After five years and no construction in a proposed $707 million dollar Naugatuck downtown development project that was supposed to be built in four phases over several years, the agreement that gave the developer exclusive rights to construction expired Tuesday.
Now Naugatuck officials say they will continue to strive to redevelop the downtown, despite the setback in the Renaissance Place project.
“We remain committed to the concept of planned, smart growth in our downtown, and look forward to working together to ensure a bright and prosperous future for generations to come,” said Mayor Robert Mezzo and Jay Carlson, chairman of the Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation, in a joint statement on the mayor’s blog.
Naugatuck first signed the agreement with Fairfield developer Alexius C. Conroy on May 8, 2007, giving Conroy exclusive development rights over the private and public venture.
While the borough has since held up its end of the deal — by conducting plans, reviews and rehabilitating the Parcel C plot of land in downtown Naugatuck — Conroy has not succeeded in securing funding to start construction.
According to an article in The Republican-American, the borough has spent at least $2 million preparing for the project “in addition to legal and administrative costs.” Read the Republican’s article here. (Note: A subscription is required to access the full article).
In their statement, Mezzo and Carlson addressed the expiration of the agreement by noting that the borough could still work with Conroy if he brings a proposal forward for development. But they went on to say that, “as a community we need to move forward and explore what other options exist.”
"While neither the Board of Mayor and Burgesses nor the NEDC is willing to extend the development rights, we have expressed a willingness to work with Mr. Conroy if he brings forth a viable project or portion thereof which is consistent with the original vision," the statement reads. "We cannot, however, recommend any extension of the development agreement which would grant any exclusive rights to Renaissance Place, LLC or any other company affiliated with Conroy Development Company..."
The exclusivity of the development agreement with Conroy has prevented Naugatuck from soliciting and/or entertaining any other proposals not brought forth by Renaissance Place, LLC, according to the statement.