Board gives blessing to train station offer

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NAUGATUCK — The Board of Mayor and Burgesses backed a deal Tuesday to sell the former train station to a restaurateur and a local attorney.

Jim Perzhilla, owner of Spartan II Pizza Restaurant & Lounge at 930 Old Meriden-Waterbury Road, Route 66, in Southington plans to put an eatery called The Station in the building at 195 Water St. It will have casual cuisine inside and an outdoor patio overlooking the Naugatuck River, if the current proposal is built.

The board voted to approve moving forward with the offer at its meeting Tuesday night.
Perzhilla is partnering with local attorney Carlos Santos of the Naugatuck-based Fitzpatrick Mariano Santos & Sousa law firm on the deal. They offered to purchase the building for $300,000. They would put $60,000 down and pay the remaining $240,000 in installments over four years, according to their proposal.

Perzhilla and Santos also plan to put $502,500 worth of upgrades into the building to turn it into a restaurant. The renovations needed include $94,500 for a main kitchen, $27,000 for a preparatory kitchen, $51,000 for a main bar, $124,000 for the dining room, $21,000 for the foyer and $41,000 for the patio/exterior bar.

The borough-owned building has never been used for a restaurant. It most recently housed the Naugatuck Historical Society Museum and offices for the Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation and the Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce. The organizations have moved or are in the process of moving.

The offer is contingent upon all necessary approvals from the borough including approval of a foyer, an outdoor patio and a bar, and a liquor permit from the state of Connecticut and satisfactory phase two environmental assessment.

The Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation discussed the proposal last week and unanimously approved the plan.

NEDC President and CEO Ron Pugliese said this week he’s very excited about the offer. Pugliese said Perzhilla and Santos plan to invest greatly into transforming the building into a restaurant, adding it will be good for the borough and the partners.

Now that the borough board has supported the deal, the next step is for both sides to come together and finalize a contract.

The offer from Perzhilla and Santos is the second such deal the borough has received for the former train station.

Trumbull resident Umberto Morale, who used to own Tula Restaurant and Lounge in Monroe, offered the borough $400,000 to buy the building and turn it into a restaurant early this year. He also planned to put about $500,000 worth of renovations into it.

The NEDC and borough board backed the offer, but the deal fell through in May. According to borough officials, Morale found another restaurant outside of Naugatuck that was in move-in condition and didn’t need renovations.