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    Saturday, April 20, 2024

    Details on The Riverbank and other projects shared at New London Landmarks meeting

    Brian Lyman, managing broker of Parker Benjamin, leads a tour of apartments being built during a tour of Riverbank, the firm’s new project at 123 Bank Street after New London Landmark’s annual meeting on Tuesday, March 28, 2023. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Director of Economic Development and Planning Felix Reyes talks with New London Landmarks intern Leslie Ann Melendez in the new location for The Telegraph after New London Landmark’s annual meeting on Tuesday, March 28, 2023. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Attendees walk through what will be the new location of Tox Brewing during a tour of Riverbank, Parker Benjamin’s new project at 123 Bank Street after New London Landmark’s annual meeting on Tuesday, March 28, 2023. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Visitors walk around the new space for The Telegraph during a tour of Riverbank, Parker Benjamin’s new project at 137 Bank St. after New London Landmark’s annual meeting on Tuesday, March 28, 2023. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Attendees walk through what will be the new location of Tox Brewing during a tour of Riverbank, Parker Benjamin’s new project at 123 Bank St. after New London Landmark’s annual meeting on Tuesday, March 28, 2023. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    A rendering of The Riverbank development after it has been renovated for apartments and commercial space. (courtesy of riverbankct.com)

    New London ― At an eventful New London Landmarks annual meeting Tuesday, it was announced that Tox Brewing Co. is moving to Bank Street and the Garfield Mills project has begun remediation of its building.

    The meeting was held at one of the three adjacent historic buildings owned by developers High Tide Capital at 137, 133 and 123 Bank St. The buildings are being restored and turned into luxury apartments and space for businesses to create a collective development called The Riverbank.

    High Tide Capital was this year’s recipient of Landmarks’ Restoration Award for its work on Bank Street and its most recently completed work at the Manwaring Building at 225 State St. where Connecticut College students are being housed.

    Landmarks Executive Director Laura Natusch said for many years developers have not taken part in the costly effort to restore historic buildings. She said she hopes High Tide Capital’s work inspires others to do the same.

    “These buildings have been vacant for so long,” she said. “It feels like we are finally turning the corner.”

    Historian Tom Schuch received the Cliff Stone award for his years of research and work on the Black Heritage Trail. Constance Kristofik received the Volunteer of the Year Award for her documentary about the history of New London’s LGBTQ+ community called “Holding Space for Each Other.”

    Landmarks Intern Leslie Ann Melendez presented a video montage as a preview to a project called “Bridging the gap with stories” that will feature the oral histories of two dozen people who grew up in the city’s income-restricted housing projects.

    Natusch said she and Melendez would also be working on a documentary in the summer about Puerto Rican migration into the city.

    The meeting’s featured speaker was Brian Lyman, the managing broker for Parker Benjamin, a real estate advising and development firm. The firm has renovated 38 Green St. into small studio apartments and is working for High Tide Capital on the Riverbank development and construction. Lyman accepted the restoration award on behalf of High Tide.

    Lyman said his firm only works on buildings that have existed pre-1936 and are typically blighted in order to receive certain tax credits to help fund the renovation. He said a lot of infrastructure work goes into the projects with new electric, gas service and sewer systems.

    In a presentation, Lyman showed slides of what people can expect from Riverbank. He said the small building at 137 Bank St. would be home to the record store The Telegraph.

    At 123 Bank St., the site of the former New London Antiques Center, Lyman said Tox Brewing Co., currently situated at 635 Broad St., would move into the first floor and apartments would be on the top two floors. He said there will be a roof deck on top where residents will have “spectacular views of the harbor.”

    At the former site of Jason’s furniture, or 133 Bank St., commercial space for a restaurant is still available on the ground floor and the top three floors will have apartments. Between both buildings there will be 32 one- and two-bedroom luxury apartments.

    The apartments are expected to open its doors to its first residents this summer. More information on the development can be found at its website.

    Lyman said his firm is also working with Litchfield-based Park Lane Group on the renovation of the Garfield Mill complex at 90 Garfield Avenue into workforce and affordable housing. He said building material at the site will be undergoing abatement for a few months before construction can start.

    After the meeting, a group of attendees participated in a tour led by Lyman of the construction underway at 123 Bank St. and stood among exposed steel framing of what will be future apartments.

    The attendees talked about how the building once served as the location of Olympic Sporting Goods where they would try on new shoes. Felix Reyes, the city’s director of Planning and Development, reminded everyone that 133 Bank St., the building with the “gorilla” mural in the back, was the subject of a fire last year.

    He said the developers called the next day after the fire to re-instate their commitment to the development.

    j.vazquez@theday.com

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