Home » Looking deeper into Laurel City Revamp

Looking deeper into Laurel City Revamp

WINSTED — Can the long-empty Capitol Products building on 35 Willow St. be renovated and leased out?Selectman Michael Renzullo believes that it can.The property has been vacant since Capitol Products went out of business in 2005.Renzullo formed Laurel City Revamp in 2010 for the purpose of rehabilitating distressed and underused properties. Last year, he acquired the building for $1 via a quitclaim deed.Also, after several months of trying, Renzullo was able to convince the Board of Selectmen to let him purchase $89,000 in tax liens for $25,001.Because he now owns the senior lien on the property, Renzullo can foreclose on the building and, through Laurel City Revamp, discharge the other liens on the property.He said the organization is still in the process of getting the liens removed from the property and would not begin renovation work on the building until the process is complete.“I may start work on the building in 60 days or six months, depending on how long it takes to complete the legal process,” Renzullo said. In the meantime, Renzullo gave The Winsted Journal a tour of the building on Tuesday, Feb. 14.At the front of the building is a glass door that has been smashed in.Inside, right near the entrance, is a series of offices that once housed the administrators of the Capitol Products company.Some scattered pieces of office equipment remain on the desks — an old calculator on one, an electric typewriter on another.Save for the assembly belt that runs through all three floors of the building, the factory portion of the first floor is mostly empty.While the wooden floor on the first floor is in good shape, certain planks on the second floor are buckling and in need of replacement.Renzullo said the basement is in need of Brownfield remediation because it was where the factory conducted its chrome plating work. He said the remediation work would include installing a concrete slab on the ground.Renzullo said the roof is in great shape, but several windows throughout the building would need replacement.As for the building as a whole, Renzullo said it was built as a wooden barn some time in the 1850s. The larger brick section of the building was built as an expansion in the early 1900s.“We might tear down the barn portion of the building because it’s not particularly sound,” he said. “It might make for some good deconstruction material that someone might want to buy.”When asked what would go into the building itself, Renzullo said he had several potential tenants interested, but he would not specify who they are.“I have a lot of ideas, but I want to keep it open and leaseable,” Renzullo said. “As soon as we are confident that no one is going to foreclose on us, you will see a transformation of the building from one end to another.”

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