By Robin Vinci
The Tomasso Group hopes to purchase the almost one acre site next to the Superior Courthouse on Pearl Street and make it into an office and small retail building.
The lot is on the corner of Pearl Street, near the Blogoslawski Garage and across the street from the Senior Center.
No one else has come forward to make a proposal on the property.
“We are calling it 10 Franklin Square right now, but it is on Pearl Street,” said Bill Tomasso. “This is the logical next step in the development.”
The state bought the property for about $60,000 and contemplated putting up an office building, but it never happened. The plan now is for the state to sell the property to the City and have the City sell the property to Tomasso for $100,000.
“We want to see it back on the tax rolls,” said Tomasso. “We want to make the whole area look like a plan and not a stand alone project.”
Tomasso also owns One Liberty Square on the same block.
“We are going to start marketing right away,” said Tomasso. “The obvious ones are doctor’s offices and legal offices and other professional companies. Once doctors came to Liberty Square, the more came. They like to be near each other.”
Tomasso said the goal is to bring people from out of town.
A 25,000 square foot rendering of the building has been made by Kaestle Boos Associates which shows a chance for some light retail such as a café or restaurant.
“We hope it is retail that reaches beyond this building,” said Tomasso. “This could be a restaurant, supermarket type shopping, maybe a convenience store. We don’t know yet as it depends on the tenant.”
There will be a bridge to the parking lot from at least one floor.
“If there is an anchor tenant and they want an individual entrance that can be the main entrance they can use,” said Tomasso. “That area of the garage is clean and looks like it has never been used.”
The number of floors has not been determined, but Tomasso says it will be at least three floors.
It can take a couple of years, but Tomasso said he wants to wait for the “right opportunity for New Britain.”
“We will wait as long as it takes to do it right,” said Tomasso. “We are hoping to coordinate with the busway and streetscape. It would be nice to get some enthusiasm for New Britain.”
Tomasso said a plan like this takes a community as a lot of buildings like this are not going up anywhere in Connecticut.
“This is the right thing to do for the City and for us,” Tomasso said. “We have wanted this property for years.”
Tomasso said he would love to be out there tomorrow marketing this project, but is unsure how long it will take. He will work with the Downtown District as well as many other groups to get the project going.
“This is just one plan that could work,” said Tomasso. “This is not the promise of what will go there.”
An exact name for the property has not been decided yet.
“It’s a big investment and it has to be done right,” said Tomasso. “We have a proven track record at Liberty Square. This has to be a community project that benefits the community. It must be something the community supports and wants. If that all lines up, it will be a home run.”