore my flip flops in the shower because it was that disgusting. The blankets were so dirty we slept with only the sheet and froze. They tried to charge us a cancelation fee for the next two nights. Yeah nice try. I wouldn't even tell someone I hated to stay here. Absolute dirty and disgusting! Burn it down and start over!!!"
"Burn it down?" That is not gonna be good for business.
"Counted down the minutes until dawn when we could keep our road trip going. There were faded yellow stains on the white sheets, a cigarette burn in the blanket and bits of wood missing from the headboard. Had to use spare t-shirts over pillowcases and a backup hoodie as a blanket because the bed didn't feel particularly clean.
Staff were very nice but the rooms felt eerie and dirty. Very cheap for surrounding area but you really get what you pay for."
Backup hoodies are always a solid move.
"This place is a dump. I was looking for a hotel near new Milford so I chose to stay at Newberry in for the night. At the check-in, I paid cash for the room which was $75. However, they took a $150 deposit and actually charged my credit card for it. They informed me after the card was charged that upon inspection after my check out, they would refund my deposit.
The room was terrible. It was tiny and it smelled stale. The wallpaper was peeling in the bathroom, and the toilet was wobbly. The bathroom smelled like mold and mold can be seen in the corners of the tub. There was an old Pepsi cup with a straw in it under the bed.
My stay was short so I had no other interactions with the staff. When I say staff I mean 2 men, one being the owner. They leave the premises at 10 PM and stick a phone outside of the front office, Presumably for guests to use if they have an emergency.
At check out, they inspected the room as promised. They accused me of smoking cigarettes in the room (I did not). Next, they accused me of burning the toilet seat. The Burn mark was on there when I got to the room, but because they did not inspect the room with me before my stay. It was very clear to me that they were trying to do anything they could to keep my deposit or at least a part of it. Finally they picked up a dirty washcloth and accused me of staining it. They charged me five dollars to replace it, even though it was something that would come out in the wash, I paid them in cash Right after I left I called my credit card company and contested the charge because I was certain that they weren't going to refund the money as they said it would take 24 hours for them to do.
Do not stay at this hotel. Priceline has excellent deals in the Danbury area and you can get a four-star hotel for $79. I will never make this mistake again."
If you're keeping score, there were allegedly MULTIPLE accusations launched at the guests.
"Worst hotel I have ever stayed at. I always inspect my room when I stay somewhere. The first room had a used condom stuffed between the mattresses. That was beyond disgusting but I stayed anyway. They switched my room immediately cause I was quite upset. My next room was decent the first day. Then got locked out of my room the second day. Went to the office and got my key reprogrammed, went up and tried it and still didn't work. They had to let me in with the master key and said they would have to call maintenance and they didn't know how long it would be before they got there. Well they got there within half hour and fixed my door. Then as I am cleaning up my last night to go home, I pick up my dirty clothes I had near the heater to find the bottom of them soaked. Called the desk and they sent up their "maintenance" guy. He fixed it by putting towels underneath the heater. Said they would fix it when I leave tomorrow. I doubt it."
What is a little used condom among friends?
FOR THE RECORD: There were multiple positive reviews. I'm not trying to re-kill a dead place but claims of used condoms, dinosaur sized spiders and head-only Wi-Fi should echo through eternity.