By Andreas Yilma Citizen’s News
NAUGATUCK — The borough has selected two companies to develop a vacant lot in downtown into a transit mixed-use development.
The Board of Mayor and Burgesses on July 21 chose Pennrose and the Cloud Company to develop the 7.75 acres at the corner of Maple Street and Old Firehouse Road.
Pennrose is a real estate development company with its headquarters in Philadelphia. The company’s regional office in Boston would be working with the borough.
The Cloud Company is a real estate development firm out of Hartford.
The two real estate companies, also known as Pennrose Cloud, have partnered together for over 15 years.
The project will connect the existing downtown area to the Transit Oriented Development project on Parcel B and looks to change downtown into a more vibrant, livable, walkable, sustainable and transit oriented downtown.
Parcel B adjoins the Waterbury Branch Line adjacent to the location of the new train platform to be relocated by the state Department of Transportation, the RFP stated.
Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess said the borough had a strong team leading the selection process. That team consisted of borough board members, the Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation and other borough officials.
“We had in depth interviews and discussions and there’s no question that the clear the winner and best company for the borough was determined unanimously to be Pennrose and the Cloud Company,” Hess said.
Deputy Mayor Robert A. Neth said this is going to be one of the most exciting projects the borough is going to be putting together in a long time.
“This is a need for the borough of Naugatuck — and I think we got an outstanding group that we’ve selected that’s going to bring a new light to the borough of Naugatuck,” Neth said.
Burgess Charles Marenghi echoed Neth’s comments.
“I think it’s the beginning of a really great, great movement toward getting downtown where we want it to be,” Marenghi said.
The Cloud Company Chairman and CEO Sandy Cloud said the companies are excited to be at the borough.
“We look forward being apart of this historic change and vision and inclusiveness of wanting to build up your community,” Cloud said.
Pennrose Associate Developer Francis Goyes played a major role in leading the companies to the borough.
“So far we’ve just seen a fantastic partnership already and the willingness to engage and think creatively and really re-envision the gateway to this beautiful borough,” Goyes said. “We are absolutely thrilled and looking forward to many next steps to come.”
The selection of a developer for Parcel B comes after the state has allocated funds to move the borough’s train station.
The state Department of Transportation has allotted funding for the relocation of the Naugatuck train station from Water Street near The Station Restaurant to Parcel B.
This also comes after improvements and expansion of service to the Waterbury branch line of the Metro-North Railroad.
Seven more weekday trains began to run on the line on July 11. Three trains have been added in the morning, one additional midday train and three more trains in the evening which brings train service in the Naugatuck Valley to 22 weekday trains.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority finished the installation of the positive train control, signalization and passing sidings for the 27-mile rail line connecting Waterbury to Bridgeport late last year.
Hess said the state will fund and design the train platform and road into the area while the developers and the borough develops Parcel B.
“We’re going to put together a beautiful project that will be a gateway to the downtown and will really, really put us where we want to be over the next several years,” Hess said.