What happens now to city block destroyed by Shelton fire?
Mayor Mark Lauretti said the immediate goal at the Howe Avenue fire site is to remove the debris from the property.
Once the cleanup is completed, Lauretti said, the next step will be up to the owner of the parcel. “That’s a decision for the property owner,” he said.
The property is owned by the Matto family of Shelton, who are well known in the city and have been praised for being good residential and commercial landlords.
Lauretti said economic factors also will determine what happens to the land, located between what are considered the two key intersections in the heart of Shelton’s central business district.
“The marketplace will dictate what goes there,” he said. “There certainly will be something there, based on its economic viability and especially because of what is happening with all of downtown.”
City officials have been focused on trying to redevelop downtown Shelton in recent years, including the central business district (Howe Avenue and Center Street are home to many retail businesses) and adjacent industrial parcels.
Lauretti said that while it was a devastating and unwanted event, the fire could open up opportunities. “One door closes and the other door opens,” he said.