By John Murray

   Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary signed a lease agreement this morning between the City of Waterbury and Luvata, a global force in the manufacturing of superconducting wires and cables. In 2010 when the City of Waterbury announced they were going to utilize the former Chase Brass factory on Thomaston Avenue as a public works campus, Luvata’s space in the factory was reduced, and they explored relocating their operation out of Waterbury. Luvata Waterbury President Jim Lajewski, seated next to O’Leary, credited the mayor for changing the course of the relationship. After being elected in November 2011, O’Leary immediately nixed the public works campus as bad policy. O’Leary said the city should explore ways to use the massive facility to expand Waterbury’s economic base, and reached out to Luvata to try and persuade them to stay in the city. The efforts of Neil O’Leary, then Congressman Chris Murphy (now a U.S. Senator), Economic Development Director Ron Pugliese, and Leo Frank and Andrew Martelli of the Waterbury Development Corporation convinced Luvata to stay. Instead of being squeezed out of Waterbury, Luvata is now explanding. “This was a great collaborative effort,” O’Leary said today. “To see what Luvata does around the world is amazing, and I’m delighted they are staying in Waterbury.” With the signing of the lease, Lajewski said, “The headache and frustration of the past few years is gone.”