New London gives stalled apartment complex project another chance

New London — The city’s development arm extended a lifeline Friday to a stalled residential development on Howard Street.

The Renaissance City Development Association’s executive board voted unanimously to extend by three months its development agreement with the Tagliatela family, who have plans to build an amenity-laden 200-unit apartment complex known as Shipway 221.

The Tagliatelas, owners of Franklin Enterprises, are doing business locally as New London County Realty LLC and Shipway 221 LLC.

Shipway had requested a 10-month extension to its agreement with the RCDA while it searches for a joint venture partner. Shipway is marketing the project through Marcus & Millichap.

The 5.5-acre site of the proposed development, within walking distance from Electric Boat offices, is at the site of the former Hughie’s Restaurant.

If all had gone as planned, the estimated $30 million project would have been the first new construction in the Fort Trumbull municipal development area, which was cleared for development and includes the Fort Trumbull peninsula.

Shipway had secured approvals through the city’s land-use commissions. It also had signed a now-expired agreement with Yale New Haven Health for a land swap to acquire land crucial to the project.

Ground was not broken as planned this year.

Franklin Enterprises Chief Financial Officer Steve Lopes, at a meeting with the RCDA in September, explained that more time was needed to find a partner. Lopes said at that time that his company was likely to walk away if a partner was not found by January but had asked for the 10 months in the event a partner was found.

With $600,000 invested in the project to date, Lopes said the company was not likely to want to continue to pay the nearly $20,000 real estate tax bill due in January as part of the development agreement.

Lopes was not present at Friday’s meeting and not immediately available to comment on the vote.

RCDA members said a letter was sent to Shipway’s principals outlining loose ends in the development agreement that include the agreement with Yale New Haven Health.

The RCDA already had extended the development agreement by six months, to the end of October. The new extension gives Shipway until the end of January to present the RCDA with news on activity in the project.

g.smith@theday.com

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