Borough closing in on Parcel C project

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NAUGATUCK — Local leaders are as close as they have ever been to rebuilding on a vacant piece of prime commercial real estate property downtown known as Parcel C.

The 2.2-acre tract on the corner of Maple and Water streets has long been a primary focus of redevelopment efforts and several proposals for that land — a movie theater, a pharmacy, housing units and others — have failed while the land has sat vacant for more than 30 years.

Now, however, there is a plan that officials believe will stick.

“I think it’s fair to say this is as close as we’ve come” to development on the property, Mayor Robert Mezzo said. “But there has been a lot of work to get us to this point and there is still more work to do — albeit on the developers’ end — if everything goes as expected on Monday.”

Monday night developers Rob Oris and John Lombard will reveal publicly for the first time architectural renderings of their proposal. It calls for development of at least a 30,000-square-foot medical building anchored by Saint Mary’s Hospital of Waterbury. Additionally, they want to build a 5,000-square-foot restaurant.

They will meet at 5:30 p.m. at Town Hall with the Naugatuck Economic Development Corp. and will present their proposals in open session. The NEDC board is expected to vote to give a favorable review to the Board of Mayor and Burgesses, the borough’s governing body, which must approve these types of projects. The board has a special meeting scheduled for 6:45 p.m.

Mezzo said he believes officials will be pleased with the proposal.

“What I’ve seen is a very impressive proposed building and smaller pad site adjacent to it that is consistent with the historical architecture in downtown,” he said. “Once constructed, it would provide a very attractive gateway to our downtown.”

Ron Pugliese, president and CEO of the NEDC, said he anticipates Oris and Lombard will send the proposal to local land use boards immediately. He does not believe construction will begin this year but will happen “definitely in the spring.”

“This is a beautiful project in line with everything we’ve been saying we want to see on Parcel C,” he said. “I’m very excited and think the public will be too when they see the plans.”