Shelton, Blacks Hill Road owners at odds over sale

Photo of Brian Gioiele
The Board of Aldermen has approved the city’s purchase of 56 Blacks Hill Road for $590,000, with the cost being covered through use of American Rescue Plan funds. The city is still negotiating the purchase of 55 Blacks Hill Road.

The Board of Aldermen has approved the city’s purchase of 56 Blacks Hill Road for $590,000, with the cost being covered through use of American Rescue Plan funds. The city is still negotiating the purchase of 55 Blacks Hill Road.

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The city and the owners of a property on Blacks Hill Road that is essential to extension of Constitution Boulevard remain far apart on sale terms and Mayor Mark Lauretti is saying condemning the property is the next step.

Lauretti has so far declined to say what the city is offering, but said the owners of 55 Blacks Hill Road have offered to sell the 5.1-acre property to the city for $1.7 million.

“A $1.7 million counter (is) hard to even respond to,” said Lauretti, adding that the city still plans to condemn the property and “let a judge decide” the final price.

This comes after Lauretti told Hearst Connecticut Media last week that he planned to condemn the property because the city had made an offer to which the owners never responded.

Attorney Patricia Sullivan, who represents the property’s owners, refuted that claim, saying that more than a week ago her clients offered to sell the property to the city at “a price commensurate with what had been approved by the Board of Aldermen for the purchase of the property across the street at 56 Blacks Hill Road.

“At the city’s request, they permitted representatives from the city to visit the 55 Blacks Hill Road property this past Friday (March 18),” Sullivan said.

In a letter dated March 11 to the city corporation counsel Fran Teodosio, Sullivan, on behalf of the owners, wrote that the city first offered to purchase the land for $215,000, to which she stated the owners were “insulted.”

The next offer, after an updated valuation of the land, was $345,000, Sullivan wrote.

The Board of Aldermen, at a meeting last month, approved the city’s purchase of 56 Blacks Hill Road for $590,000, with the cost being covered through use of American Rescue Plan funds.

Sullivan, in her letter, says the 56 Blacks Hill Road property is “three small parcels which in total amount to approximately a third of the acreage of the 55 Blacks Hill Road property. The 56 Blacks Hill Road parcels have far less development potential than the 55 Blacks Hill Road parcel.”

Sullivan said a “well-respected” real estate professional had estimated the property’s value at “well in excess of $1 million.”

“Simple math would suggest that a tripling of the price paid for 56 Blacks Hill Road would be appropriate for the purchase of 55 Blacks Hill Road,” she wrote.

Lauretti has said he first contacted the owners of 55 Blacks Hill Road — which the mayor says has been vacant for several years — before onset of the pandemic. He said the city made an offer to the owners, which was rejected.

Sullivan said the property, on which sits one house, has been in her clients’ family since the 1940s.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com