SPECIAL TO THE HERALD
NEW BRITAIN – After consulting with city officials, Stanley Black & Decker is planning to demolish all nine buildings it owns east of Curtis Street and south of Myrtle. The demolition will begin in July and is expected to be completed by mid 2018.
“We believe these buildings have deteriorated to the point that no other option for their use is viable,” said Tim Perra, SB&D’s vice president of public affairs. “Though we believe this project is an important step in helping to revitalize the downtown New Britain area, at this time we have no additional plans for any demolition work.”
Mayor Erin Stewart said Stanley Black & Decker is paying to raze the buildings.
“The buildings have become structurally unsound and a safety hazard,” she said. “So, this (teardown) is in the best interest for the area.”
The complex, built over time starting in the late 1800s, previously housed Stanley’s Hardware business (since sold). The buildings were last used in the 1990s.
Perra said the company is committed to the safe handling and removal of any potentially hazardous material, and the site will be capped appropriately according to regulations and guidelines. He added that Loureiro Engineering Associates of Plainville, SB&D’s environmental partner in the project, will ensure that the company remains in compliance with all applicable environmental laws.
Sergio Lupo, health department director for the City of New Britain, said because of the magnitude of the project, Stanley Black & Decker and Loureiro met with several city agencies and departments including the sewer, fire, police, building and health departments.
“There needs to be coordination of the project,” Lupo explained. “These buildings are structurally unsafe and have been unoccupied for quite some time. We discussed hazardous materials, disconnecting utilities and dealing with storm water.”
Lupo said much of the discussion centered on safe hauling of materials offsite. This could require brief lane or road closures and proper erosion control to ensure there will be no contamination of public water.
Stewart said Stanley has pledged its support to the city’s downtown redevelopment plan.
“Whoever owns the property after the buildings are razed, whether it’s Stanley or another owner, will become a partner with the city,” Stewart said, “and in line with our vision for redevelopment.”
The mayor said in the near future, she expects the land will become either open fields or parking lots. However, the eventual property owner “will move on a developmental project that’s the right fit for that area of the city.”
Stewart told The Herald she is confident the neighborhood will ultimately become a hub of activity for workers and small manufacturing.
“I envision a creative and innovative workplace,” she said, “perhaps construction of new office buildings that become data centers. It’s all about creating 21st century jobs in that area. I know Stanley Works is interested in partnering with us based on this vision.”