Fort Trum­bull devel­op­ment plan lauded by city lead­ers

Com­plex will be first new con­struc­tion in area since it gained na­tional at­ten­tion with em­i­nent do­main

The Day - - REGION - By GREG SMITH Day Staff Writer

New Lon­don — City and state lead­ers on Wed­nes­day praised a planned con­do­minium com­plex on Howard Street as one of the first steps in a ma­jor boost to the city's urban cen­ter.

A cer­e­mo­nial sign­ing of a devel­op­ment agree­ment for Ship­way 221 was held at the Fort Trum­bull con­fer­ence cen­ter. The phased devel­op­ment, with con­struc­tion ex­pected to start by spring, will start with 70 units and is ex­pected to later grow to 200 units with prices start­ing above $200,000.

The $30 mil­lion project, on long va­cant land owned by Re­nais­sance City Devel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion, is be­ing de­vel­oped by New Lon­don County Realty with project manager Tony Sil­vestri and fi­nan­cial backer Louis Tagli­atela of the Franklin Con­struc­tion Com­pany.

The project will have ameni­ties that in­clude an all-sea­sons pool, out­door the­ater, rooftop gath­er­ing area, gym, climb­ing wall and pub.

“It's been 17 years since we started this jour­ney. Ship­way 221 rep­re­sents the first out-of-the-ground project in the Fort Trum­bull Mu­nic­i­pal Devel­op­ment area,” RCDA Pres­i­dent Linda Mar­i­ani said.

There has been no new con­struc­tion in Fort Trum­bull since the area be­came the fo­cus of a na­tional fight over em­i­nent do­main.

“Peo­ple want to move into this tran­si­to­ri­ented district and they want to live in the lit­tle urban core. What we’re go­ing to do is po­si­tion this city to take full ad­van­tage of that and pro­vide qual­ity hous­ing.” NEW LON­DON MAYOR MICHAEL PASSERO

Mar­i­ani said the con­dos are tar­get­ing mil­len­ni­als and empty nesters who will bring in much-needed dis­pos­able in­come to the lo­cal econ­omy.

“It’s a mile­stone. We be­lieve this is go­ing to be the spark that will turn Fort Trum­bull around very quickly,” Mayor Michael Passero said. “What you’re go­ing to see is this mo­men­tum pick up.”

Passero praised the Tagli­atela fam­ily and Sil­vestri for prior de­vel­op­ments — Har­bour Tow­ers and City Flats ini­tia­tive — and the Tagli­ate­las’ con­tin­ued in­vest­ment in the city.

“It’s go­ing to re­write the de­mo­graphic maps and it’s go­ing to re­write the stand­ing of New Lon­don, Con­necti­cut, not only in south­east­ern Con­necti­cut but the state,” Passero said. “Peo­ple want to move into this tran­sit-ori­ented district and they want to live in the lit­tle urban core. What we’re go­ing to do is po­si­tion this city to take full ad­van­tage of that and pro­vide qual­ity hous­ing.”

Ship­way 221 is one of two de­vel­op­ments planned along Howard Street that will take ad­van­tage of the grow­ing num­ber of em­ploy­ees at the nearby Gen­eral Dy­nam­ics Elec­tric Boat fa­cil­ity.

A.R. Build­ing Co., now work­ing to com­plete a $14 mil­lion, 104-unit apart­ment com­plex on Mans­field Road, has pro­posed a $17 mil­lion, 90-unit apart­ment com­plex at the cor­ner of Bank and Howard streets on land known as Par­cel J.

It is un­clear if a re­cent law­suit filed against A.R. Build­ing Co. by its for­mer devel­op­ment part­ners, Klewin Con­struc­tion, will af­fect those plans.

Kyle Klewin, the pres­i­dent of Mys­tic-based Klewin Devel­op­ment, a sub­sidiary of Klewin Con­struc­tion, pre­vi­ously had pitched a plan for Par­cel J but pulled out in 2015, cit­ing a soured re­la­tion­ship with A.R. Build­ing Co.

In a suit filed in New Lon­don Su­pe­rior Court ear­lier this month, Klewin claims that the two for­mer part­ners had worked out an ar­range­ment to de­velop the site as a team. But af­ter a fall­out re­lated to a Rhode Is­land project, the two com­pa­nies ceased com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

Later, Klewin claims A.R. hired key for­mer Klewin em­ploy­ees who had worked on the Par­cel J project and con­tin­ued work­ing with the city on those plans. A.R. Build­ing was named prime de­vel­oper in 2016.

The suit claims breach of con­tract, among other al­le­ga­tions, and seeks com­pen­sa­tion for costs as­so­ci­ated with the project that in­clude $650,000 for its pur­chase of Klewin’s in­ter­est in the project.

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