Bigelow Tea plans Shelton expansion with 25-acre land buy

Photo of Brian Gioiele
A sampling of Bigelow tea

A sampling of Bigelow tea

Bigelow Tea Company / Contributed photo

SHELTON - The city has agreed to sell 25 acres of the city-owned Mas property to Fairfield-based RC Bigelow Inc. - known worldwide as Bigelow Tea.

The Board of Aldermen voted unanimously to approve the sale after an executive session. No details were given as to the purchase price as of Thursday night.

Cindi Bigelow, third generation president and CEO, said for more than 70 years, Bigelow Tea’s headquarters and production facility have been in Connecticut.

“We are thrilled to remain and grow in this state,” Bigelow said. “The company plans to build a large warehouse within five years to handle distribution needs that will cover the next two decades.”

Bigelow said the family-owned company was blessed to be continually growing. Bigelow Tea also is expanding its facilities in Louisville, Ky. and Boise, Idaho.

“We feel very fortunate to be in this position and take our commitment to our communities very seriously,” Bigelow said.

This move comes as the city prepares to submit an application to the Planning and Zoning Commission for a zone change on the 70-acre piece of property. The city expects to have this submitted to the commission and a public hearing next month.

A major portion of the development is extending Constitution Blvd. West, with bids coming in between $4.5 million and nearly $10 million, Mayor Mark Lauretti said in December.

Shelton state Rep. Jason Perillo helped secure $5 million in funding for the road extension in the state’s 2021 bond package. The funding will be available once approved by the state Bond Commission, according to Perillo.

Extending the roadway and use of the Mas property has been on the table for years, but Lauretti began the most recent push in April when he presented preliminary plans for creating the road leading into the city-owned land, which would be developed into a manufacturing corporate park.

The 70-acre parcel — known as the Mas property — sits near Bridgeport Ave. and the roadway plans include extending Constitution Blvd. to reach Shelton Ave./Route 108. Lauretti said a zone change would be needed, requiring plans to go before P&Z at some point.

The Mas property is now vacant. It is mostly wooded with considerable stone ledges and several ponds, including one that is about 600 feet long and 250 to 300 feet wide, and lies between Bridgeport Ave., Cots Street, Tisi Drive, Sunwood Condos on Nells Rock Road, Regent Drive, Walnut Avenue, and Kings Highway. Part of the land abuts the back of the Perry Hill School property.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com