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New London - Developer Peter Levine Thursday withdrew a pair of zoning-amendment requests that he needs to build 32 affordable townhomes on the site of the closed Edgerton Elementary School.
”My intention is to file the application at a later date,” said Levine, owner of Amber Properties LLC of White Plains, N.Y., after submitting a withdrawal letter to the city's Planning and Zoning Commission.
After removing the application for the Cedar Grove Avenue project, Levine said:“I still believe the project for 32 work-force housing units on the parcel will be a solid addition to the community.”
Resident Daniel McSparran, who didn't speak before the commission because of the withdrawal, came to the meeting armed with more than 100 opposition letters signed by neighbors who oppose Levine's proposal, he said.
The letters also stated that residents would rather see the roughly 4-acre property become the new home of the New London Police Department, whose current Governor Winthrop Boulevard headquarters are widely acknowledged to be cramped and in poor condition.
”Perhaps it would be a perfect location for a City of New London public safety complex,” McSparran said, reading from the letter.
McSparran said he also fears that, given the slow housing market, the townhomes could languish on the market. He said there are more than 200 New London homes on the market for prices for less than under $300,000.“These aren't going to sell,” McSparran said.
Levine has said he estimated the development would cost about $7.5 million and would utilize modular construction to keep prices down in the sluggish market.
Levine had planned to ask the commission to redraw the zoning boundary of property, which he is under a contract to buy from the city for $325,000. He has already paid the city a 10 percent down payment.
Levine also was going to ask the commission to relax the city's 50-foot setback requirement for cluster developments so he can fit the 32 homes on the parcel.
In 2006, the New London School District closed Edgerton School as part of its ongoing plan to consolidate the city's elementary schools.
In March 2007, the previous City Council, voting 6-0, authorized to sell to Levine based on his plans for 32 townhouse condominiums.
Levine, who lives in Westchester County, N.Y., has previously rehabilitated two New London properties.
He converted the former SNET building at 73 Washington St. into 28 apartments, and he developed the dilapidated United Electric building at 13 Washington St. into 19 loft apartments and attached retail space, which houses the Bean and Leaf coffee shop.
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