Artistic vision for GDC building

NAUGATUCK — A local architect wants to use the General DataComm building as the canvass for his next project.

The Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation voted Monday to recommend a preliminary agreement with Art 6, LLC for the General DataComm building to the Board of Mayor and Burgesses.

The agreement would grant the Seymour-based developer Art 6 exclusive rights to develop, with an option to purchase, the four-story General DataComm building, 6 Rubber Ave., and 2.5 acres of land known as Parcel A. The agreement, which the Board of Mayor and Burgesses has to approve before it goes into effect, would grant Art 6 exclusive rights to develop the property for the next six months.

The agreement does not cover the GDC parking lot, known as Parcel B.

NEDC CEO Ron Pugliese said the man behind Art 6 is Joseph Migani, a well-known developer who has done a lot of work in Seymour.

Migani, of O’Riodan Migani Architects of Seymour, is largely credited with the revitalization of downtown Seymour and its current reputation as a haven for antiques dealers and shoppers. He has renovated five buildings in downtown Seymour, as well as buildings throughout the state.

“What I’ve seen of the work he’s done is positive. What he has now is a dream of what he wants to do here. We’re taking him up on his dream and giving him an opportunity to build this project,” Pugliese said.

Migani’s dream, according to Pugliese, is to transform the top two floors of the General DataComm building into 94 studio-style apartments for artists.

“If we fill that up that puts 94 people that won’t have an affect on the school department. This will be younger people, artists that will come into town,” Pugliese said.

The first floor of the building will be transformed into parking for the apartments, Pugliese said, while office space is planned for the second floor.

“We’re hoping for some sort of corporate entity to move in there. We have some ideas on that. We’ve been talking to some people. It’s not guaranteed, but we’re moving toward that happening,” Pugliese said.

The option to purchase the property under the agreement states the price will not exceed $2 million, which is subject to further negotiation.

The borough purchased the GDC property for $2 million in 2013.

Mayor Robert Mezzo said the borough was able to attract a developer in such a short amount of time because it has site control of a substantial amount of acreage in its urban core.

“This decision [to purchase the General DataComm property] was made with the foresight that, in the future, we needed to be able to control the destiny of our downtown. There has been interest all along. It’s not something that happens overnight,” Mezzo said. “It’s a slow, deliberate process, and this is another step in that direction.”

Migani would have to provide copies of all the documents and drawings related to the work on the property and quarterly updates to the NEDC and the board, according to the agreement. The borough can extend the option by two more six-month terms, the agreement states.

“If it happens as described I think it will be a great thing for the town of Naugatuck,” Pugliese said.

The Republican American contributed to this article.