NAUGATUCK, CT-Conroy Development Co. of Fairfield is moving ahead with plans to build a massive mixed-use project here called Renaissance Place. The $700-million venture, when completed, is expected to be the first energy-independent large scale development in the US.

The firm earlier this month signed a development agreement with the Borough of Naugatuck and the Naugatuck Economic Development Corp. for the project to be built on a 60-acre brownfield site on the Naugatuck River shoreline.

Renaissance Place will be built out over four phases and will include 500,000 sf of retail space; more than 1,500 condominiums, apartments, townhouses and lofts; two hotels and a technology center that will showcase the development and implementation of energy independent technologies, company officials say.

The first phase, whose planning is actively under way, will include approximately 387 residential units, 223,800 sf of retail and restaurants, entertainment venues and 170,000 sf of tech/flex space. A company spokesman says construction on the first phase could begin in the next 12 to 18 months. Financial partners in the venture were not disclosed.

Alexius Conroy, president of Conroy Development, says, “Renaissance Place will celebrate Naugatuck’s past while creating a 21st century mixed-use destination. By incorporating historical buildings and public spaces into a live/work/play pedestrian environment with a residential population, street level retail, restaurants, entertainment, businesses and other compatible uses, we will be recreating a traditional downtown transit village.”

He adds, “I am especially excited about the prospect of making this development energy independent and consistent with the principles of sustainable design. As our country struggles with energy issues, high gas prices and oil importation I believe it is imperative for us to find ways to lessen our dependence on energy from unstable and hostile sources. We all need to do what we can to lessen our carbon footprint.”

A company spokesman says that while the project has been characterized as “smart growth,” Conroy at present has not decided if it will seek LEED certification.

The Conroy Development Co. has been involved in the development of more than three million sf of space and has focused primarily on projects located on the east coast of the United States. The company, in partnership with an affiliate of the Prudential Insurance Co. of America, is currently developing Douglas Place, a large mixed-use project in Douglasville, GA

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