Ansonia approves sale of Olson Drive land to developer

ANSONIA – The city is set to make a recreational sports facility at Olson Drive a reality.

The council of aldermen voted unanimously on February 8 to allow the mayor to negotiate a final contract to sell a parcel of land to Primrose Companies, which would buy the land for $510,000. The company would then invest more than $15.5 million to build a multipurpose sports complex that would include a soccer field and space for an ice rink.

Construction could begin later this year, pending contract approval. John Guedes, president and chief executive of Primrose, said he hopes construction will begin soon.

“We hope to start construction by April or May,” Guedes said.

Corporate lawyer John Marini said the property would fit well with ongoing revitalization efforts.

“We think this would be a real lightning bolt, right in the heart of our downtown neighborhood, a private investment with a recreational component that we think will not only attract taxpayers’ money, but also families and be a perfect fit. to downtown growth,” says Cassette.

Primrose Companies would build a 39,000 square foot indoor soccer field. The pitch, according to the aldermen, would be large enough to meet FIFA regulations. The complex would also include an indoor ice rink.

The rink would be 49,000 square feet and meet NCAA sizing regulations.

The city will offer Primrose a graduated tax incentive program, but the actual terms of this incentive will be finalized at a later date.

“The alderman will accept a progressive tax incentive which remains to be determined,” Marini said.

The resolution authorizing Cassetti to complete the sale also included provisions that prioritized use of the facilities by Ansonia residents once the business opened. Mayor David Cassetti said the space would be reserved for residents not only to play sports, but also for other activities.

“Part of the deal is to give Ansonia residents a discount for using this space, because there could also be other things we could add to it, apart from football and sports, where we could play bands and different things. “, Cassetti said.

The property had been in development for years. It was previously occupied by social housing, the last of which was demolished in 2016, and has been vacant ever since.

In 2019, Primrose Companies announced plans to redevelop the site into a sports complex, which the region lacks, Guedes said.

However, COVID also impacted the project, he said.

“Before COVID, we estimated the development was going to cost $15.5 million whereas due to COVID and supply chain issues, it’s now likely going to cost us close to $17 million,” Guedes said. .

The city had already spent more than $5 million to clean up the site. Cassetti said the project would eventually pay for itself in terms of tax revenue.

“We’re probably going to get about $375,000 in revenue a year in taxes,” he said. “After about 10, 12 years we will have our money back.”