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Company secures approvals for New London apartment complex, drops plans at Fort Trumbull

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New London — Pennsylvania-based A.R. Building Co. has secured approvals to start a third project in the city: an 89-unit apartment complex at 22 Georgetown Road.

It’s a companion project and adjacent to the 104-unit development at 60 Mansfield Road that was completed by A.R. in 2018 and quickly filled up. The new project is almost exclusively composed of studio and one-bedroom units, a recognition of where the rental market is currently, said attorney William Sweeney, who represents A.R. Builders.

“The market right now in the greater New London area is smaller, more compact units,” he said.

Some of the more unique features of the project include a section of townhouse-style one-bedroom units with two floors, something created to fit the topography of the land where it will be built. It also will have a pool, along with a bathhouse, patio and community space that will be shared with and serve as a “major upgrade” to the adjacent complex at 60 Mansfield Road.

Both have amenities that include fitness centers and community rooms. Sweeney said the connection between the two projects will serve to create a more vibrant community. Prices on the units have yet to be announced.

The Planning and Zoning Commission on Thursday approved the coastal site plan and site development plan for the Georgetown Road project, the last major hurdle for the project to move forward. Construction is expected to start in the spring, which is close to the time when A.R. is expected to be completing work at the 98-unit apartment complex at the corner of Howard and Bank streets, the former city-owned land known as Parcel J. Construction crews are working on the brick facade.

“This is an exciting project, We’ve been really successful in New London and we want to continue that success,” Sweeney said.

The one place where A.R. no longer will be pursuing a project is at Fort Trumbull. The company has terminated negotiations with the city’s development arm, the Renaissance City Development Association, for purchase of land and development of a 104-unit residential project on the Fort Trumbull peninsula.

A.R. had been poised to be the first new development project since the area was cleared in the wake of a decision in the landmark 2005 eminent domain case Kelo v. City of New London, in which the court cleared the way for the city to take homes for the purpose of economic development.

The decision to abandon plans for a project at Fort Trumbull, Sweeney said, stems from what he called onerous requirements from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection related to the land being situated in a 100-year flood plain.

Not only do the requirements increase costs of the project and limit the number of units but also add to the complexity of the construction. Sweeney said A.R., which has a 150-unit residential complex under construction in Groton, remains committed to New London and continues to look for other opportunities.

g.smith@theday.com

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