New year, new development on Shelton’s Howe Avenue

SHELTON — With the new year is coming yet another development along Howe Avenue.

Developers expect to soon break ground on property at 356 Howe Ave.

Once home to The Donut Stop, the business closed during the pandemic and the building was razed in anticipation of the new construction.

Riverwalk Place will be a multi-story structure that will have first floor retail and 35 apartments on the upper floors — with work to be done by a familiar downtown presence.

Don Stanziale, Jr., and his son, Don Stanziale III, of Midland Development and Contracting, will be handling construction on the lot, which is owned by Perry Pettis. The new structure will sit next to the building that has housed Johnny’s Pizza and the soon-to-open Beastie Burger.

“I expect to break ground here within the next two weeks,” said Stanziale Jr., who recently completed construction of Cedar Village at Carroll’s less than a half mile down the road on property that formerly housed Carroll’s Home Improvement Center.

“There will be two commercial places on the first floor and beautiful apartments … some two bedrooms but mostly one bedrooms and studios,” Stanziale added. “This will fill in the gap here … putting something that will fit the downtown vision in what is now an empty abandoned lot.”

Stanziale said the work will include completing the sidewalk with brick work, trees, and streetlights. There will be parking onsite for the apartments, which Stanziale said, in his experience, should fill quickly.

His more than 60 apartments at Cedar Village at Carroll’s were leased before completion of the two-phase project.

“These apartments are filling,” Stanziale said, referring to his development as well as others along Howe Avenue which are finished or nearly complete. “I have been involved with downtown for the past three years, and what I am seeing is young professionals coming in, looking for smaller units. I have found the smaller the better.”

Stanziale credited Mayor Mark Lauretti and Downtown Development Director Ken Nappi for partnering with downtown developers on improving the streetscape and making it more uniform as each development is complete.

He also praised the city’s efforts to plan for additional parking, such as some 70 spaces that Shelton is leasing from Yankee Gas across the street from the Cedar Village at Carroll’s development. Stanziale said he hopes those spaces are ready for use early in the coming year.

In its approval of the project, the Planning and Zoning Commission called the plans “consistent with the downtown revitalization efforts and the pattern of quality development.”