NAUGATUCK — Borough officials have formally sent out a proposal seeking a company to turn a vacant lot in downtown into a transit mixed-use development.
The borough sent out on Wednesday a request for phase one proposals to develop 7.75 acres of Parcel B known as the vacant lot at the corner of Maple Street and Old Firehouse Road which is owned by the borough. The RFP is part of the downtown revitalization and transit oriented development project for the borough.
“It (RFP) talks about mostly a project for Parcel B but it also talks about future phases, future projects and an overall effort to bring vibrancy to the downtown area and to really move forward and bring back the river and create a greenway on the east side of the river and utilize the river and connect the greenway to Breen Field North and South,” Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess said at the borough board meeting on Tuesday.
The borough is seeking to partner with a qualified development team. The developer would purchase Parcel B along with the permitting, design and construction of a mixed use Transit Oriented Development project. The developer would be responsible for financing the project and selling or leasing constructed facilities. The project will include residential and commercial uses, but must have a large residential component designed primarily for people with low space requirement. The building can go in the range of six stories high, the RFP states.
The borough plans to build a greenway from the Maple Street Bridge to Breen Field along the eastside of the Naugatuck River. Officials envision a pedestrian bridge that would connect the eastside of the river as well as the greenway to Parcel B and downtown, according to the RFP.
The partnership between the borough and the developer would look to connect the existing downtown area to the TOD project on Parcel B and ultimately transform downtown into a more vibrant, livable, walk-able, 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 states.
The 27-mile, single-track Waterbury line has six train stations — in Waterbury, Naugatuck, Beacon Falls, Seymour, Ansonia and Derby. Metropolitan Transportation Authority finished the installation of the positive train control, signalization and passing sidings on Nov. 20 according to MTA public information officer Joana Flores.
Workers will add another track to the Waterbury line and service will increase to 22 trains each weekday beginning in the summer of 2022.
“We waited for this moment to be certain that we had real two way train traffic and a real commuter line,” Hess said. “Now we do.”
The borough established a tax incentive policy that may allow fixed assessment tax agreements for up to a 10 year period, according to the RFP.
One of the goals of the RFP is to ultimately create a vibrant project on Parcel B that adjoins our existing downtown area with a vision and style that blends in with the existing historic character of downtown Naugatuck, the RFP states.
Hess said borough officials have compiled a list over the years of who they are sending it to but are still open to more names and ideas as to how to get it out. Officials will also be advertising the RFP in a regional trade journal as well as sending it to brokers and engineers.
“If anyone can think of anyone else, just let us know,” Hess said at the meeting.
Burgesses were excited about the project moving formally ahead.
“I can’t wait to see it come to fruition,” Rocky Vitale said.
“This is super,” Dorothy Neth-Kunin said.
Borough officials are expecting proposals by April 29 according to Hess.