Looking for another "preferred developer" in New London

kelo-pink-house-new-london.gifWe’ve posted before on the progress, or lack thereof, in the Fort Trumbull development, the one that triggered Kelo v. New London. May 29 is the date New London preferred developer Corcoran Jennings is supposed to have financing to begin construction on the site. So far, there has been no building, none of that revitalization, no increased tax revenue–just dead, vacant land, aside from the transformation of naval building into office space. The plan for new housing looks like it may never happen.

The Day reports:

If Corcoran Jennison doesn’t meet the deadline, the Boston-based developer would violate a December extension document in which it agreed to secure a loan and enter a construction contract for an $18.7 million, 80-unit development of rental apartments and townhouses.

The project, whose uncertain groundbreaking could now be delayed months if not years, would represent the first new, ground-up construction since eminent domain cleared portions of the peninsula for redevelopment.

Officials are looking at more “creative” options to help finance the project, including spending more taxpayer money in the form of government-backed loans.

The Day’s editorial board has had enough of Corcoran Jennings, however:

Corcoran Jennison would lose its preferred developer status to build the housing, a hotel and office space on the peninsula. The sticking point is the firm’s inability to secure financing for the $18.7-million housing project, despite the six-month extension.

Unfortunately, given the current state of the national economy, there are not likely to be many new suitors to seek the mantle of preferred developer. The aggravation surrounding the redevelopment of the Fort Trumbull property will continue, perhaps for a year or two. The project was mishandled at the start. And the acrimonious eminent domain battle, which took years to play out before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the NLDC’s favor in June 2005, has left ugly scars.

With the exception of the sidewalks, roadways, utilities and the renovation under way on the Naval Undersea Warfare Center building, there has been no new construction on the Fort Trumbull peninsula since the city commenced its controversial Municipal Development Plan for the neighborhood in 2000.