Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Friday the state has approved a $500,000 grant for a parking garage in Naugatuck, which is the first architectural step in the borough’s long-awaited downtown renovation plan called Renaissance Place.
“This project will result in an overall reshaping of downtown Naugatuck, creating a vision that will spur revitalization, growth, and job creation,” Malloy said in a news release on Friday. “This funding will help the project move forward so that it can accomplish these important development goals.”
Borough officials have been looking for financial assistance for the parking garage for the past few months as it looked to kick-start the construction in its multimillion dollar public-private plan to redevelop downtown Naugatuck. The planned garage will be built on Parcel C — a 2.2-acre downtown swath of land currently being cleaned up — and will provide parking for a proposed St. Mary’s Hospital medical office.
The garage is also planned to provide parking for the Metro North railroad, which sits across Water Street.
Renaissance Place has been pegged as a mixed-use, transit-oriented development. Borough officials said it would create jobs through a multi-phase process.
State Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, D-Woodbridge, said the bond commission’s approval is an example of “good progress” towards the Renaissance Place project. Crisco, who represents several towns including Naugatuck, said it would benefit all borough residents and neighborhood towns.
“This particular funding will help underwrite the design for a new parking facility that will improve access to downtown offices and the Naugatuck train station,” Crisco said. “It’s important to note how the collaborative effort of the Naugatuck legislative delegation and Mayor Robert Mezzo and his administration led to this funding plan.”
State Rep. Rosa Rebimbas, R-Naugatuck, called the news a "huge step" towards revitalizing Naugatuck. In a news release, Rebimbas thanked the governor's office for recognizing the potential of the project.
"When I first arranged meetings between the governor’s staff, Mayor Mezzo, developer Alexius Conroy, St. Mary’s Hospital, the Naugatuck Development Corporation, and the Naugatuck legislative delegation I knew we could work together to move this project forward," Rebimbas said. "I also want to thank St. Mary's Hospital for their patience and willingness to reinvest in Naugatuck."
State Sent. Joan V. Hartley, Naugatuck’s other legesltor, said she is grateful to Malloy and the Bond Commission for recognizing the project.
“It is critical we provide safe and secure parking for the Naugatuck train station,” said Hartley. “In addition, I am pleased for the state support in moving Waterbury’s intermodal downtown transportation center forward.”
“This is good news for the people of Naugatuck,” Said state Rep. David Labriola, R-Oxford. “It will pave the way for the promise of Renaissance Place to become a reality.”