The following is a joint statement issued by Joseph Carlson, III, Chairperson of the Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation; Alexius C. Conroy, President of Conroy Development Company and Renaissance Place, LLC; and Robert A. Mezzo, Mayor of the Borough of Naugatuck.
Approximately nine (9) years ago the Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation (“NEDC”) the Borough of Naugatuck and Renaissance Place, LLC came together in support of a vision to revitalize Downtown Naugatuck. The concept, known as Renaissance Place, planned the redevelopment of an approximately sixty (60) acre area of Naugatuck’s urban core in a planned and comprehensive manner. The original plan for Renaissance Place envisioned mixed-use, transit-oriented, green development that would combine retail, entertainment, residential and technological destinations into one vibrant live-work-play environment.
Renaissance Place received bi-partisan support from members of the public, private and non-profit sectors of the Naugatuck community, ultimately culminating in overwhelming approval of the project in a public referendum in 2007. Immediately following the referendum, the NEDC, the Borough and Renaissance Place, LLC, entered into a development agreement that governed each party’s rights and responsibilities for the project. The original plan projected significant new construction and permanent jobs and increased tax revenue through a combination of private investment and public infrastructure improvements. Local officials began work immediately to secure state and federal support for the public portion of Renaissance Place while Renaissance Place, LLC promoted the development concept to the national marketplace.
Unfortunately the impact of the recession in 2008 dramatically transformed the financial sector of the United States. Progress on Renaissance Place slowed as some investors ceased to exist, while others became extremely cautious operating in a new and uncertain environment. Several scaled-down versions of Renaissance Place were considered to begin the project, but none came to fruition.
May 8, 2012, marked the five (5) year anniversary of the development agreement. Under the terms thereof, all obligations that each party had to the others terminated as a result of the inability of construction to begin on the project. Over the past several weeks, all parties have been working in an amicable manner to resolve the legal complexities associated with the development agreement. All of us issuing this statement affirm that the development agreement has expired, and that none of the parties thereto has any further obligation to the other. Each party, duly representing its respective entity, has recently executed a full and complete release to the other parties with respect to all rights, terms, conditions and/or obligations specified in the development agreement. All parties have waived any and all claims against the other parties and will not seek any financial damages now or any time in the future.
Each of us has enjoyed working together in support of our common vision for Downtown Naugatuck. Three different mayoral administrations of different parties have worked in good faith with the leadership of the NEDC and Conroy Development Company and Renaissance Place, LLC toward making Renaissance Place a reality. The relationship between all parties to the development has been strong and honorable throughout many years of collaboration. Unfortunately difficult economic times have delayed the implementation of smart-growth redevelopment to Naugatuck’s Central Business District.
Renaissance Place, LLC and/or Conroy Development Company will no longer have preferred development rights to Naugatuck’s Downtown. That will not preclude, however, both the Borough and the NEDC from considering any future proposals made by Renaissance Place, LLC and/or Conroy Development Company that are consistent with the original visions of planned downtown revitalization. Much of the work that has already been completed in pursuit of Renaissance Place has positioned Naugatuck well for future redevelopment.
It is expected that the NEDC will soon issue requests for proposals and/or qualifications from other parties interested in investing in Downtown Naugatuck. Such a process will allow the Borough and the NEDC to gauge market interest and solicit new ideas the center of the Naugatuck community.
UPDATE (from Bob Mezzo only):
An electronic copy of the release agreement, signed in counterpart, can be viewed here: (Borough and NEDC executed counterpart; and Renaissance Place, LLC and/or Conroy Development Company counterpart).