NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WTNH) — Officials in New Britain broke ground Thursday on a massive fuel cell facility at the old Stanley Works complex.
Mayor Erin Stewart and stakeholders celebrated the first phase of one of the state’s most closely watched tech projects. City officials said it would activate a vacant plot of land and turn it into what they say is a catalyst for redevelopment.
“Being here today with a shovel in my hand, taking a crack at the building makes me feel good that things are back on track,” Stewart said.
For the mayor, it was dejavu. Four years ago, she was at the iconic Stanley Black & Decker campus announcing initial plans for the Energy and Innovation Park to be built in phases. The COVID-19 pandemic and environmental factors changed the timeline for construction, but the end goal remains the same.
“The project happening here is clean, efficient, effective,” Stewart told News 8. “And the power generated that goes back to the grid is going to benefit everybody in the long run, but for the city, it’s going to benefit us with tax dollars.”
Specifically, $250,000 in tax revenue for the next 20 years and hundreds of jobs.
“Job creation has also started on the site,” said Mark Wick, a developer with EIP Investments.
The city is looking at ways to redevelop the rest of the property, enhancing the Myrtle Street Corridor.
When the Energy and Innovation Park becomes operational, the goal is for New Britain to be a clean energy powerhouse.
“We have a great blueprint to follow, so if anyone needs any advice, give me a ring,” Stewart said.
It’s looking like it’ll take another two years for phase one to be completed, with city officials eyeing quarter one in 2024.