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The paperwork has been filed for the sale of one of the most high-profile pieces of real estate in town: the former Unilever headquarters located on John Street near the town’s center. At press time, details about plans for the site were not clear.
Seven different parcels of the property were sold for a total of $100,000, according to records filed July 23 in the assessor’s office. The addresses of the parcels are 0 John Street, 9-15 John Street, 25 John Street, 0 North High Street, 13 Central Avenue, and 0 West Main Street.
“Something to note is that, at times, the numbers that we are given don’t reflect the true sale prices,” Assistant Assessor Heather Schmidt said. “It’s very possible that there might be something within the sale itself that’s out of our knowledge that affected the numbers.”
Several of the lots were sold to Clinton Realty Associates, LLC, while others were sold to R&R Clinton Ventures, LLC, Clinton Ventures II, LLC, and Clinton Ventures III, LLC. Richard G. di Girolamo is listed as the principal of Clinton Ventures while Clinton Realty Associates lists Michael Massimino as its principle.
Attempts to solicit comment from di Girolama and Massimino were unsuccessful at press time. First Selectman Christine Goupil declined to comment on future plans for the site.
The total property encompasses about 20 acres at the intersection of Hull and John streets and has been vacant for almost six years. The plant had more than 100 years of history in town, but in July 2011, Unilever announced that the company’s Clinton plant would close by the end of 2012. Since then, there have been interested buyers and plans to redevelop the site, but the plans have fallen through.
Over the last two years, the town has applied for grants to help look at wastewater disposal systems for the site and to help develop the brownfield site. The town also approved zoning changes in early 2018 to expand the potential uses for the site, and an anticipated up-and-over pedestrian bridge for the train station would give the development convenient rail access.
Economic Development Chairman John Allen said that sale of the property is positive for the town.
“Honestly that sale is transformative. There will be a heartbeat there again,” Allen said.
Allen said that by having more people invest in developing the town, it allows the town to then attract more developers.
“It shows...this is a good place for business,” Allen said.
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