By Andreas Yilma, Staff Writer
NAUGATUCK — A local business is looking to expand its operations with the purchase of borough-owned property on Rubber Avenue.
Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess is closing in on a deal to sell the former Parks and Recreation Department office at 258 Rubber Ave. to International Framers LLC.
The Board of Mayor and Burgesses approved the sale and authorized Hess to execute the agreement at its Jan. 5 meeting. As of last week, borough attorneys were drafting the sales contract. Officials did not disclose financial details, citing the pending sale.
The site at 258 Rubber Ave. is 4.1 acres, according to land records. There are two buildings on the site — a 5,000-square-foot building that includes a garage and another that is 1,830 square feet — as well as a small shed. The total appraisal for the land and buildings is listed at $562,820, according to the property card.
International Framers, which has an office at 102 Water St., specializes in multi-residential wood framing for condominiums, apartments, churches, hotels and banks, according to Vice President of Finance and Operations Dan Soares. The company supplies labor and lumber, he said, and doesn’t manufacture the frames.
If the sale is completed, the company plans to use the Rubber Avenue site for manufacturing and storing materials.
“It meets our needs, the footprint of the property. There’s plenty of space,” said Soares, who added the company wants to stay in the borough.
The company is planning on a new venture, International Supply, to manufacture wood panels as well as floor and roof trusses, International Framers owner Anthony Gallagher said.
“International Framers is excited to start our new venture, International Supply, in a business-friendly town like Naugatuck,” Gallagher said. “We have been in town for the last 20 years and were delighted to continue here in a space that will meet our growing needs.”
The company plans to maintain the office on Water Street for the time being.
Selling the property is part of a larger borough effort to upgrade Rubber Avenue.
“The building will go on the tax roll and start generating new revenue,” Hess said.
The Parks and Recreation Department now operates at the former armory at 607 Rubber Ave. Borough officials want to relocate other facilities on Rubber Avenue, including the street department, then sell the land to be redeveloped.
Last year, the borough moved the recycling center from the corner of Rubber Avenue and Andrew Avenue to a temporary location on the former Risdon property on Andrew Avenue. Efforts are underway to sell the former recycling center site.
A project to reconstruct about two-thirds of a mile of Rubber Avenue from the intersection of Melbourne and Hoadley streets to Elm Street is slated to begin this year. The project will include drainage improvements, and new sidewalks and landscaping along the road.
Hess said selling the former Parks and Recreation Department office will help to improve the overall image of Rubber Avenue.
“Part of this transaction will upgrade the outward appearance, which is one part of a multilayered process to upgrade Rubber Avenue,” Hess said.
The former park department building was being used for the past few months by Carly Holloway, the founder of the Naugatuck Valley Soup Kitchen and Bakery, to sell prepackaged baked goods to raise money for the soup kitchen. She is now selling Rita’s cakes to raise money to build a mobile shop she can use to sell the baked goods. For information, visit the Naugatuck Valley Soup Kitchen and Bakery’s Facebook page.