NAUGATUCK — Developer Rob Oris unveiled Tuesday night the most detailed renderings that have been made public to date of his proposed commercial development for Parcel C.
Oris showed the Board of Mayor and Burgesses large-scale color photos of two buildings, each three stories high, with a mix of maroon and beige on the exterior facing Maple Street with parking spaces in the back. On top of the larger building is a cupola engraved with the name Saint Mary’s Hospital, the anchor tenant in a medical office building.
“We think it’s really going to be a great way to kick-start downtown development,” he said. “The good thing is it’s real, it’s here, it’s in front of you.”
The Board of Mayor and Burgesses voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the design specifications for the project, which are pending with the Zoning Commission.
The commission will ensure they adhere to zoning regulations and the borough’s Plan of Conservation and Development.
If approved, the construction would begin shortly thereafter, Oris said. He believes construction will take a full year.
The project would include the medical office complex, a bank with a drive-thru, a restaurant and an upscale coffee shop.
“We’re excited,” Deputy Mayor Robert Neth said.
“We can’t wait,” Burgess Laurie Taf Jackson replied.
The wait for something to happen on Parcel C has been more than 30 years. The land was once home to many of the buildings from the former footwear plant owned by the U.S. Rubber Co. and later Uniroyal.
The industry gave Naugatuck its identity between the mid-1800s until it shuttered for good more than 15 years ago; the Parcel C buildings were demolished about 15 years earlier.
Naugatuck has been talking about redeveloping the property ever since it was demolished. A large chunk of the original Parcel C property, on the corner of Maple and Water streets, was used for a new post office several years ago. The property that remains is 2.2 acres, which Oris and his partner, real estate developer John Lombard, have agreed to purchase for $300,000.
Oris, a Naugatuck native who now lives in Cheshire, where he serves on the Town Council, said he and Lombard are proud of the work they have done on the project thus far.
“We wanted something that Naugatuck could be proud of, and we think we have that,” Oris said.