By Michael P. Walsh
Special to the Voice
Mayor Nancy R. Rossi has appointed city native Fred A. Messore to the position of commissioner of planning and development.
Messore, whose first day of work is Monday, succeeds Joseph A. Riccio Jr., who held the post for the past four years.
The annual salary for the job is $99,499, according to a Jan. 16 letter from Rossi confirming the appointment of Messore, who is senior vice president of Colonial Properties Inc.
“It is a pleasure to offer you an opportunity to serve the City of West Haven,” Rossi wrote. “I look forward to working with you and making the future of West Haven a brighter one for all of our residents.”
Messore, 48, now of Orange, is charged with managing the Department of Planning and Development, which incorporates the Building and Grants-in-Aid departments and the Community Development Administration.
Messore said he met with his West Haven department heads prior to accepting the position.
“I am very grateful and excited about the opportunity this position will lend to the betterment of the community,” said Messore, a 1987 graduate of Notre Dame High School who majored in accounting at Southern Connecticut State University. “I also look forward to working with the administration and staff of City Hall, many of whom I had the pleasure of partnering with in my previous capacity with the city.”
In 2000-06, Messore served as executive director of the West Haven Economic Development Corp.
Along with overseeing his departments, Messore will have a voice on the Conservation and Open Space Land Commission, Economic Development Commission, Harbor Management Commission, Inland Wetlands Watercourse Agency, Planning and Zoning Commission, Redevelopment Agency and Zoning Board of Appeals.
Rossi said Messore will bring a wealth of experience to the city as an economic development professional with a proven track record.
“Fred Messore knows how to close the deal,” said Rossi, referring to Messore’s trove of real estate transactions in the city in recent years.
Messore, who has been with Colonial Properties since 2008, said he will continue his role with the Orange-based company, where he has amassed several awards of excellence during his career for brokering commercial development projects in New Haven County.
Just last August, Messore brokered the sale of 117 acres on Route 34 in West Haven to Yale New Haven Health for its future Yale New Haven Health Regional Operations Center, an advanced warehouse for distributing medical supplies throughout the Yale New Haven Health System.
Other high-profile transactions he has brokered in the city include the sale of Hallock’s appliance store on Main Street to the developer of The Haven luxury fashion outlet mall, the assemblage of land for The Atwood apartment and commercial development on Boston Post Road, the assemblage of 26 parcels on what is now the Engineering & Science University Magnet School on Route 1, and the sale of a Walmart parcel on Sawmill Road to McDonald’s Corp.
Messore, who has also served as Seymour’s economic development director since 2011, has spearheaded a multitude of economic development initiatives for the Valley town, most recently completing the first phase of the Seymour greenway trail in the heart of downtown, adjacent to the Tingue Dam fish bypass channel.
Messore said he has submitted a letter of resignation to the town of Seymour to coincide with the start of his tenure with the city of West Haven.