Wendy’s proposal off the table; Eastern Company evaluating future in borough

The Eastern Company’s headquarters on Bridge Street in Naugatuck. –RA ARCHIVE

NAUGATUCK — A proposal to build a Wendy’s Restaurant on Bridge Street is off the table, and the future of another corporation’s presence in Naugatuck is unclear.

In December, Restaurant Holdings, LLC, of Michigan, submitted a special permit application to build a 2,223-square-foot Wendy’s at 112 Bridge St. Restaurant Holdings planned to buy the land from The Eastern Company, a maker of industrial hardware, security products and metal castings that has locations across North America, Europe and Asia. The company’s corporate office is at 112 Bridge St.

The Zoning Commission scheduled a public hearing on the application for last week, but officials said Restaurant Holdings cancelled the purchase agreement for the land.

“It’s not something the borough of Naugatuck was involved in. It was completely out of our hands,” Zoning Enforcement Officer Ed Carter said.

Carter said the borough wasn’t aware the deal fell apart.

“We were shocked, as was the engineering company that was going forward with the project, Carter said.

The future of The Eastern Company in Naugatuck remains in question.

The proposed site plan for the Wendy’s was for all of the property at 112 Bridge St., including the building The Eastern Company uses as its headquarters. The property is the only one owned by The Eastern Company in the borough.

August Vlak, president and chief executive officer of The Eastern Company, said the company doesn’t know whether it’s going to stay in Naugatuck and is still evaluating its options.

Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Ronald Pugliese said he’s aware The Eastern Company’s considering its future in the borough and planned to speak with company representatives. He hopes the company decides to stay in Naugatuck.

“It’s important to the borough to have a corporate headquarters,” Pugliese said.