NAUGATUCK — The long-awaited development of a vacant parcel of land downtown has taken another step towards reality.
The Zoning Commission last week accepted the site plans for the proposed development of a medical office complex, bank, restaurant and an upscale coffee shop at 58 Maple St., known locally as Parcel C.
The commission forwarded the plans for the 2.1-acre parcel of land to the Planning Commission for review and set a public hearing on the plans for March 16.
Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Ron Pugliese said the commission’s actions are the first major steps in moving this project forward.
“It’s a long time coming. The area has been vacant for 30 years. Since the town owns it, there is no tax being collected on it,” Pugliese said.
Robert Oris, a Naugatuck native, and John Lombard, owner of the Waterbury-based Lombard Group, are the developers behind the project. They could not be reached for comment.
According to the plans, a 30,000-sqaure-foot building will include a three-story medical office complex and a bank. St. Mary’s Hospital has committed to filling much of the complex. Although no other tenants have been revealed, Oris previously said he expects the building to be completely leased by the time it is built.
The second building will be approximately 5,100 square feet. The plans show Starbucks Coffee taking about 2,000 square feet of that building, with the rest being filled by a sit-down restaurant or retail.
Pugliese expects the project to be approved by the borough in April and to have a shovel in the ground by early summer.
“It’s going to cause a little chaos when it is being built because it will happen at a similar time of the [Whittemore] Bridge reconstruction. In this case, however, chaos is a good thing,” Pugliese said. “Once the project is complete it will make it easier for citizens to get medical treatment from St. Mary’s. It will generate traffic for the downtown and will help businesses grow.”
Pugliese said the final product will help residents, business owners, the developers, and the proposed restaurant at the former train station.
“It’s a win for everybody,” Pugliese said.