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Coast Guard Museum deal nears another milestone; property sale on New London City Council agenda

By Colin A. Young

Publication: The Day

Published March 16. 2014 4:00AM

New London - The City Council will convene a public hearing Monday evening on the potential sale of downtown waterfront property to the Coast Guard to build its $80 million National Coast Guard Museum.

In addition to selling about 10,000 square feet of land near Union Station and City Pier to the Coast Guard for $1, the city also is expected to sell roughly 6,155 square feet to Cross Sound Ferry for about $123,100. Cross Sound Ferry is expected to use the land to build a new ferry terminal.

The public hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council chambers at City Hall.

Following the public hearing, the City Council will meet and is expected to consider a motion to officially approve the sale. The approximately 6,155 square feet of land that could be sold to Cross Sound Ferry would fetch a price of $20 per square foot. The land sold to the Coast Guard would be sold for a nominal $1.

On March 6, the city's Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously to recommend that the city proceed with the sales, the first step in the process of selling municipally owned real estate.

Last April, city, state and Coast Guard officials announced plans to build the four-story, 54,000-square-foot national museum on the city's waterfront.

Last month, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio, James Coleman, chairman of the National Coast Guard Museum Association, and Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr. signed a memorandum of agreement at Union Station that outlined how the Coast Guard, city, state and museum association will cooperate and what their responsibilities will be.

Officials have said they expect to have a ceremonial groundbreaking of the four-story, 54,300-square-foot museum in May. The museum, which is expected to include four floors of interactive exhibits, event space, lecture rooms and a reception area with a gift shop and cafe could be opened late in 2017.

c.young@theday.com

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