DANBURY -- A local developer says he hopes to restore to its original glory a long-standing eyesore at the northern gateway into the city's downtown.
For years, city officials said they have received complaints and questions about a long-vacant and dilapidated apartment building on Main Street near the intersection with North Street.
"I adore this place," Palmiotto said. "It's absolutely stunning. I've already talked to several architects who are dying to work on it."
The building was constructed in 1915 and is described on the city's historic resources list as Danbury's first modern apartment building, according to Brigid Guertin, director of the Danbury Museum and Historical Society.
She said the building opened as LeClair Apartments, and is part of the Early American Revival style that was popular when it was built.
Palmiotto said he wants to retain the roof dormers and other historic features of the building, especially since it stands near the gateway to CityCenter.
"I love all the positive things that are going on in the downtown," Palmiotto said, referring to efforts to revitalize the city's center. "I want to do what I can to make it even better."
Palmiotto has begun gutting the interior of the building, and hopes to submit plans soon to bring apartments back into the structure. The exterior could be restored by the end of summer, he said.
Palmiotto said he also is considering creating housing for returning military veterans on the first floor, which is accessible for the handicapped.
Mayor Mark Boughton said he was happy someone bought the building.
"We look forward to meeting with (Palmiotto) and understanding what his plans are," Boughton said.
CityCenter Managing Director Andrea Gartner said, "A project that enhances the gateway to the city's downtown is certainly welcome."
While the property is not in the CityCenter district, she said the Architectural Advisory Board that works with downtown property owners may be willing to assist Palmiotto.
"The fact that this has been an eyesore for so long means there will be a lot of eyes watching this project," Gartner said. "There are resources available for someone who wants to move downtown."
Palmiotto declined to reveal the purchase price, which was not listed on paperwork filed with the city shortly after the sale.