New London seeks proposals for possible new uses for Martin Center

New London - The city is looking for proposals from private developers to adapt and reuse the Martin Center on Broad Street, which houses the senior center, the Parks & Recreation Department and other municipal offices and service agencies.

Qualified individuals, firms or development teams should contact the city's Office of Development & Planning, (860) 437-6309 or visit the city's website, http://ci.new-london.ct.us/content/27/55/8297.aspx.

Proposals are due Jan. 15.

The Martin Center was built in the 1930s as part of Williams Memorial Institute, the regional high school for girls. It was also part of St. Bernard High School for Girls, but the city bought it in the early 1970s from the Diocese of Norwich. It was renamed the Richard R. Martin Neighborhood Center in 1977, in honor of a former city mayor and state representative.

The two-story masonry brick building, which sits on 2.57 acres at 120 Broad St., was renovated in 1976 to accommodate municipal departments and service agencies. In 1989, an addition was built at the southeast corner of the building to house the New London Senior Citizen Center. There is also a gymnasium, auditorium with balcony and stage, and several rooms and offices.

Other occupants include the New London Department of Public Utilities, Veolia Water, New London Youth Affairs - Family Center, New London Community & Campus Coalition, and Center for the Blind. FRESH Community Gardens occupies a small area on the southwestern corner of the lot.

The city will relocate the occupants if a proposal is accepted and a development agreement is negotiated. The city also will give special consideration to any plan that incorporates one or more of the current tenants on a temporary or permanent basis.

- KATHLEEN EDGECOMB

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