43-unit project proposed for former Mystic Color Lab site

William R. Sweeney

A local development group, Greylock Properties, is in a contractual agreement to purchase the former Mystic Color Lab site and is proposing a 43-unit residential project on the property.

William Sweeney, the group’s attorney, said that two of the venture’s partners, Brian and Ken Navarro of Mystic, have been in contact with property owner Edgewood Capital Advisors of Southport and have been exploring various development possibilities. At the moment, the 5.5-acre parcel on Harry Austin Drive next to the Mystic branch of the Ocean Community YMCA is overgrown with brush and the only remnants that remain of the original building are a brick wall and a tower.

Edgewood Mac LLC, the financing company that lent money to a previous property owner, acquired the property through foreclosure in 2014 and at the time proposed a 55-unit, five-story residential development that was criticized by neighbors as being too large, Sweeney said.

Sweeney said the new plan, made up of multiple three-story buildings, is the result of conversations with neighbors and town officials and will hopefully mitigate concerns brought up during previous proposals.

“My clients looked at the property and wondered if there was something they could propose that’ll work in with zoning and is actually appreciated by the neighbors. This is the result of those efforts,” he said. “Neighbors came out strongly against the Edgewood project and so Brian and Ken wanted this project to address the concerns of neighbors. We’ve already had a neighborhood meeting and gotten a lot of feedback that’s been incorporated into our proposal.”

Each of the three-story buildings in the new proposal are under 40-feet in height. Compared to the 180,000-square-foot proposal in 2014, Sweeney said his clients are planning a project with about 115,000 square feet in total.

Because the Planning and Zoning Commission approved an Industrial Heritage Reuse District floating zone for the property in 2004, he said the project will pay homage to the property’s history.

“This project will reflect the historic mill character of the property,” Sweeney said. “The residential buildings my clients are looking to build are absolutely new buildings but have a historical component in their architecture. It’s a really nice looking project and is a lot more consistent and in step with the surrounding neighborhood.”

One of the benefits to developing the site is that the remediation of the property can be completed.

“There are a lot of materials that need to be properly capped for remediation to be closed out so building on the site will do that,” Sweeney said. “My clients’ proposal will bring a fallow, non-productive property back onto the town’s tax rolls and will clean up an environmentally contaminated site.”

By Brooke Constance, The Westerly Sun staff writer

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