Old Wire Mill demolition to be complete soon

By the end of March, Georgetown Land Development Company expects to complete demolition at an old wire mill complex in Redding, Connecticut, making way for a transit-oriented development on the approximately 55-acre site. Company president Stephen Soler says 12 of 36 buildings at the former Gilbert & Bennett Wire Mill will be historically rehabilitated and converted to new uses, including loft housing. The 24 that are not on the National Register of Historic Places — mostly metal or brick buildings — are being razed. The brownfield site, in a section of Redding known as Georgetown, is being redeveloped with the help of $72.25 million of federally-authorized Green Bonds, which will be issued during the second quarter of this year. Construction started last spring on a waste water treatment plant, which will be completed by August. The Connecticut Department of Transportation approved a Metro North Commuter Rail line that will have a stop at the $400 million mixed-use project. A rail platform will be built, and the line is expected to start operating in 2009. Construction of townhouses is to start this summer. The overall project includes 416 housing units of various kinds, plus 350,000 square feet of commercial space. Last November the developer issued $14.5 million of general obligation bonds through Bank of America Securities to help pay for public-purpose projects such as the treatment plant. The money raised by the bonds goes through the Georgetown Special Taxing District. “We are the first brownfield site in the country to create a tax district and issue bonds for infrastructure improvements,” Soler says.