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Model Of "Village On The Thames" Development Unveiled

River Bank Construction gives three-dimensional representation of townhouse project proposed for Fort Trumbull

River Bank Construction unveiled a model Thursday to portray the proposed “Village on the Thames” residential development at Fort Trumbull.

The development would place 99 residential units in 70 Greek Revival and Italianate buildings on four lots at the peninsula formerly occupied by the Navy Underwater Sound Laboratory. The residences would hold about 180 people at full occupancy.

Robert Stillman, a principal with River Bank Construction of Westport, said the model allows stakeholders, the public, and potential residents how the buildings would appear in comparison to the surrounding area. He said the orientation of the buildings attempts to maximize the views of the water and .

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The model was constructed by six college students or recent graduates. It measures eight feet by five feet and took over 2,000 hours to complete.

“I’ll now invite you to judge for yourself the quality of their work and New London’s new Village on the Thames,” said Stillman.

Prior to the unveiling, Stillman discussed some aspects of the development. He said it features about 90,000 square feet of green space as well as several environmental-friendly features such as rain gardens, exterior LED lights, and the minimal use of asphalt parking areas. The village would also have a 4,200 square foot clubhouse, which would include a fitness center, lounge, reading room, dining room, and the sales and leasing management office.

Stillman said the company is nearing the end of the design process and expects to apply for financing within the next couple of weeks. River Bank Construction is seeking approximately $17 million.

“Once we have the construction loan and commitment, we’ll proceed to build it as soon as possible,” he said.

Last year, the City Council for the project. River Bank Construction made the request, with tax exemptions granted to homeowners over the course of seven years in the case of sales and to River Bank over the course of five years for renters. The company said the abatement will be an incentive to attract homeowners, and that it intends to transition the village to be fully owner-occupied after an initial phase offering rentals. Stillman said the rental cost for an average two-bedroom unit will be $1,600 per month.

At a meeting of the Renaissance City Development Association prior to the unveiling, Fort Trumbull consultant John Brooks said the idea of building a marina at the site has been scrapped. Brooks said this was deemed infeasible due to potential parking and support issues with the potential hotel or national Coast Guard museum suggested among development proposals in the .

Brooks said River Bank will instead seek authorization to put in a small mooring field of 10 to 20 spots off the shore of Fort Trumbull. This would also include a dinghy dock, which could be a landing site for a Thames River water taxi.

Mayor Daryl Finizio said he supported the Village on the Thames proposal and considered it a symbol of improvements to Fort Trumbull and the city as a whole.

“We’re here to help, and we believe in this project. And we believe in Mr. Stillman,” he said.

River Bank expects to break ground on the project prior by March.

