Shelton developer proposes 92 apartments, retail on Canal Street

Photo of Brian Gioiele

SHELTON - Developer John Guedes’s latest redevelopment plan for Canal Street would mean nearly 100 apartments and commercial space on land lodged between the railroad tracks and Veterans Memorial Park.

Guedes, a Shelton resident and owner of Primrose Companies, presented plans to the Planning and Zoning Commission Wednesday during a Zoom meeting that call for construction of a five-story structure with 11,000 square feet of retail or commercial space and 92 apartments at property listed as 113-123 Canal St.

Overall, there would be 24 studio apartments along with 20 one-bedrooms, 44 two-bedrooms and four three-bedrooms.

Commission Chair Virginia Harger asked Guedes if he was willing to designate 10 percent of the units as affordable under state statute 8-30g. Guedes stated he had not planned on that but would be willing to discuss the possibility with zoning staff.

The site would also have 179 on-site parking spaces, with outside parking and more spots in a lower-level parking garage. Guedes said each tenant would be assigned one parking space, and the rest of the spots would be available for renters or those visiting the commercial or retail establishments.

“I believe the parking to be adequate,” Guedes said.

Attorney Dominick Thomas, representing Guedes, said there would be 92 spots designated for tenants - the remainder for the remaining uses. Thomas added that there is plenty of nearby city parking areas to accommodate the commercial or retail uses as well, if renters are using more than one space.

The city has owned the 2.57-acre property for years after seizing it following the previous owner’s failure to pay back taxes. Guedes and his partner, Biaggio Barone, have a contract to purchase the land from the city.

The deal also includes Guedes covering the cost of extending the River Walk from Veterans Memorial Park, along the river and ending at Canal Street East.

The application asks for a special exception for the property, which sits on the Housatonic River in a River Front District. The commission continued the public hearing to Aug. 18.

The city received $400,000 in cleanup grants from the EPA Brownfields Program in 2008 for sites at 113 and 123 Canal St.

The property at 113 Canal St. is the former Axton Cross parcel, which was originally occupied by a bolts manufacturer and later by a chemical manufacturer that mixed powdered metals, cleaners and liquid acids. Contaminants on the site included metals and volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds.

At 123 Canal St. is the former Samarius parcel. From the late 1800s to 1985, the Samarius site was occupied by a variety of industrial enterprises, including brass, silver goods and textile manufacturers.