Plans to redevelop former Groton school property to be presented Wednesday

Groton — Conceptual plans to redevelop the former William Seely School property as a market-price, multifamily housing development will be presented Wednesday.

The public meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Groton Town Hall Annex at 134 Groton Long Point Road. 

The Town's Planning and Development Director Jon Reiner said an interview committee has recommended DonMar Development Corporation of North Haven as the "preferred developer" for the site, but the Town Council has not yet approved an agreement with the developer.

Reiner said the purpose of Wednesday's meeting is to introduce the concept of the development to residents and get their feedback.

"Although this plan is in the early stages, we would like to share with you our vision for the site, which we believe is a best-use for the property," the company wrote in a postcard invitation to the meeting. "Our goal is to help Groton achieve their economic development targets by building on their commitment to re-invigorate the local housing market and bolster the grand list."

DonMar wrote that on Wednesday it plans "to not only introduce ourselves, but to give the public an opportunity to see and hear about what we have been working on. We will give members of the public an opportunity to ask questions about out project and what to expect moving forward."

Project Executive Anthony Di Gioia said the proposed development is geared toward the millennial age group, as well as empty nesters. He said the project is designed to meet the housing needs of the shifting demographic that's coming to Groton to work, including thousands of new employees that Electric Boat plans to hire over the next two decades. 

The family-owned business had responded to a town-issued Request for Proposals for the former school site. The town worked with Goman + York to help market the property.

Reiner said DonMar Development Corporation did a great job researching Groton and the local housing market and has been very responsive to comments the town had about the plans.

"We think they can build a very high quality product in Groton," Reiner added.

Reiner said that after the conceptual plans are introduced at Wednesday's meeting, the next steps would be for an agreement to go before the Town Council and for the developer to go through the town's regulatory approval process.

Di Gioia said the plans to demolish the school and build the housing development are conceptual at this point, and community outreach will be a big part of how the plans go forward and get developed.

k.drelich@theday.com

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