City may try to save Chromium Process garage structure

The city may attempt to salvage a small garage building on the Chromium Process Co. property, near the Shelton Farmers Market Building.

The city took ownership of the almost one-acre site and brick factory building in the spring through foreclosure. The property has environmental issues that will require remediation.

It is expected the main factory building will eventually be demolished. Many would like to see the land — located between Canal and West Canal Streets — used for new public parking.

Mayor Mark Lauretti said the smaller garage structure — it has two vehicle-sized doors and is located on the southern end of the property, closest to Route 8 — might make a good maintenance storage facility for the city.

Nearby, the city maintains Veterans Memorial Park (the Riverwalk) as well as public parking lots.

Various possibilities for the site

Lauretti has said he is open to using the Chromium Process Co. site for new parking but also has mentioned the possibility of perhaps allowing private development on some of the land — such as retail or office use.

“It will be cleaned up, but exactly what happens will be part of the overall downtown master plan,” he said.

Some officials working to revitalize downtown have said the Chromium Process property is key to connecting the development activity taking place on Canal Street with the central business district.

Could Center Street be extended?

The Chromium Process plant is an old, large brick structure with multiple windows and delivery doors. Many have considered the building to be an eyesore in recent years, with its broken windows and graffiti being visible from Center Street and the Farmers Market Building.

Center Street, going east (toward the Housatonic River), now ends at the Chromium Process property.

There has been talk of extending Center Street to Canal Street through the Chromium Process property. That extended road might then continue to meet Bridge Street at the riverfront, as envisioned in a development proposal by developer John Guedes for the Sponge X and Rolfite properties on Canal Street.