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Buck to delay land development while turf field constructed

Plans to develop a 13-acre parcel of land in Danbury are on hold.  Mayor Mark Boughton announced Friday that Peter Buck, founder of Subway restaurants, has agreed to not yet construct  a small building for warehouse storage of cars on the land that he purchased from the City in September.  The 13 acres off Old Ridgebury Road sold for $3.2 million, but has been used for the last several years by Youth Soccer. 


Buck agreed to wait until a replacement field can be built.  His plan calls for leaving most as open space free of development, but Buck's representative told the City Council at an earlier meeting that the family would not want hikers and others walking through the property. 


Danbury has selected the field between Mill Ridge Primary School and the Westside Middle School Academy to be renovated into an artificial turf field that will accommodate soccer, lacrosse, and other sports. 


Some $750,000 from the sale was set aside for recreational uses.  Boughton also announced Friday that new basketball courts and hiking trails on the Farrington Property would be added using this funding.  Some of the Open Space Bond approved by voters several years ago was also set aside for an artificial turf field.


Boughton says Buck's proposed use of the land is less intensive so the development doesn't require state approvals. 


The land was a donation from the WCI Group, who went into bankruptcy and their assets sold to Toll Brothers.  There have been several proposals in the past.  One, to build a minor league baseball park, went to referendum and was rejected.  In 2012 there were two tries to have a mixed-use development built on the site.  The most recent was a proposal from the nearby Matrix Corporate Center.  They provided an approximately $35,000 non-refundable deposit, but decided to opt out of the sale.

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