Mega yachts? Helipad? Floating pool?
Concerning the New London waterfront development proposal being floated — an apt word — by the engineering firm Advanced American Engineering, count us as deeply skeptical.
A floating hotel and floating pool? A marina for transient boat traffic outfitted to handle mega yachts? A helipad?
OK, maybe we aren’t thinking big enough. Perhaps we underestimate the potential for New London to attract the .01 percenters and their ostentatious yachts. But this seems so out of character with the city.
New London Mayor Michael Passero is right that Waterfront Park is an underutilized resource and that it could benefit from development that would better connect it to the harbor, including providing a place where pleasure craft could tie up. But is this the way to do it?
The City Council gave AAE a year of exclusive negotiating rights with the city, precluding anyone else from, well, floating an alternative plan. Before seeing the concept, which had been kept under wraps, we criticized the council for conducting its talks in secret and never giving the public a chance to weigh in before awarding the exclusive status. Had the public had a chance to see the concept, the idea may have ended right there.
But, maybe, the engineering group will land a viable developer to work with it. And maybe it will provide information showing its ideas would be successful and that they could get the necessary regulatory permits.
Yet that would only get to the point of discussing whether this is even the right concept for enhancing the Waterfront Park.
A goodly degree of skepticism seems quite in order.
The Day editorial board meets regularly with political, business and community leaders and convenes weekly to formulate editorial viewpoints. It is composed of President and Publisher Tim Dwyer, Managing Editor Izaskun E. Larrañeta, staff writer Erica Moser and retired deputy managing editor Lisa McGinley. However, only the publisher and editorial page editor are responsible for developing the editorial opinions. The board operates independently from the Day newsroom.
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