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My 2 cents July 20, 2012 at 12:00 PM
I'm glad that patch was there to cover this. Too bad the New London Day missed an opportunity to write a good story about New London. I guess if its not shrouded in controversy it doesn't sell papers. Good reporting patch
Doc Halliday July 20, 2012 at 12:15 PM
Remember eminent domain when you go to the polls in November.
Doc Halliday July 20, 2012 at 12:20 PM
The multi storied building near the Fort should be eliminated and that space left vacant.
Doc Halliday July 20, 2012 at 12:26 PM
A good looking project and "well done" to the Yale students. Hope this project enhances the New London area. Too bad eminent domain issue took place in New London.
Michael Denison July 20, 2012 at 01:03 PM
I agree. To bad eminent domain had to take place. Sad that people have to loose their homes just so a ugly project like this can go in. Remember these are going to be rental properties and this group is getting a fantastic tax abatement. The property owners that lived there did not get any tax breaks - well actually no one else does either that owns a home in NL. It is amazing how anyone that was responsible for eminent domain has not done anything to make sure it never happens again. Remember that when you go to the polls.
Charles J. Read July 20, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Where are the bike paths? Bike paths should be an integral element of any residential/urban development.
Jason Morris July 20, 2012 at 01:17 PM
hard to see why eminent domain would have anything to do with the referendum this september. but saying that this area was "formerly occupied by the Navy Underwater Sound Laboratory" isn't what everyone thinks when you talk about Fort Trumbull...we think of all of the homeowners who lost their property. not excited about the parallel parking on the curve...doesn't look easy to do. and who do they think we are? $1600/mo for a 2 bedroom? that's insane...these units are being built for the wealthy. it will clearly deter anyone in the lower classes...not even average middle class can afford that. wow.
Lisa Beth July 20, 2012 at 01:28 PM
I'm glad that someday something will be built down in Fort Trumbull. I think it's a real insult with an added dose of salt rubbed into the wound to turn it back into a 'neighborhood'. It's like saying the one that was there before wasn't 'good enough' or something. I also think that anyone who had to give up their home during the debacle should be given first dibs on the new condos....at a greatly reduced rate. At least until the tax abatement period ends.
My 2 cents July 20, 2012 at 01:43 PM
If you were to do a little bit of research you would see that the four parcels involved in this development are the old naval sound lab property and no residential properties ever existed on them and no land was stolen via eminent domain.
Jean Jordan July 20, 2012 at 03:31 PM
#My 2cents I must disagree with you. From what I can see it looks like they are using some property that was taken by eminent domain. It looks like part of East St and part of Smith St is being used. I am glad there are plans, because I would hate to see it sit like many of the old redevelopment agency properties sat vacant. However, this being New London, I would love to see more of a mixed income neighborhood. We have a lot of families that could use decent, affordable housing.
Spencer July 20, 2012 at 11:53 PM
Let me get this straight here---We have a prime piece of The United States of America's history in Ft. Trumbull---Something that if advertised just right--and promoted to the max--could literally bring hundreds of thousands of history interested people or history buff to our town---people who would have to spend money at businesses in our towns to that would provide amongst other things food, and shelter for these tourists---and instead of allowing for that to happen--the answer that the politicians see to for the property---is to build condos--that will be RENTED--not owned--BUT RENTED---for a starting rate of $1,600 with no taxes assigned to the builders--which will add to the already 60% of citizens who already are not paying property taxes--in a city that supposedly can not afford its own FFers????? I need to go let this information sink in----
Sue P. July 21, 2012 at 03:25 AM
Thomas, I hope you live in New London because we so much need your common sense . You thought I was complaining a while ago now you can see I am not complaining anymore but now begging people to come to their senses just like you are.
Douglas Brown July 26, 2012 at 03:25 AM
I Worked in the Fort That land deserves more than the potential for a drug infested, run-down bunch of tenaments owned by non-residents who don't give a hoot. Too much was given up. It needs a grocer, a barber, a hairdresser, a hardware store, a police station, a cafe, and so many other things to make it a "Village". Of course that will not maximize profits for the builder. This "village" will attrach nobody except the wealthy who want a summer home, poor people who have figured out how to cheat the system so that the city, state and federal subsidies will be sufficient to pay the rent. With an eye toward 'bettering' this area, the target was missed completely. The Lab should have stayed [ a political payoff], and sensible restructuring of the neighborhood accomplished through a proper city plan, slowly and methodically. In case you haven't guessed by now, I don't like the plan at all. Congratulations to the students for making a scale model of what the desighners gave them. It is a lesson in the value of a scale model. There are many who cannot visualize what a blueprint means. Doug
Doc Halliday July 26, 2012 at 10:59 AM
To the New London city leaders and proponents of this project: READ these messages and the will of the people. It appears the consensus is NO GO with the Fort Trumble project as you have it planned. City leaders, find out what is in the best interest of the citizens of N.L., what THEY desire the property to be, LISTEN to the people. Who can afford rents as you have projected, property taxes that you plan to earn on this property. November is coming.
susan peck July 26, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Ugly! Ugly! Ugly! No vision...just bucks! Start with the Chelsea Piers Model on The Husdon River in New York City and you will have something for everyone to utilize, residential competition from real estate developers and a financial bonanza for the city and tax payers. Surprised that the mayor ok'd a project such as this!
Daniella Ruiz October 05, 2012 at 11:50 PM
speaking of sinking, does this elevation consider the increasing sea levels and expected 100 year hurricane surge levels? also, where will they be installing the gates to this exclusive ritzo neighbor hood? and, will there be public access to the northerly water boundary so the beeeeeeyooteeeful New London anchorage area and waterfront will still be enjoyed by one and all? that alone is a Million dollar view. will those people that rent be offended by 'some odors' and the quaint whiff of fish bait in barrels from the nearby pier? (did you notice, i did NOT mention the SEWER PLANT!, ooops, i guess i just did!)

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