P&Z to Review Pre-Application for Former HASCO Electric Corp Building in Byram

The Nov 9th Planning & Zoning meeting (starts at 5pm via Zoom) will feature a pre application review of a proposed mini self-storage facility at 84 South Water Street in Byram. The property is in the WB zone. The applicant is Nick Barile.

There is no proposed change to the gross floor area of the former HASCO Electric Corp building in the proposed reconstruction, but 16 parking spaces would be added at the rear of the building, along the Byram River.

HASCO, established in 1963, manufactured commercial, industrial, and institutional electric lighting fixtures.

HASCO factory
Vacant HASCO Electric Corp building on South Water Street in Byram. Photo: Leslie Yager
Rendering of New England style self-storage building at 84 South Water Street.

Per the applicant, “We wish to construct a building for mini self-storage facility…in keeping with a New England look.” Also he said there could potentially be public access to a roof deck and non-powered watercraft access.

Louise McMinn letter has been submitted a letter for the record to the commission saying she was concerned about the hours and activity that will occur at the facility, which she said is being used to store many vehicles.

“People are coming and going at all hours, with trucks unloading at very late hours,” McMinn wrote. “There also does not appear to be any restroom facilities as men have been observed urinating in the street.”

McMinn said she had contacted Greenwich Police about this activity on South Water Street where she has been a neighbor of the property for almost 40 years, and would like the activity stopped.

She said that South Water Street is otherwise quiet after Interstate Lumber loses at 3:30pm.

Second, she said she was concerned about drainage, noting the area in front of 84 South Water Street floods after heavy rain and the street is closed.

“My concern is that any additional flooding in this area would not be covered by flood insurance as the flooding is not caused by the river but by the local drainage,” she wrote. “This will be exacerbated by the apartments that are being built at 88 S Water Street. This needs to be corrected before any additional building takes place.”

Indeed, back in 2015 when there was discussion on the resumption of construction of the condos next to HASCO at 88 South Water Street that stalled around 2005 after a previous owner’s bankruptcy and foreclosure then Harbor Management Committee member Peter Quigley said it was well known that there had been major flood events on South Water Street over the years.

Frank Mazza said he was concerned someone might seek to convert the HASCO building into a residential development.

The original use of that property at 88 South Water St property was for oil tank storage, and remediation was required. At the time commissioner Nancy Ramer said the rules of Waterfront Business (WB) provided for no residential housing. WB zones are intended for water dependent uses.

Hasco building on South Water Street in Byram.
Ship in the Byram River in undated photo.
Blowing up ice on the Byram River to make way for barges. A century ago, the Byram River was used to transport raw materials to factories — such as iron ore to foundries — and manufactured goods to market along the east coast. Many foundries had their own barges.