Industrial park proposed for Southington

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SOUTHINGTON — Local builders want to subdivide a Curtiss Street property to meet demand from small industrial companies.

Richard Munson, a local property owner, and Swavek Olchanowski, owner of CT Masons, want town approval for the plan. They’re looking to develop 136 Curtiss St., an industrial property with one small building that’s been used for storage recently.

“There are bigger old manufacturing buildings like the old Pratt & Whitney, but they’re kind of hard to subdivide,” Munson said. “What we’re hoping to build and be able to attract is people who want a four or five thousand square foot building or bigger.”

Town records list Virginia Cayer and Patrick Delahunty of Massachusetts as the property owners.

Demand for industrial space

Munson owns an industrial building at 172 Lazy Lane with tenants including construction companies, machine shops, tool distributors and mechanical contractors. He’s envisioning a similar mix of companies at the lots planned for the Curtiss Street property.

Proposed buildings in the industrial subdivision range from 7,000 square feet to over 20,000 square feet. Munson said he’s seen the demand firsthand when he has vacancies at his Lazy Lane property.

“As soon as the spaces become available, it seems like there’s always three or four people standing in line to get into this space,” he said.“In Southington, there seems to be a real lack of that kind of space.”

The concrete block building on the property now would be torn down. Munson said it’s in the way of the proposed roadway which would connect the lots on the long 22-acre property. Since the land is zoned industrial, Munson said companies could use the property for outside storage of trucks and other equipment.

Failed residential bid

Two years ago, town planners rejected a plan to rezone the property and build housing. Local home builder Mark Lovley proposed a 30-unit age restricted housing development.

Town leaders, including Economic Development Coordinator Lou Perillo, successfully fought the rezoning of industrial land. They argued that industrial land was valuable to the town’s tax base.

Michael DelSanto, a Town Council member and Economic Strike Committee chairman, said rezoned industrial land never returns to its original use. Industrial areas pay taxes but use fewer services than housing developments, helping to ease the tax burden on homeowners.

DelSanto also said there was demand and reason to keep industrial land zoned as it is.

“I love the whole idea of small machine shops and landscaping companies and light business coming to town,” he said. “The light industrial is coming, and we’ve got to find a spot for these folks.”

jbuchanan@record-journal.com203-317-2230Twitter: @JBuchananRJ

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