A California developer hopes to bring at least two “nationally recognized chains” to a retail development on Main Street in Ansonia within a year.
A limited liability company controlled by the developer, Douglas Gray, of Eclipse Development Group, closed a deal to buy 420 Main St. Oct. 19.
The purchase price was $310,000.
Gray isn’t a stranger to the lower Valley. His company unsuccessfully tried to get a project off the ground in a redevelopment zone in Derby, where Sheila O’Malley, Ansonia’s economic development director, previously worked.
The 1.6-acre property is next to Target on West Main Street. It was last sold in 2001 for $150,000, according to city land records.
The seller was Ansonia M & L Properties, a limited liability company controlled by Mark Tice, an Oxford developer.
In an undated letter addressed to Mayor David Cassetti and released by the city Tuesday (Nov. 15), Gray said his company is “one stop closer” to its goal of “an exciting commercial development that will bring at least two nationally recognized chains to the City of Ansonia.”
Gray thanked Economic Development Director Sheila O’Malley and Corporation Counsel John Marini for helping to make the deal happen.
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Based in California, Eclipse Development had a year to secure financing and get a redevelopment project off the ground in downtown Derby. The project never came to fruition.
Cassetti revealed the Ansonia deal was in the works during a podcast interview with the Valley Indy in June.
At the time, the mayor said he wanted to see the property redeveloped into a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant and a PetSmart store. However, no tenants have been named. That usually happens much later.
In an email Friday, Gray said he couldn’t delve into specifics yet.
“We still have a number of issues to address on the site,” Gray said.
In his letter to Cassetti, Gray said he is in talks with Target to get better access to his property.
O’Malley told the Aldermen that the city is also working with Gray to help him get funding for environmental assessments on the property.
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“I look forward to finishing the expansion of the Target center within the next year and continue to work closely with you and your staff,” Gray wrote.
Cassetti had Town Clerk Janet Waugh read the letter during Tuesday’s Aldermen’s meeting.
“Make no mistake, we are running a truly pro-business administration here in Ansonia,” Cassetti told Aldermen. “And it will lead to investment in our city and jobs and a better quality of life for our residents.”
The mayor said Wednesday his vision for the property remains the same — “a restaurant and a big box store.”
He hopes the new development pans out — and spurs further work on Target’s property.
“Target has such a large parking lot,” Cassetti said. “They want to do something there, so they may put another restaurant (in).”