REVITALIZATION STEP: Grant should help knock down Chromium Process building in downtown Shelton

The state will provide more than $1 million to demolish and remediate the Chromium Process factory on Canal Street in Shelton.

The $1,019,470 grant to the Shelton Economic Development Corp. (SEDC) was one of 20 brownfield grants totaling $27 million announced today by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

The funds for Shelton will be used to knock down and clean up the former factory building that is between Canal Street and West Canal Street, near Center Street.

SEDC is a private, nonprofit entity that works on development issues in Shelton, in collaboration with the city. The SEDC focuses on the downtown area.

Next: Mixed-use development, parking

According to a press release from Malloy’s office, the demolition will “enable mixed-use development and parking capacity in the revitalized downtown area.”

The Chromium Process property is 0.9 acres. The building is on a site that is considered a key parcel in redevelopment efforts.

Knocking down the structure will help form a connection between Howe Avenue, Canal Street and the Housatonic River.

The city owns the Chromium Process property, having taken it through foreclosure in 2013.

In addition to the old brick factory building, there is a vacant 0.3-acre parcel across the street between Canal Street and the Housatonic River that also was owned by Chromium Process.

The city now owns this land as well and has received a separate $200,000 federal grant to continue cleanup efforts there.

City leaders have talked about using the Chromium Process land for new municipal parking and private mixed-use development, such as retail, office and residential.

‘Productive re-use’

“Many of Connecticut’s brownfield sites have been abandoned or under-utilized for decades because the costs of redeveloping these properties are too expensive for municipalities or private developers to take on by themselves,” Malloy said when announcing the $27 million in grants from the state Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD).

“That’s why my administration has not only allocated the funding necessary to return dozens of unused and blighted properties in every corner of the state to productive re-use, but also taken significant steps to attract private investment and increase participation in our brownfield programs,” Malloy said.

Catherine H. Smith, DECD commissioner, said the brownfield grants “represent outstanding opportunities to activate long-stalled sites, create economic opportunity and remove blight from our communities.”