NAUGATUCK — The developers of a proposed medical office complex and restaurant on Parcel C are waiting on a final site plan from their engineering firm before applying to the borough’s land use department.
Rob Oris and John Lombard had hoped to have plans submitted to the planning and zoning commissions before the end of the year, but it doesn’t appear that will happen. Still, borough officials say they are not concerned.
“I think it’s a combination of the holidays and also other work, both by the developers and their engineering firm (Milone & MacBroom of Cheshire) that they just haven’t gotten it in yet,” said Ronald Pugliese, president and CEO of the Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation. “It is my understanding that they should have some sort of a plan to get to the planning and zoning people right after the first of the year.”
Oris and Lombard have signed a contract with the borough that gives them control of the 2.2-acre site at the corner of Maple and Water streets for $150,000. The land has sat vacant for nearly three decades as officials have considered several plans for repurposing it. For several reasons, none of those plans have come to fruition.
Meanwhile, officials continue to say the property is an important piece of real estate as good redevelopment of the highly visible parcel will help drive downtown economic development.
Pugliese said he has no concerns about the developers’ ability to bring the project to fruition. He said he remains in frequent contact with them and that they and Saint Mary’s Hospital, the anchor tenant of the medical complex, are still firmly committed to the development.
“We would like to see things move a little quicker, but the winter months are going to be dominated by planning and zoning anyway,” he said. “The groundbreaking will be in the spring, so we’re not really losing any time.”
Oris and Lombard say they plan to build a medical office complex of at least 30,000 square feet. They also want to build a 5,000-square-foot “upscale coffee shop,” Oris said.
Both developers have significant experience.
Lombard has been responsible for more than 1 million square feet of development nationwide.
Oris, a Naugatuck native and graduate of Naugatuck High School, has been involved in several commercial developments locally and statewide. He is a resident of Cheshire and is on the Town Council in Cheshire. He is currently involved in redevelopment of a 5.5-acre commercial and industrial site at 1359 Thomaston Ave. in Waterbury. That project will include a new prototype Cumberland Farms and other commercial developments.