This meeting was called to order by Chairman Blunt White at 7PM. Present were: Blunt White, Ed Dear, Jim Oberhelman, John Delmhorst, Ed Hart, Mike Latham, Tony Lee, Gary Bennett, Paul Burgess, and Ed Haberek. Absent were: Inger Elliott and John Dionne.
The minutes of the February 15, 2007 meeting were accepted as distributed.
There was no Old Business discussed.
Mike Latham introduced Sam and Ray Cherenzia and their attorney, Tom Liguori. Cherenzia and Associates Ltd. has made an offer to purchase the former Harris Web Press headquarters/office building at 99 Mechanic Street and will move their corporate headquarters with 40-50 employees to that location. They will occupy 27,000 square feet while Anteon Corporation will retain the 10,200 square feet they currently occupy. It is anticipated that Anteon will continue in the building for many years to come, as they have a manufacturing operation next door. Cherenzia has been in three distinct divisions: excavating, engineering, and real estate development. Up until recently, the real estate division has done site development without any construction. They have now added construction and have limited their efforts to
two bedroom townhouses. The main reason for two bedroom units is the proposition of minimal school impact from these units.
Liguori mentioned a study supporting this proposition. Blunt White arranged a meeting with the Cherenzias and three State representatives from CDA and DECD regarding incentives that might be available for moving their headquarters from RI to CT. The meeting was held March 15 ( EDC member Mike Latham also attended).
Liguori then informed the Commission of Cherenzia’s proposal to construct 88 units in 22 buildings at the intersection of Mary Hall and Greenhaven Roads. The target price range is from $300,000. to $350,000. They need two changes to current zoning regulations and distributed a handout detailing the reasons for the changes and proposed text amendments to the zoning regulations. One regulation limits attached housing to two stories and they plan garages behind the units while the front of the units only shows two stories. The other regulation involves an integrated lot area without driveways or walks; they plan driveways to access the rear parking garages. Ed Dear made a motion that Cherenzia hold an informal neighborhood meeting at the placePlaceNamePawcatuck PlaceNameNeighborhood PlaceTypeCenter to discuss
the project with the public. This motion was seconded and then approved with eight in favor with two abstentions. The meeting will be at the next commission meeting which will be a Special Meeting scheduled for April 26th at the PNC.
There was an open discussion regarding two projects the EDC is coordinating with PRO and CEDF: a downtown Pawcatuck façade program and a Pawcatuck marketing brochure. Three guests joined this discussion: Consultant Richard Harrall of Harrall Michalowski Associates (façade program), Bob Fort of Ideas and Action (marketing brochure), and Larry Kenney of CEDF.
Façade program: discussion on funding, how to convince property owners to participate in the program, and how to address façade improvements of vacant properties. Next steps include meeting with property owners, possibly with an EDC member. An architect is to be contracted by Kenney for conceptual façade drawings and estimated costs. Ed Dear and Gary Bennett agreed to meet with Jason Vincent to discuss what types of business could locate in the vacant buildings due to downtown parking limitations.
Marketing brochure: Discussion on suggested text changes submitted by PRO, printing costs and marketing strategies. The status of the Grain Elevator building was also discussed. Fort will work on a revision of the marketing piece.
Gary Bennett stated this was a good time of year to approach area banks and other potential sponsors for funds to use on the Façade Program and Marketing Brochure. PRO will be contacted to prepare a request letter and CEDF will prepare a summary of how funds have been spent to date.
This meeting was adjourned at 9:05 PM.
John Delmhorst, Secretary