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Grocery store and apartments proposed for downtown New London

By Kathleen Edgecomb

Publication: The Day

Published November 17. 2013 4:00AM

New London - Klewin Development is proposing to build a grocery store and 40 apartments on a 3-acre parcel of city-owned land at the intersection of Bank and Howard streets.

Klewin Development, with offices in Groton, has been talking with the city about plans for an 18,000-square-foot grocery store, with market-rate and affordable housing units above.

Kyle Klewin, a member of Klewin Development, was granted prime developer status last February for the site. He is asking for an extension on the developer status and will make a presentation to the City Council Monday night.

The Economic Development Committee will meet at 5:30 p.m., followed by the City Council at 7 p.m.

Klewin could not be reached for comment Friday, but in correspondence with the city he said the state Department of Economic and Community Development is supportive of the project. The company is preparing an application for funds from the Competitive Housing Assistance for Multifamily Properties, which awards grants and low-interest loans to projects that address affordable housing needs. The housing would be 80 percent market rate and 20 percent affordable.

The company is partnering with Sheldon Oak Central and the Women's Development Corp. for the project. The partners have applied for a $250,000 pre-development loan from the DECD. The money would be used to fund design engineering, environmental review, cost estimates, financial analysis, legal and financing fees.

"They've gotten to a point where they can roll out their plans to the public and the council and get support for them to continue," said Tammy Daugherty, the city's director of development and planning.

Preliminary sketches show a three-story rectangular building with the entrance to the grocery abutting the sidewalk at the intersection of Bank and Howard, and the entrance to the residential portion on the opposite corner. The two upper floors have one- and two-bedroom apartments, but the square footage is not shown. The design shows a parking lot for about 70 vehicles, with an additional 20 spaces on Bank Street.

Construction would be completed in January 2015.

"The project will create jobs, housing and needed services for the residents of New London, while removing a vacant lot in a valuable area in the city," Klewin wrote in an Oct. 16 letter to Ned Hammond, the city's economic development coordinator. " ... we feel a project such as ours will spark further development in the city by creating positive momentum in the City of New London."

The site, which is known as Parcel J, has been vacant since the New London Redevelopment Agency bought the land about 40 years ago as part of a citywide Urban Renewal Plan.

In February, when Klewin was named the preferred developer, Kyle Klewin called the lot the "probably the best site in New London."

Klewin did not say which grocery store could be located at the site, but said he is with a prospective tenant with two similar locations in New London County.

k.edgecomb@theday.com

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