Shelton developer moves to increase its downtown parking lot


SHELTON — With a parking lot in an upscale downtown area, a developer has taken steps to increase its stock.

Angelo Melisi, owner and developer of Bridge Street Commons I and II, on Tuesday completed the purchase of the land on the corner of Center Street and Howe Avenue, across from his new development and home to Chaplin’s restaurant.

This lot was home to about a dozen spaces that had been leased by the city, but is now cordoned off as Melisi prepares to create private land for Chaplin’s clients and employees of its commercial tenants.

“I need parking for those in my buildings to be successful,” Melisi said, adding that he had a deal to buy the land from former owner Ralph Sylvester since 2018.

“There is not enough parking downtown. That’s it. And if the Chromium Process site is lost, it will only get worse,” Melisi said. “I protect myself here. It had to be done.

Melisi said work on the land will begin next week, with the plan to increase the paved surface to allow for 26 spaces as well as the installation of an electronic gate and fencing.

Bridge Street Commons I, at the corner of Howe Avenue and Canal Street West, has 44 apartments. Bridge Street Commons II, at the corner of Howe Avenue and Center Street, has 72 units and the popular Chaplin Restaurant.

Melisi said those who dated Chaplin would receive a ticket that would be certified for the batch release. Renters will be given a code to use to enter and exit the lot.

Many on social media reacted in confusion about the closure of the land, with many believing the city owned the land. Melisi said he thought it was “common knowledge” that it was private property.

“The owner notified the city months ago (of the sale),” Melisi said.

Melisi added that he “felt bad” for the surrounding businesses, especially Porky’s Café, which sits across the street from the lot, which was used by those who frequented the longtime local establishment.

“I feel for them, but I have to protect what I own,” Melisi said. “The city is doing nothing (about parking) and just making it worse with some of its decisions.”

Melisi said he was ready to work out a deal with the owners of Porky’s Café so they could use the lot.

Melisi, who has invested millions of dollars in downtown redevelopment over the years, has been the most vocal critic of what he calls the downtown parking shortage.

He said he believes the situation will only get worse if the Planning and Zoning Commission approves plans to construct a mixed-use building on the former Chromium Process site, which is currently vacant and used for downtown parking.

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