The Sovereign Bank building in downtown Waterbury was the focus of the negotiations.
By John Murray
Negotiations to bring Post University into downtown have collapsed, Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary told a gathering of downtown merchants tonight. More than a year of intense efforts by state and city officials to get Post University to expand it’s burgeoning online college into the Sovereign Bank Building on the Green is over.
Post officials first approached Mayor O’Leary right after he was elected in 2011. Talks revolved around Post creating 500 jobs in downtown Waterbury and they were after $12 to $18 million in city and state assistance.
A city insider said the deal fell apart for several reasons; but the two biggest reasons were Post was asking for too much state aid without putting enough of their own cash on the table, and the promises of 500 jobs shifted to 250, and the timetable for creating the jobs had been stretched out to five years.
In addition to breaking the news about Post University not coming downtown, Mayor O’Leary addressed a wide range of subjects concerning downtown, including; panhandlers, parking, the safety of parking garages, a massage parlor, security cameras and a porn shop.
O’Leary told the crowd gathered in the Courtyard by Marriott tonight that his administration was disappointed, but was now focused on other positive projects for downtown that were more manageable.
“We have some other projects on the table that we are really excited about,” O’Leary said. “We just have to keep moving forward.”
The meeting was organized by Carl Rosa of Main Street Waterbury to create a forum where downtown stakeholders could directly address the mayor and police chief with their concerns.