Shelton developers turn focus to downtown Derby

Photo of Brian Gioiele

A Shelton developer known for his work improving that city’s downtown is taking his construction act to Derby.

Don Stanziale, Jr., owner of Midland Development and Contracting, with his partners at Cedar Village Development is teaming with fellow Shelton-based John Brennan Construction to turn what has been a long-vacant eyesore on Minerva Street into the Cedar Village at Minerva Square.

The city obtained the property through foreclosure in 2018.

The project, expected to cost about $10 million, was approved in October by the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission, and Stanziale says he expects to break ground next month.

“I want to bring what we brought to downtown Shelton to Derby,” Stanziale said.

“We’re building this to hold it, to keep it,” Stanziale added. “We are trying to get those young people who cannot afford housing but like the apartment living. They like the amenities, they like the gym. They like the elevator, they like people taking care of them. We do our own management.”

The project, on land listed as 67-71 Minerva St., calls for construction of a four-story complex with under-deck parking and 90 market-rate units. The apartments will be broken down into 39 studios and 51, 1bedroom apartments.

The project includes 103 parking spaces, with some available at land listed as 147 Caroline St., which was a small, rarely used city-owned parking lot for additional spaces. Stanziale said his group is in the process of purchasing the land from the city.

Mayor Richard Dziekan’s office, in a press release at the time of the zoning approval, stated that the former Brownfield property on Minerva Street had been sitting unused for more than a decade.

The Board of Aldermen/Alderwomen, in October 2020, reviewed three requests for development proposals and unanimously chose the team of Midland Development and Contracting, Cedar Village Development, and John Brennan Construction as the preferred developer of the site.

The city has been working with the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments and secured $288,000 for environmental assessment and remediation to support development of the land. Stanziale said the city has maintained ownership of the property during the cleanup.

This is yet another project for Stanziale, owner and builder of Cedar Village at Carroll’s.

His development company is also handling construction of Riverwalk Place at 356 Howe Ave., land owned by Perry Pettis. Work began last month on the multi-story structure that will have first floor retail and 35 apartments on the upper floors.

He has stated that he plans to develop an apartment development at 287 Canal St., the former Ascom Hasler site. No formal plans have been submitted for the property, which Stanziale says he a deal in place to purchase.