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Seaside proposal moves on to Jepsen's office for final approval

By JC Reindl

Publication: theday.com

Published April 11. 2011 4:21PM   Updated April 11. 2011 4:23PM

A long-envisioned project to redevelop the former Seaside Regional Center in Waterford into high-end senior condominiums passed another hurdle Monday when a state committee signed off on a plan to sell the site to Farmington developer Mark Steiner for $8 million.

Steiner said he intends to rebuild the interiors of the four main buildings while keeping their historic facades. The tentative agreement with the state would provide public access to four acres of shoreline.

Seaside opened in 1934 as a tuberculosis sanitarium and later became a residential center for the mentally handicapped. It closed in 1996.

The deal will now go to state Attorney General George Jepsen, who would grant final approval. Proceeds from a sale would, by law, go to the Connecticut Department of Developmental Services.

Steiner said the next step in approvals involves Waterford’s Planning and Zoning department.

A handful of Waterford residents attended the Monday committee meeting in the state Capitol complex to show their disapproval of Steiner’s project. Debby Green said the condo project is too dense and threatens the character of their neighborhood.

The neighbors also questioned Steiner’s commitment to retaining Seaside’s historical integrity. The buildings were designed by famed Beaux Arts architect Cass Gilbert,

Steiner said he has yet to decide the number of condo units to build.

Waterford First Selectman Daniel Steward says there could be as many as 120 condos under current zoning.

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