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.