With a residential development in the pipeline for four parcels at Fort Trumbull, the New London Development Corporation will put out a request for proposals for complementary projects.
John Brooks, Fort Trumbull development coordinator with the NLDC, said at the organization’s annual meeting on Thursday that the proposals would have to take the recommendations of the Yale Urban Design Group into account. He added that a new client is leasing 24,000 square feet of space from 1 Chelsea Street, the structure housing . Michael Joplin, president of the NLDC, said that the RFP process can take months and would serve to add to the project envisioned by Robert Stillman of Riverbank Construction.
“It would seem that the time is right as the development moves forward with the Stillmans, to put out an RFP,” said Joplin.
Riverbank Construction entered into an agreement with NLDC in November to develop 80 townhouses at Fort Trumbull, and is currently waiting for state approval to expand that number to 104. The company hopes to , starting as rentals and becoming owner-occupied. Stillman said the rent for a two-bedroom unit would be $1,500 per month, and the cost to purchase a home would be $300,000 to $375,000.
“They want to make a profit, but what’s admirable is they want to make a contribution as well,” said Brooks.
Jenny Wronowski, who delivered the finance report, said NLDC has an operating budget of about $140,000 for 2011. She said $450,000 has been set aside as a contingency for work at Fort Trumbull.
Frank McLaughlin, project manager for House New London, said the project has restored 33 houses for a total of 47 residential units. He said that while the group failed to secure a recoverable grant, has contributed $10,000. McLaughlin said other development projects include the goal of beginning work on the redevelopment of five downtown buildings within 18 months; establishing a commuter rail line between New London and Burlington, Vt.; and better communication on possible improvements to the city’s parking.
McLaughlin said he is also a member of the Economic Development Commission, which plans to make a trip to Newburyport, Mass.; Portsmouth, N.H.; and Portland, Me. Joplin said all cities have overcome economic depressions to become successful commercial centers.
“These are the cities that made the right decisions, or decisions that made to economic development, and they’re on the map,” said Joplin.
Correction: The original article incorrectly identified Riverbank Construction as Riverbrook Construction.