Borough closing in on deal to buy former manufacturing site

The former Risdon Manufacturing Company property on Andrew Avenue in Naugatuck. Borough officials are working to finalize a contract to buy the land. –LUKE MARSHALL

NAUGATUCK — The borough is close to finalizing a deal to buy the former Risdon Manufacturing Company property on Andrew Avenue.

The Board of Mayor and Burgesses this month approved a motion to allow Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess to enter into a contract to purchase the 12-acre former manufacturing site directly behind the recycling center. Burgesses Jack DeOliveira and Dorothy Hoff voted against the motion.

The land is owned by MVH LLC and attorney Leslie Evans of Palm Beach, Fla., according to borough records. The property card does not list an appraised value of the property.

As of last week, Hess said the contract hadn’t been approved by all parties and declined to say how much the borough offered for the land.

Borough officials want the land to control the redevelopment of the property.

Hess said the property is in a vital location and can be useful for either the proposed Port of Naugatuck, an intermodal inland port on the 86.5-acre parcel along Elm Street owned by Lanxess, or the transit-oriented development project planned for the former General DataComm land on Rubber Avenue.

“Our preliminary thought would be that we only want to control the site and would ultimately sell it to a developer with a restricted use that would fit whichever project we decide to go ahead with,” Hess said.

Hess said the borough hasn’t had any preliminary discussions about selling the property.

“We are not actively trying to market it. I will say there is interest in it. But we have not had any discussions about selling it,” Hess said.

Hess said he expects the borough to acquire the land this year.

The Risdon Manufacturing Company, which was known for the creation and manufacturing of lipstick tubes, opened in 1910 and moved to Naugatuck in 1913. During its time in Naugatuck, the company made lipstick tubes for major beauty product companies such as Avon and Revlon. The company moved to Watertown in 2000 and closed in 2009.