Shelton developer eyes 4-story, 30-apartment building downtown

A rendering of Chromium Commons, a proposed development to be located 113 Canal St. on what was the former Chromium Process manufacturing site.

A rendering of Chromium Commons, a proposed development to be located 113 Canal St. on what was the former Chromium Process manufacturing site.

Contributed photo

SHELTON — John Guedes’s Canal Street redevelopment has now turned to the former Chromium Process site.

The Shelton developer, owner of Bridgeport-based Primrose Companies, has submitted plans to construct Chromium Commons, a four-story structure with first-floor commercial space and 30 apartments on the top floors, at 113 Canal St., former site of the Chromium Process manufacturing building.

Guedes — who along with his partner Biagio Barone has an agreement in place to purchase the site from the city — is seeking approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission to have the property designated a Planned Development District (PDD). A public hearing date has yet to be set.

Last year, the Board of Aldermen approved the sale of the property to Guedes and Barone for $100,000. As part of the agreement, the developers will pay $137,500 for brick pavers for the River Walk extension being built at the rear of 129 Canal St.

The original purchase price for the property was $250,000, but Guedes and Barone reduced their offer to $100,000 after learning that a portion of the former Chromium Process site — listed as 125 Canal St. — had been sold by the city to developer Angelo Melisi.

The former Chromium Process site, which has been environmentally remediated, borders on Canal Street East and Canal Street West and is adjacent to the Housatonic Rail Co. and a few hundred feet from the Housatonic River. The site is currently used as a parking lot and is within walking distance of public parking facilities.

Guedes’ proposal calls for 8,350 square feet of commercial on the ground floor, while the upper three floors will each have five one-bedroom and five two-bedroom apartments. There will be 32 surface parking spaces provided.

Guedes has said he had originally prepared development plans for a four-story, 26,000-square-foot recreation building with a two-deck parking garage. Those plans called for use of the triangular-shaped, 0.10-acre lot listed as 125 Canal St. for the entrance into the proposed parking lot.

Those plans had to change when, Guedes said, he learned that the city had sold that piece of property to Melisi for $4,000. At that time, Mayor Mark Lauretti had asked the Board of Aldermen to use eminent domain to take the property back, but his request was rejected.

Attorney Dominick Thomas, who represents Guedes, said the building size and location on the site were also changed because of proximity to Burying Ground Brook.

While concerns have been raised about potentially losing parking downtown, Downtown Development Director Ken Nappi has stated the reduction of the 70 spaces will be made up through the city’s parking lease at the Eversource property, across the street from the now completed Cedar Village at Carroll’s. Nappi said the leased spaces would make about 590 parking spaces available downtown.

Overall, Guedes is responsible for rehabilitating the Birmingham and The Lofts and constructing three new buildings — the Merion, the nearly completed River Breeze, and Riverside Commercial. His plans for the Riverview Park Royal are presently before Planning and Zoning.

Guedes has invested more than $33 million into Canal Street developments and is responsible for more than 300 housing units to date.