Developer plans apartments on Shelton's Canal Street

SHELTON — One local developer hopes to turn the end of Canal Street into a destination spot. 

Don Stanziale, Jr., a Shelton resident and owner of Midland Development & Contracting, has proposed developing a four-story structure on property known as the Ascom Hasler site with 129 apartments and 1,745 square feet of retail space. 

The Planning and Zoning Commission opened a public hearing Tuesday on Stanziale’s proposed development at 287 Canal St., which would be called Cedar Village at The Locks. No one from the public spoke at the public hearing, which the commission has continued to a future date. 

“This is going to be a great benefit to the town,” said Stanziale, adding that he has an agreement to purchase the site from owner John Watts. “I’m really excited about this project.” 

Stanziale told the commissioners his plans for the end of Canal Street also call for him to complete the Riverwalk and create a seating area for people to enjoy looking over the Shelton canal locks and the Housatonic River. The new building would have views of the river. 

The land sits at the north end of Canal Street. The city is in the initial stages of planning for an environmental restoration of that area, and Stanziale said his development would fit in well, as he plans to create an open space area with tables and seating. 

“People will be able to sit and look out on the water,” he said. “Once this is done it will be a beautiful addition to Canal Street and downtown.” 

The proposed building will include 40 studios, 77 one-bedrooms and 12 two-bedroom units, with 192 parking spaces, or 1.5 spaces per unit. Stanziale said the top floor would feature three outside deck areas, one which will be covered – to allow for viewing of the river. 

The retail space will be a convenience store that would also offer assortments of things like coffee and ice cream. The site would be “self-ran,” Stanziale said. 

“We thought this would be a nice thing,” Stanziale said about use of the retail space. 

This site has environmental issues, much like all the old industrial sites along Canal Street. During a previous Shelton Economic Development Corp. meeting, SEDC President Paul Grimmer said most of the issues reside inside the building, such as lead and asbestos contamination. 

This would be the latest downtown project for Stanziale, owner and builder of Cedar Village at Carroll’s. His development company is also handling construction of Riverwalk Place at 356 Howe Ave., on land owned by Perry Pettis. Work began earlier this year on the multi-story structure that will have first floor retail and 35 apartments on the upper floors. 

Grimmer said the SEDC, on behalf of the city, is moving forward with engineering evaluations to support the historic preservation of the Shelton canal locks." 

The Shelton locks, from the Housatonic River to the canal system, date to 1867. They allowed canal boats to be raised through three sets of locks by water entering each lock, one at a time, raising the boat approximately 10 feet. It was brought forward into the second and third locks to canal level and through the gates that divided each section.