NAUGATUCK — A developer who announced plans last year to build a medical facility and restaurant downtown said he remains firmly committed to the plan.
Robert Oris said he, his partner in the deal, John Lombard, and the borough have been working toward an agreement that is now in place to address environmental issues on the 2.2 acres where the project will be built on the corner of Maple and Water streets called Parcel C.
“We’re getting our arms around those issues, and we’re moving forward,” he said.
Oris and Lombard are planning a 25,000-to-30,000-square-foot medical facility, and Saint Mary’s Hospital has committed to being the anchor tenant. Additionally, they want to build a 5,000-square-foot standalone restaurant on the lot.
Before construction begins, the borough will conduct post-remediation groundwater monitoring and soil sampling at Parcel C. Those measures, which will cost $34,910, are required by the state before construction begins.
Mayor Robert Mezzo said the borough’s attorneys and attorneys representing the developers are in the final stages of contract negotiations.
“Unfortunately, getting language in these types of deals take time,” he said. “Both parties need to make sure their interests are protected — we’re working very hard to do that.”
Once the language is finalized and the contract is signed, the developers will begin the process of bringing forth design plans to present to land use boards.
“You wouldn’t begin expending dollars on design consultants and architects until you have a purchase and sales agreement,” Mezzo said.
Ron Pugliese, president and CEO of the quasi-public Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation, said he’s hopeful that will happen soon.
“We don’t have any real firm idea when they are going to sign the contract, but I’m absolutely convinced they are committed to the project,” he said. “I told them I don’t want to lose this construction season, and I think they also agree.
“These brownfield situations, which unfortunately we have, there is a lot that goes into them,” he added. “We are committed to getting it done.”