Former New London hot spot site of proposed apartment building

New London — A developer has submitted plans to raze the former Stash’s Café on Pequot Avenue, the go-to place for drinks and bands during its heyday, and construct a five-story apartment building in its place.

Pequot Avenue Real Estate LLC is seeking a special permit and coastal site plan approval to build a 50-unit apartment building at 89 Pequot Ave. The Planning and Zoning Commission will open a public hearing on the proposal Thursday.

The proposal comes on the heels of a zoning regulation change approved by the commission in September that allows residential development by special permit in the limited waterfront commercial industrial districts — areas that had been reserved for water-dependent uses. The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection had issued a letter in opposition to the idea of housing in the coastal area.

Attorney William Sweeney, who introduced the zoning change and represents Pequot Avenue Real Estate, said there are only three existing limited waterfront commercial industrial districts in the city and this area was the only one without waterfront access.

Pequot Avenue Real Estate principals are Boston area developer John Marcus and Thamesport Marina owner Ari Yasgur.

Sweeney said bringing in more residents to the location would help an area that hasn’t seen much in the way of new development in the recent past.

Since it is in a federal flood plain area, Sweeney said the building would be elevated, with structured parking underneath. The mix of efficiencies, one- and two-bedroom units would have water views and meet the demand for rental housing closely tied to the expansion of the workforce at Electric Boat.

“By way of this project, our client intends to offer a market-rate rental product with high quality urban design features which is targeted toward retirees, professionals, and other upwardly mobile persons with disposable income that wish to live and/or work in New London but do not necessarily desire to purchase property," Sweeney wrote in his application.

g.smith@theday.com

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