Torrington continues development of former Hotchkiss Mill site

TORRINGTON — City leaders have moved forward with a plan to demolish and clean up parts of the former Hotchkiss Mill property, recommended by Economic Development Director Rista Malanca.

The plan requires Torrington to apply for a $1.5 million grant from the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development, under its Municipal Brownfield Grant program.

The brownfield grant proposal advances a plan to develop the property at 199 Water St. and 229 Church St.

In August 2021, a development group led by Paul Janerico, owner of Water’s Way and Paydirt LLC, presented City Council with a concept design for the properties at 199 Water St., formerly known as the Hotchkiss Bros. Factory, in north of 229 Church St., formerly known as the Minetto Building.

Malanca’s proposal calls for the “selective demolition” of buildings that cannot be salvaged, as well as the removal of hazardous materials. The CT State Historic Preservation Office reviewed and approved the demolition plan, she said.

According to Malanca, the first phase of the redevelopment project will be the adaptive reuse of the former office building, a 10,000 square foot brick structure located on the southern portion of the property closest to Stop & Shop.

“This building will be a mixed-use building containing approximately eight market-priced residential units and 2,500 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor,” Malanca wrote in its recommendation. “This phase will also include the leveling and stabilization of the site, as well as the construction of a car park to serve the first phase of the development project. All future developments will be designed, approved and completed in additional phases.

“This phased approach addresses the environmental justice and public safety concerns that currently exist on this property. Demolition of vacant buildings will reduce degraded conditions that have attracted vandalism and hindered private investment,” Malanca wrote.

According to the project presented by Janerico last year, the plan calls for 155 apartments, ranging from studios to four-bedroom units, as well as a retail store, restaurants and tenant amenities such as dog wash stations. , a gym, a community room, a swimming pool and a whirlpool, according to the concept drawings.

Mayor Elinor Carbone, who worked with Water’s Way on preliminary plans, said last year Janerico’s proposal was not affordable housing but would be sold at market value. She also said that existing properties receive little tax revenue and that the project is a way to continue the town’s mission to revitalize the town and provide better housing for people looking for accommodation in Torrington.

“Current tax revenue is $15,183, and with a cost analysis, to maintain some semblance of security, those costs far exceed $15,000,” the mayor said. “A market analysis we carried out asked where we wanted to focus our investments, and the analysis shows that there is a demand for multi-family housing and people have supported the need for 288 more apartments in Torrington – not apartments. single-family dwellings, but apartments.