Mystic condo plan withdrawn for now

Mystic - The developer of a proposed 55-unit luxury condominium project on the former Mystic Color Lab property site has temporarily withdrawn its plans in the midst of its public hearing before the Stonington Planning and Zoning Commission.

The commission had started the hearing on the application by Edgewood Mac LLC on Jan. 7 and then continued it to tonight. The commission has now canceled tonight's hearing in light of the withdrawal.

Edgewood Mac attorney Ted Ladwig of Pawcatuck said Monday the plans were withdrawn after Edgewood learned from the town last week that the commission had approved a modified plan for the site in 2008.

Edgewood Mac had been comparing its new design of four buildings with three stories over a garage and surrounding a courtyard to the one the commission had originally approved for the project in 2005 which called for two buildings of four stories over a garage. Edgewood had maintained its revised plan, which includes architectural features such a recreated tower, was much more appealing because it was more in keeping with the character of Mystic. But the 2008 modification, which Ladwig said Edgewood was not aware of, altered the original plan so it would have three stories.

"We're now comparing three stories to three stories. It doesn't have the same visual comparison but we still think ours is better," Ladwig said.

He said Edgewood Mac made the decision to withdraw the plan and prepare a new comparison to present to the board. He said he did not know when the new application would be filed.

"We expect this to still go forward," he said, adding that the withdrawal "does not indicate a lack of enthusiasm for the project."

At the Jan. 7 hearing, commission members asked numerous question of Edgewood Mac with some saying it was difficult to compare the old and new designs based on the drawings and calculations it had presented.

The proposed 1,500-square-foot units would have two bedrooms each and offer a view of the Mystic River or the courtyard. It is estimated the project would generate $248,000 a year in tax revenue for the town.

After receiving approvals for the original project, the previous owners of the property tore down much of the building and began an environmental cleanup and site work before the project ceased because of financial problems. Edgewood Mac acquired the mortgage to the 5.5-acre site at Harry Austin Drive and Masons Island Road in 2009.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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