Shelton, developers agree on former Chromium Process sale

Shelton City Hall.

Shelton City Hall.

Contributed photo

SHELTON — The city has agreed to sell 113 Canal St., the former Chromium Process site, to developers John Guedes and Biagio Barone, just not for as much as originally planned.

The developers will be paying the city $100,000 for the property. The original purchase price was $250,000, but developers reduced the offer after learning that a portion of the former Chromium Process site — listed as 125 Canal St. — had been sold by the city to another developer last year.

The sale is pending a referral from the Planning and Zoning Commission which is required because the deal involves the sale of city property. The referral request from the city is on the commission’s Tuesday agenda.

“Excluding the portion of the property that was sold prevents us from constructing the proposed two-deck parking garage,” Guedes, owner of Primrose Companies, stated in a letter to corporation counsel Fran Teodosio, “and, therefore, reduces the required parking and size of our proposed building.”

Guedes said he 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 developer Angelo Melisi last year for $4,000.

“In hindsight, that was a big mistake,” Mayor Mark Lauretti said.

Lauretti said the city unsuccessfully attempted to reacquire the land, which would then be used by Guedes as part of a planned Canal Street recreational building on the adjacent property at 113 Canal St. Lauretti had said Melisi was “unresponsive” to the city’s overtures, so he proposed taking the land by eminent domain.

Last month, the Board of Aldermen, in a 5-2 vote, denied Lauretti’s proposal to take the strip of Canal Street property from Melisi.

Lauretti, at the aldermen meeting last week, said that Guedes has since lost the tenant that had planned to move into the four-story building and is now proposing a scaled back, three-story, 20,000-square-foot building with less necessary parking.

Guedes told Hearst Connecticut Media that when he designed the original plan, he was not aware the city no longer owned 125 Canal St. But he said the change has not lessened his resolve on the development plan.

“We’re committed,” Guedes said about the Canal Street building plan. “Was this a surprise? Yes. But can we deal with this? Yes. It is now about making modifications to the plans and seeing where it takes us. It’s a matter of just going back to the drawing board.”

As part of the agreement, Guedes said he and his partner will pay for installation about $137,500 for brick pavers for the River Walk extension being built at the rear of 129 Canal St.

The continuation of the River Walk — starting at its end at Veteran’s Memorial Park, along the river and railroad tracks to Canal Street — is about 10 feet wide and 550 feet long.

“We are offering to contribute to the cost of the installation of the brick pavers for its full length,” Guedes stated in his letter to Teodosio.