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Renaissance Agreement Expires [Poll]

Naugatuck officials still hope for downtown revitalization.

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.

David May 09, 2012 at 05:03 PM
none of the above. Naugatuck is a small town that doesnt need any of the above. How about taking that proposed money and building fields for the towns sports organizations or putting it into the schools so we dont have to close another school.
Bill May 09, 2012 at 05:18 PM
What a bunch of BS!!! Most people in this town knew this was never going to happen. Once again the politics were telling the people what they wanted to hear. We don't need anymore dunkin donuts, McDonald's, liquor store or bank in this town. I love driving down old firehouse rd and looking at all the trash in the general datacom parking lot that they call a car dealership. This town should be focused on getting a big box store on the property of Peter Paul to help us tax payers out.
Kissfan73 May 09, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Here's one that hasn't been brought up - how about build a prison in town since the only growth Naugatuck will be experiencing in the future is more crime.
MatthewK May 09, 2012 at 07:00 PM
We need businesses that generate a greater tax base. Assuming its not a non-profit, a medical center can increase our tax base. In addition to the building, all the large equipment is taxable! To all the nay-sayers on Renaissance Place, while no where near perfect, the ultimate goal of it was to shift the tax base which is on residential property now, to businesses and manufacturing, which is lacking in the Borough.
Rocky Vitale May 09, 2012 at 07:20 PM
While the large scale project will probably never be built, the results were a cleaned piece of land, excitement about rejuvenating downtown. I was and still am against such a large scale project. However, the area is all the better for the work that has been done and will be a viable area for useful commercial establishments.
tracey brown May 09, 2012 at 09:11 PM
How about a park, so that the downtown area will look better, then place the focus onto rehabilitating run down areas of town and get some businesses to move into already exisiting but empty buildings all over town??
Naugatalk May 09, 2012 at 09:47 PM
Naugatuck seems to be STAGNANT.....No matter which way the town turns it spends money and nothing seems to develop! I think what we need is to hire Donald Trump and see what he can do for this town! Seems like everthing he touches turns out Golden. He seems to be able to get the cash to make it happen!
naugy mom May 10, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Sadly the person who said we all knew it wouldn't happen is right...and honestly the prison idea isnt a horrible one since the owner of the Peter and paul lot wants a crazy amount of money for it.
juan May 10, 2012 at 01:54 AM
I always knew that naugatuck couldn't support a prject like this.To me the smokin mirror played us again.The town officials haven't taken any responsibilty in this matter including the mayor. Just more wasted money and time.I say plant some trees and let nature take its course with the land."go green". Thank you town officials for wasting our tax dollars on a pipe dream!
Kevin Klimovich May 10, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Yes this project was always a non-starter. I am all for development around Naugatuck but more condos are the last thing we need. Retail options in the area are already saturated; another big box store or national chain would just put more local businesses in the poorhouse. Why are we not doing what we can to attract small manufacturers and/or technology based industry to replace all the recent losses to our tax base while creating living-wage paying jobs? Downtown could then "revitalize" itself in the same way it was originally developed: through local patrons who spend money in our town and local businesses who invest in attracting customers to the area...
Patrick Scalisi May 10, 2012 at 12:45 PM
I would love to see something that emulates West Hartford: a mix of light retail (no big-box stores, which won't be able to compete with Wal-Mart anyway), mid- to upscale chain restaurants (Cracker Barrel, Cheesecake Factory, etc.), perhaps a theater, and a number of small parks or courtyards. The problem with getting a big-box store in town in that it has to be in the store's best interests. While the idea of getting a Best Buy sounds nice on paper (and I would certainly like to get one closer than Orange or Meriden), the reality is that Best Buy is in the midst of downsizing and another consumer electronics store won't be able to compete with Wal-Mart. With a Target outlet present in Waterbury, it's also unlikely that Target Corp. will want to compete with its own store so nearby and a Wal-Mart outlet down the road. My vote for the Peter Paul site would be Christmas Tree Shop. The nearest one is Milford/Orange, and the store is unique enough in its offerings that it could provide healthy competition to Wal-Mart.
D.Hawkins May 10, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Why can't we take the same steps West Harford took years ago - this article breaks down step by step what is needed to bring back our town. http://www.crcog.org/publications/CommDevDocs/TCSP/Ch07_FactSheet_MainStreet.pdf
gino andreozzi May 10, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Leadership, vision and the balls to execute - Naugatuck has none of the above.
rk May 10, 2012 at 02:13 PM
I would love a new theater, more restaurants, and yes, even a Christmas Tree Shops! There is a park already very nearby, but it's so well-hidden I doubt most of Naugatuck knows how to get there. Everyone in the comments has great ideas, it's too bad no one will take them seriously.
HealthyMom May 10, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Again a lot of people in Naugatuck seem to want a bunch of the same crap! I agree 100% with Patrick Scalisi! This town need some new hip things to liven things up. Sems as a big night out is going.to Friendly's! I much support anything that will resemble WHartford! Our town needs it!
citizen May 10, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Movie theater Indoor sports complex with skating Medical center (of some sort) Nice restaurants (we have 2 already, Milestone and Jesse Camiles, but teh more the better) Starbucks
citizen May 10, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Another idea would be to have a branch of some major college move or open here. Very convenient access from highways and would create more of a business need for stores and small eateries. One thing we don't need is the negative attitudes.
Brian May 13, 2012 at 08:00 PM
An interesting idea is to turn the upstairs of the shops in downtown Church St. into up-scale apartments for people out of town in the Fairfield County/NYC area who don't want to deal with the insane taxes/rents that come with living in those areas. Also if the town were to sell itself as more of an interesting place to live with a focus on getting a younger, more vibrant crowd in here, things would move a lot faster I think. Every time someone asks me where I'm from and I say Naugatuck, they say "Oh, I'm sorry" and I unfortunately and honestly have to respond with, "Me too". I hate having to do that! The biggest complaint going to school here is that in order to enjoy myself, I have to drive to Waterbury or farther away to have a good time instead of having a place to go in my own town. More of these big box, chain stores is not the solution to making our town a better place to live, if you want those, hop on Route 8 to Waterbury and have your fill. Naugatuck is a small place with a rich history and beautiful landscape and should be treated as a unique destination, not an uninspired wasteland!
Zoombawa June 02, 2012 at 06:00 AM
Totally from the start it was a no-go. Someone should have kabashed the idea after the market took a dive, economic downturn, unemployment, etc. I think a Mosque for my Fellow Friends is in order.
Zoombawa June 02, 2012 at 06:02 AM
Leave everything the way it is. That is a positive!

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