Laurel City Revamp purchases 10 Bridge St.
WINSTED — Laurel City Revamp, a nonprofit organization formed by Selectman Michael Renzullo, has purchased a building at 10 Bridge St. that for many years was home to Winsted Furniture.Renzullo said he intends to convert the building into 47 to 65 upscale residential units, which he says will be energy efficient.According to the assessors’ database, the building was built in 1887.It is appraised at $348,100 and assessed at $243,670.The database lists several owners of the building for the past decade. Sue Ann Marolda is the first owner listed, then Estates at Mad River LLC purchased the building from Marolda in October 2004 for $500,000.The property was then sold to Mad River Properties LLC in 2009, with no sale price listed.The last owner listed before Renzullo is XKL Capital LLC, which purchased the property in July 2010 for $165,000.The last renovation activity at the building was in 2006, when reportedly a new roof was installed, windows were being replaced, and the building’s plumbing, electrical and sprinkler systems were set to be upgraded.However, as the renovation continued, pieces of the building started to fall into the street.For some time, a fence surrounded the building, which prevented residents from walking along the sidewalk in front of 10 Bridge St.The fence was eventually taken down, but the renovation project remained dormant through the years, and the building remained empty.Unlike his other project, the Capitol Products building on 35 Willow St., Renzullo said he would not need the approval from the Board of Selectmen on any aspect of this project.“The only reason why we ever even asked for the cooperation from the selectmen was because we were trying to purchase the town’s tax lien,” Renzullo said.During the course of the year, Renzullo tried to get the selectmen to approve an offer of $25,001 to purchase the town’s tax liens on Capitol Products.Now defunct Capitol Products has owed the town $84,203 in back property taxes since 2004.After discussions over the course of several months of meetings, the selectmen gave Renzullo a bitter defeat and rejected his offer at a meeting in August.“Recently, the town accepted a tax lien offer from a resident who lives at the lake,” Renzullo said. “They didn’t charge him any money. This is not unusual. They just wanted to thwart me in my efforts. This project does not need them. All it needs is approval from Planning and Zoning and building permits as the project goes on.”When asked how the project would be funded, he would not comment.“I am not prepared to release this information just yet,” Renzullo said. “I am talking with several lenders as soon as possible. There are a number of grants out there for energy efficient projects like this one. We have been talking with lenders for the past several months, and we anticipate that we will be able to get funds to complete the project.”Renzullo said the project itself will take anywhere from two to three and a half years, depending on how the funding turns out.As for the Capitol Products project, Renzullo said he intends to pursue purchasing the tax liens on the building again with the new Board of Selectmen.“Hopefully we will get a new board which includes intelligent and reasonable members who will approve it,” he said. “I am very excited about this project.”