Shelton’s downtown revitalization took two major steps forward.

The Planning and Zoning Commission approved expansion of the Planned Development Districts for two separate development plans, one for Riverwalk Place Apartments at 356-358 Howe Ave., and one for Bridge Street Commons II at 427 Howe Ave.

While the PDDs for these projects have been approved, the property owners for each site must submit a final detailed development plan for review and approval before new construction can begin.

Bridge Street Commons II

Bridge Street Commons II’s proposal calls for an expansion of the present PDD to allow construction of 72 units, two retail spaces and required on-site parking. The proposed five-story mixed retail/commercial and residential development will sit on the site presently occupied by the Dunkin Donuts and several offices.

“The site is currently developed with older, deteriorated buildings in need of demolition and replacement in a manner that compliments ongoing downtown redevelopment efforts,” states the commission’s approval resolution. “The proposed PDD ... is consistent with overall downtown planning.”

The commission states that the plan will “result in a major development proposal on one of the most visual corners in downtown. It represents significant additional private investment that builds upon and is consistent with other established downtown development.”

The commission also determined that the parking demands and traffic generated “will not overload available and proposed parking facilities and the street circulation in the area.”

The proposal includes the creation of 95 garage-level spaces. The commission noted that there are additional spaces in the nearby municipal lot on White Street at Canal Street West and additional spaces in the recently completed parking facility on the former Chromium Process site. The commission also stated that the city is considering creating more than 20 spaces opposite the railroad right-of-way.

Riverwalk Place

the commission granted a modification to Riverwalk Place’s PDD allowing for a mixed-use development featuring two retail spaces, 35 apartments and parking.

The multi-story building, with frontage on both Howe Avenue and Cornell Street, is proposed to have retail stores on the street level, with four floors of apartments above. There are to be 35 on-site parking spaces, with nine located under a portion of the building. The property owner also has a contract to purchase the existing municipal parking lot adjacent and to the north of the proposed building.

Retail space will be some 3,300 square feet, with the space built to house two tenants. The apartments will consist of studio, one- and two-bedroom options.

“The proposal is consistent with the downtown revitalization efforts,” states the commission’s resolution of approval, “and the pattern of quality development.”

This final approval comes after other plans for the site, on a smaller scale, were unsuccessful. The commission first approved a PDD for a smaller mixed use building on 356-358 Howe Ave. site in 2007, but that development did not happen.

In the ensuing years, the property owner acquired a small parcel on Cornell Street and reached a deal with the city to purchase the adjacent municipal parking lot on Howe Avenue, enabling the owner to redesign and expand the planned structure.

The owner’s plans for a four-story building with 25 apartments and more retail space again failed to happen, with the owner saying he was not pleased with the economic potential of the proposal.