New London mayor optimistic after Boston visit

Mayor Michael Passero and Felix Reyes, the new director of development and planning, traveled to Boston on Wednesday for what Passero said was a series of meetings with Boston-based developers aimed at attracting investment in New London.

The meetings were arranged by George K. Regan Jr., founder and chairman of Boston-based Regan Communications, and David Quinn, president of Quinn & Hary Marketing, a subsidiary of Regan Communication and the public relations firm used by the city.

Passero met with a group that included Oleg Uritsky of Helge Capital, Michael Keyes of Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation, Arthur Winn of Winn Companies, John Drew Sr. of Drew Companies, Jim Grossmann of Suffolk Construction, John Davis of Davis Companies and David Southworth of Southworth Development LLC.

Information about the Boston trip was issued in a news statement from Quinn & Hary.

“The real estate developers and investors met with Passero and Reyes to discuss revitalization concepts and investment opportunities for New London, which the developers said is an attractive investment target to them because of its historic waterfront, walkable downtown area, and central location along the Interstate 95 corridor between Boston and New York,” the statement reads.

“New London is also an attractive investment option because of enormous staffing increases at nearby Electric Boat, which is creating housing development opportunities in the region,” the statement said.

Passero said he thought the meetings were successful and that Reyes was an asset to have at his side and “could talk their language.” Reyes, hired last month, most recently held a job as senior project manager for the Chicago-based development and construction management firm LendLease.

Passero said he expects that the results of the meeting, the second of its kind in the last two years, will be visits to the city from some of the interested investors.

“It was pretty amazing. I can’t tell you if we’re going to get immediate results from this,” Passero said. “I’m looking towards the future and trying to get the people who develop urban centers to take a look at New London. We came out of this trip with a lot of homework.”

Regan, who purchased and renovated the historic Hendel Building at 48-50 State St. and invested close to $1 million on the new office space and two penthouse apartments, said in a statement that he and Quinn are “true believers” in the future of downtown New London.

“As an investor in New London’s prosperity myself, I knew that these developers and investors, many of whom I have known for years, would appreciate seeing the value and potential that New London has to offer,” he said.

g.smith@theday.com

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