Downtown renovation turns to Star Pin site

The focus of the city’s continued revitalization of Canal Street has now turned to the historic Star Pin Co. building, which was built in 1875 and has sat vacant for some 15 years.

The state Department of Economic & Community Development, in late 2018, announced it had approved a $950,000 grant for the remediation of hazardous building materials from the building at 267 Canal Street, which the city foreclosed on more than a year ago for back taxes totaling some $600,000.

As part of the grant award, the city is responsible for $145,000 to be applied for administration, engineering and the balance for construction-related activities. The amount of the match is part of the agreement between the city and the state Department of Economic & Community Development.

The Board of Aldermen, at its meeting Feb. 13, approved two separate resolutions totaling $89,950, with the funds coming from aldermanic bonding (to be paid for with borrowing in the bond market).

The first resolution called for $43,750 to cover the oversight by the project’s managing agent, Shelton Economic Development Corp. (SEDC). This oversight, according to a letter from SEDC President Paul Grimmer, is already underway.

The second resolution, for $46,200, was to hire AECOM Inc. to a brownfields consulting services contract. AECOM will handle the abatement and remediation of hazardous building materials from the aging structure.

This is the first step for the old Star Pin building. Grimmer stated when the grant was received that the money would be used to remove the lead, PCBs and asbestos from the 118,000-square-foot building. Running concurrent with that work will be a soil and groundwater assessment to be performed by Tighe & Bond.

Through a series of grants and private partnerships, the city has cleaned up or demolished 13 of the 17 properties along Canal Street.

Millions of brass pins, hooks and buttons were fashioned for more than 100 years at the Star Pin factory. In the early 1980s, Star Pin left Shelton, but the building retained its name.

Over the past 30 years, the property housed a variety of manufacturing firms. It has been largely vacant over the past 15 years, and age and weather are beginning to exact a toll on the building’s structural integrity.

This property is now part of the city’s master plan for redevelopment, said Grimmer, and the city of Shelton has approved the reconstruction of the property for residential purposes, with the approved plan allowing for 72 residential units and 128 parking spaces.