Board gives blessing to school sale

The Board of Mayor and Burgesses approved the sale of the former Prospect Street School in Naugatuck to Format LLC for $300,000 Tuesday night. –RA ARCHIVE
The Board of Mayor and Burgesses approved the sale of the former Prospect Street School in Naugatuck to Format LLC for $300,000 Tuesday night. –RA ARCHIVE

NAUGATUCK — The Board of Mayor and Burgesses Tuesday night approved the sale of the former Prospect Street School for $300,000.

“I’m very happy about it. I think it is an excellent development for the Prospect Street area. We are taking a building that has not been used in many years and put it on the grand list for the first time,” Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Ron Pugliese said.

The board unanimously approved the sale of the former school, located at 100 Prospect St., to the Southington-based Format LLC. The developer behind Format LLC is Mat Florian, who has developed various projects in downtown Southington, including Geno’s Grille.

According to the terms of the sale, the borough will be financing the sale. Florian will pay $100,000 at the time of the closing and make yearly payments of $50,000 to the borough on the balance for the next four years.

Florian plans to redevelop the school into a mixed-use development with commercial space on the first floor and residential space on the second floor, Borough Attorney Ned Fitzpatrick said. According to Fitzpatrick, Florian already has a lease agreement for 9,000 of the 13,000 square feet available on the first floor.

Fitzpatrick said the plan is for between 18 to 20 residential units, with half being one bedroom apartments and the other half studio apartments.

“This proposed use as a mixed use of commercial and residential is fully in keeping with the borough’s intended use for this property for many years,” Fitzpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick said Florian has a reliable history developing projects, which makes him a desirable developer.

“The proposed purchaser is a substantial and responsible developer who has experience in developing properties of this sort. So this is the type of builder we’d like to see here,” Fitzpatrick said.

Pugliese also spoke highly of Florian during an interview after the meeting.

“I am very happy that the developer will be doing his first project in Naugatuck and hope that this will lead to more development from him in town,” Pugliese said. “I think he is an excellent developer and happy he is coming to Naugatuck.”

With the approval from the board, Florian is now able to start bringing the project before the borough’s land use boards.

The 41,000-square-foot former school was built in 1953 and closed its doors as a school 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.

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

Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess has previously said that despite the sale price being lower than the borough’s original asking price the building will be taxed at the fair market value.

“From the borough’s standpoint we are excited that we will be adding this property to the grand list. A mixed-use project of this nature fits in very well with our transit-oriented development future in Naugatuck,” Hess said Tuesday.