Developer eyes former school

A Southington-based developer has offered to buy the former Prospect Street School in Naugatuck for $300,000. The Board of Mayor and Burgesses on Tuesday referred the plans for the building to the Planning Commission for its review. –RA ARCHIVE

A Southington-based developer has offered to buy the former Prospect Street School in Naugatuck for $300,000. The Board of Mayor and Burgesses on Tuesday referred the plans for the building to the Planning Commission for its review. –RA ARCHIVE

NAUGATUCK — The borough has taken a step forward in getting the former Prospect Street School back on the tax rolls.

The Southington-based Format LLC has offered to buy the former school for $300,000. The developer behind Format LLC is Mat Florian, who has developed various projects in downtown Southington, including Geno’s Grille, Naugatuck Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess said.

“This offer is coming from a credible developer. It’s the best offer we have and I want to get the property on the tax rolls,” Hess said.

Hess added, “He has an excellent reputation. He is a developer we welcome to Naugatuck.”

The 41,000-square-foot former school at 100 Prospect St. was built in 1953 and closed in 2012. It is appraised at $2.2 million. The borough has had the building listed for sale for several years. It was originally listed at $900,000 and later reduced to $600,000.

Parties have shown interest in the building over the last few years, but no deal ever materialized.

Hess said the purchase price for the building may seem low, but the building will be assessed and taxed at its fair market value, which is anticipated to be higher. Hess said he’s pleased with the offer that is on the table.

“It is anticipated there will be quite a bit of money spent on upgrading the building so that when it is completed and on the tax rolls, it will be assessed at that time and that will determine its value and the amount of taxes being paid,” Hess said. “We are looking forward to the building being placed on the tax rolls, improved, and upgraded in value to increase the grand list and ultimately be part of our plan to reduce the mill rate.”

The plan calls for developing the former school into a mixed-use building that is likely to have a fitness center on the first floor, with offices and one-bedroom and efficiency apartments in the rest of the space, according to officials.

The Board of Mayor and Burgesses on Tuesday sent the plans to the Planning Commission for its review. The commission is expected to look over the plans during its next meeting on May 2. If the commission gives the plans a positive referral, the Board of Mayor and Burgess could approve the deal as early as its May 3 meeting, Hess said.

“We have an offer. It is a serious offer. I think it is fair to say we like it and are probably going to vote yes on it,” Hess said.