Groton sends letter to terminate development agreement with Respler Homes
Groton ― The town is terminating the development agreement with Respler Homes, LLC. for the Mystic Education Center property, according to a letter the town sent Friday.
Town Attorney Eric Callahan notified Respler Homes of Woodmere, N.Y. that the town is ending the agreement the company and the town signed in 2020 outlining the parameters for developing the site, also known as the Mystic Oral School property. The state last month ended its agreement to sell the state-owned vacant property on Oral School Road in Old Mystic to Respler Homes.
The town last year declared Respler Homes in default of the development agreement, and the town and the company have been in mediation regarding a dispute over each other’s responsibilities under the agreement.
“The Town completed its final mediation session with Respler Homes this week, determining that there is no resolution that would be acceptable to both parties,” Town Manager John Burt said in an email to The Day late Friday. “I thank all of the neighbors for being patient as we worked through the default process.”
Callahan wrote in the letter Friday to Respler Homes that the mediation process ended on Wednesday “without resolution between the parties with regard to the Developer Default.” He cited sections of the development agreement and said “without limitation of other remedies available to the Town,” the town has the right to terminate the agreement following the mediation.
Callahan also noted in the letter that the state has ended its purchase and sale agreement, and he said the town’s development agreement with Respler Homes is “predicated on Respler owning and having a legal right to develop the Mystic Oral School property.”
“As a result of the termination of the Purchase and Sale Agreement, the Development Agreement must be terminated as it is now impossible to perform and/or its purpose has been frustrated,” said Callahan. “This issue was also mediated.”
Respler Homes originally envisioned a mixed-use village with a commercial hub in the main building and apartments on site, as well as the renovation of the Pratt Building into a recreational facility for the town. Respler Homes in January announced a plan to sell Respler Homes to a company specializing in senior housing.
Respler Homes could not immediately be reached for comment Friday evening.