Shelton to get $5M from state for Constitution Blvd. extension plan

SHELTON — The Constitution Boulevard extension — a dream for decades — is yet another step closer to reality.

The State Bond Commission, at its meeting Thursday, approved $5 million grant-in-aid for the road work, which will lead to the development of the nearly 70-acre, city-owned Mas property into a manufacturing corporate park. The funding could cover the full cost of the project.

“The extension of Constitution Boulevard will allow businesses to come here and grow here, thereby perpetuating the evolution of an old industrial blue-collar city into a diverse employment hub in the state of Connecticut,” said Mayor Mark Lauretti.

Lauretti praised Gov. Ned Lamont for supporting the development, which the mayor said will lead to more businesses remaining in Connecticut.

This $5 million investment, Lauretti said, is “recognition that the prosperity enjoyed in Shelton spills over to the state of Connecticut in terms of tax revenue, job growth, business retention and expansion that is so vital to the future growth of our state.”

Shelton state Reps. Jason Perillo and Ben McGorty and state Sen. Kevin Kelly each pushed for the funding’s inclusion in the State Bond Commission agenda and said they are pleased Lamont’s office sees the benefit.

“This has been a great team effort,” Perillo said.

Perillo said the four made the pitch to Lamont’s office and “they agreed that this was a great economic development opportunity that could not be missed.”

In recent weeks, the city has reached deals to sell pieces of the Mas land to two separate companies.

Shelton residents William and Nicole Charney, owners of Shelton-based Advanced Home Audio, which is presently located on Long Hill Cross Road, agreed to buy six acres. The couple agreed to pay the city $85,000 per acre, which comes to $510,000.

That sale came after Lauretti announced that Bigelow Tea was purchasing 25 acres of the property for an estimated $2.1 million for its future expansion.

The aldermen’s approval states the total acreage and payment amount will be determined after the final subdivision of the nearly 70-acre parcel near Constitution Boulevard.

The city has purchased 56 Blacks Hill Road but still needs to acquire property at 55 Blacks Hill Road to complete the road. The city and the owners of a property on Blacks Hill Road that is essential to extension of Constitution Boulevard remain far apart on sale terms and Lauretti is saying condemning the property is the next step.

Lauretti has so far declined to say what the city is offering but said the owners of 55 Blacks Hill Road have offered to sell the 5.1-acre property to the city for $1.7 million.

“The Bond Commission, with help from Governor Lamont and through Mayor Lauretti's leadership, sees the City of Shelton as a great place to live, retire, raise a family, or run a successful business,” McGorty said.

“With this additional funding, we can help to make necessary upgrades which bridge the gap between North Constitution Boulevard and Constitution Boulevard, including additions of local businesses and a new firehouse,” McGorty added. “This investment in the City of Shelton will absolutely improve the quality of this thriving area in our beautiful city."

Kelly agreed that this project is vital to building a long planned economic development corridor and supporting further job growth in Shelton.

“We all look forward to seeing this important project advance,” Kelly added.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com