Pennsylvania-based Bluewater Property Group is offering Waterbury and Naugatuck $2.5 million for a 157-acre site on the shared municipal border, where the developer hopes to build a distribution facility for Amazon.
Officials from both communities will vote on the negotiated proposal in the coming weeks, but it comes with some caveats before a deal is finalized.
Bluewater will require a local property tax agreement, must approve regulatory land use reviews and must complete its own due diligence on site conditions before a purchase is finalized, according to a written summary shared with council. Aldermen of Waterbury ahead of its meeting on Monday.
Representatives from Pennsylvania-based Bluewater will appear at a meeting of Waterbury aldermen Monday night to explain the basics of their proposal, Mayor Neil O’Leary said. The company is still studying the site and therefore will not be ready to share details of the size of the installation.
“They want to build a major building,” O’Leary said Wednesday.
Governor Ned Lamont said the proposal had the potential to create 1,000 jobs when Bluewater’s involvement was first announced in January.
Waterbury has sought for decades to develop a site of approximately 150 acres which it owns on either side of its shared border with Naugatuck. Plans for a dog run, shopping center and other developments were mooted, but always thwarted due to difficult topography and a steep, difficult approach from Waterbury’s south high street.
O’Leary partnered with Naugatuck Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess to develop a plan to access the site through Naugatuck and share tax revenue from the resulting development. The boroughs of Naugatuck and Waterbury jointly paid $390,000 in 2017 for a 10.5-acre property needed to complete access.
O’Leary said proceeds from the sale of the land will go to Waterbury’s general fund, after Naugatuck repays $195,000 for its half of the 10.5-acre purchase.
Former Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s administration authorized a $2.8 million grant to cover the costs of constructing an access road and utilities within the property to promote development prospects. This money has not yet been tapped and the infrastructure has not yet been built. The managers want to adapt the infrastructure to the development finally assured for the site.
Bluewater’s founders were among the senior management and founders of KTR Capital Partners, a private equity fund that was sold to real estate investment firm Prologis for $5.9 billion in May 2015. Bluewater sued several times projects for Amazon.
Bluewater currently offers Amazon facilities in Galloway Township, New Jersey; and is building a 3.8 million square foot warehouse in Johnston, Rhode Island, where a 20-year tax deal has been approved for the project, according to media reports.
Bluewater is also participating in the construction of a $300 million, 2.8 million square foot Amazon facility in Charlton, Massachusetts. The project was approved for a tax increment financing deal last year that is expected to save Amazon nearly $12 million in taxes over the 10-year life of the deal. Charlton, meanwhile, expected to collect $65 million in new taxes and fees over 20 years.