New London leaders praise planned development in Fort Trumbull area

Conceptual plans for a planned condominium complex on Howard Street called Shipway 221. (Provided by project manager Anthony Silvestri)
Conceptual plans for a planned condominium complex on Howard Street called Shipway 221. (Provided by project manager Anthony Silvestri)

New London — City and state leaders on Wednesday praised a planned condominium complex on Howard Street as one of the first steps in a major boost to the city’s urban center.

A ceremonial signing of a development agreement for Shipway 221 was held at the Fort Trumbull conference center. The phased development, with construction expected to start by spring, will start with 70 units and is expected to later grow to 200 units with prices starting above $200,000.

The $30 million project, on long vacant land owned by Renaissance City Development Association, is being developed by New London County Realty with project manager Tony Silvestri and financial backer Louis Tagliatela of the Franklin Construction Company.

The project will have amenities that include an all-seasons pool, outdoor theater, rooftop gathering area, gym, climbing wall and pub.

“It’s been 17 years since we started this journey. Shipway 221 represents the first out-of-the-ground project in the Fort Trumbull Municipal Development area,” RCDA President Linda Mariani said.

There has been no new construction in Fort Trumbull since the area became the focus of a national fight over eminent domain.

Mariani said the condos are targeting millennials and empty nesters who will bring in much-needed disposable income to the local economy.

“It’s a milestone. We believe this is going to be the spark that will turn Fort Trumbull around very quickly,” Mayor Michael Passero said. “What you’re going to see is this momentum pick up."

Passero praised the Tagliatela family and Silvestri for prior developments — Harbour Towers and City Flats initiative — and the Tagliatelas' continued investment in the city.

“It’s going to rewrite the demographic maps and it’s going to rewrite the standing of New London, Connecticut, not only in southeastern Connecticut but the state,” Passero said. “People want to move into this transit-oriented district and they want to live in the little urban core. What we’re going to do is position this city to take full advantage of that and provide quality housing.”

Shipway 221 is one of two developments planned along Howard Street that will take advantage of the growing number of employees at the nearby General Dynamics Electric Boat facility.

A.R. Building Co., now working to complete a $14 million, 104-unit apartment complex on Mansfield Road, has proposed a $17 million, 90-unit apartment complex at the corner of Bank and Howard streets on land known as Parcel J.

It is unclear if a recent lawsuit filed against A.R. Building Co. by its former development partners, Klewin Construction, will affect those plans.

Kyle Klewin, the president of Mystic-based Klewin Development, a subsidiary of Klewin Construction, previously had pitched a plan for Parcel J but pulled out in 2015, citing a soured relationship with A.R. Building Co.

In a suit filed in New London Superior Court earlier this month, Klewin claims that the two former partners had worked out an arrangement to develop the site as a team. But after a fallout related to a Rhode Island project, the two companies ceased communications.

Later, Klewin claims A.R. hired key former Klewin employees who had worked on the Parcel J project and continued working with the city on those plans. A.R. Building was named prime developer in 2016.

The suit claims breach of contract, among other allegations, and seeks compensation for costs associated with the project that include $650,000 for its purchase of Klewin’s interest in the project.

g.smith@theday.com 

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