Shelton land buy paves way for Mas property access

Photo of Brian Gioiele
The intersection of Shelton Ave. (Rt. 108) and Constitution Blvd. South, in Shelton, Conn. April 14, 2021.

The intersection of Shelton Ave. (Rt. 108) and Constitution Blvd. South, in Shelton, Conn. April 14, 2021.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media file photo

SHELTON — After decades on the drawing board, construction of Constitution Boulevard is only weeks away from getting underway, according to Mayor Mark Lauretti.

The Board of Aldermen, at its meeting Tuesday, 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.

“This gets us one step closer to an April 15 construction date for the beginning of Constitution Boulevard,” Lauretti said.

Lauretti has stated that he expects the cost to be some $5 million for the road work, which would allow for access into the 70-acre, city-owned Mas property.

Earlier this year, the city agreed to sell 25 acres of the city-owned Mas property to Fairfield-based RC Bigelow Inc. — known worldwide as Bigelow Tea. Lauretti has stated he remains in negotiations with other “good sized” manufacturers interested, and more deals could be struck soon.

According to the mayor, state leadership has agreed to cover $5 million.

Shelton state Rep. Jason Perillo helped secure $5 million in funding for the road extension in the state’s 2021 bond package. The funding will be available once approved by the state Bond Commission, according to Perillo.

This latest move comes as the city awaits a decision from the Planning and Zoning Commission on its application for a zone change on the 70-acre piece of property.

Plans on the city website show an extended roadway with seven separate lots, one of which is 10.6 acres of designated open space. In all, there is a 276,250-square-foot building, two 105,000-square-foot buildings, and two 34,250-square-foot buildings, along with related parking for each structure.

The 70-acre parcel — known as the Mas property — sits near Bridgeport Avenue, and the roadway plans include extending Constitution Boulevard to reach Shelton Avenue/Route 108. Lauretti stated that a zone change would be needed, requiring plans to go before the Planning and Zoning Commission at some point.

The Mas property is now vacant. It is mostly wooded with considerable stone ledges and several ponds, including one about 600 feet long and up to 300 feet wide, and lies between Bridgeport Avenue, Cots Street, Tisi Drive, Sunwood Condos on Nells Rock Road, Regent Drive, Walnut Avenue, and Kings Highway. Part of the land abuts the back of the Perry Hill School property.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com