Aldermen approve lowering three Shelton property assessments

A view of R.D. Scinto’s The Renaissance, a 17-story residential structure in Shelton with apartments and condos.
A view of R.D. Scinto’s The Renaissance, a 17-story residential structure in Shelton with apartments and condos.

The Shelton Board of Aldermen voted Thursday night to lower the assessments on three substantial properties whose owners had appealed their assessments.

The properties are 100 Parrott Drive (The Renaissance), 40 Waterview Drive (Hubbell Inc.), and 2 Research Drive.

It is not unusual for the owners of highly-valuable properties — commercial ones in particular — to go to court to challenge their assessments in some situations. The assessment determines how much they will have to pay in property taxes.

Municipalities and property owners sometimes will negotiate a settlement before a legal challenge is actually heard in court. Cases that go to the trial stage can drag on for extended periods.

In court, 'you roll the dice'

Board of Aldermen President John F. Anglace Jr. said that going to trial on assessment challenges brings uncertainty. “If you go to court, you roll the dice — and spend a lot on legal fees,” Anglace said.

Attorney Thomas J. Welch, corporation counsel (city attorney) for Shelton, briefly talked about the 100 Parrott Drive case and recommended aldermanic approval of the agreement with the property owner.

The three cases, along with some other legal matters, then were discussed in executive session (closed to the public) before votes were taken in open session. Tax Assessor William Gaffney and Welch were present for the executive session.

100 Parrott Drive LLC

In the case of 100 Parrott Drive, the assessment will be lowered from $26 million to $22.7 million. That means the fair market value placed on the property goes from being almost $38 million to $32.4 million.

According to city documents, that works out to $24 million for 126 lower-floor apartments (an average of $190,500 per unit), and $8.4 million for 28 upper-floor apartments (or $300,000 per unit).

The property’s legal owner is 100 Parrott Drive LLC. It was built by developer Robert D. Scinto.

The 17-story upscale residential structure includes a total of 168 apartments and condominium units, city officials said. It is located in R.D. Scinto’s corporate park.

40 Waterview Drive and 2 Research Drive

With 40 Waterview Drive, the assessment will go down slightly from $10.7 million to about $10.1 million. The new fair market value is $14.4 million. The legal owner is Hubbell Inc. and Waterview Coram. The building is the headquarters of Hubbell Inc.

As for 2 Research Drive, the assessment will decrease from $2.2 million to $1.7 million. The legal owner of the 55,000-square-foot warehouse/industrial/office structure is Shelton Associates Limited Partnership.