Engine Plant Developers Consider Uses For Site
By Greg Reilly
November 27, 2013
As the U.S. Army prepares to close the sale of its 77-acre Stratford Army Engine Plant to Point Stratford Renewal, the buyer is working “on a parallel track” of continually updating its master plan and working with Stratford land use commissions to pave the way for the expected upcoming applications, according to Ted Lane of Sedgwick Partners, one of the entities that constitutes Point Stratford.
Lane and Mike Ryan, also of Sedgwick, met with The Star Nov. 22 to review the next steps in the process of developing the Engine Plant property.
They said it is too difficult to predict when their purchase from the U.S. government will close, but they did say that they are beginning to talk to potential users of space on the property that would be natural fits with their master plan — businesses such as restaurants, hotels, retailers, multifamily housing builders, professional services providers, entertainment companies, and educational institutions.
A “regional waterfront community center with mixed use” is how Lane describes the future development, which is between the Housatonic River and Main Street. He said, “We want to make it a destination” and include uses that will draw people to the water.
“We will be aware and sensitive to the needs of the town,” Lane said. He and Ryan met with Mayor John Harkins to preview the master plan. They said they will be meeting and working with various community groups in the near future to create an open dialogue about possible uses for the long-dormant site. The plan has not yet been released for the general public, though specifically there is a plan to continue to house the Connecticut Air and Space Center museum within the development.
Point Stratford will remain in control throughout the process of developing the entire site, Lane said, and that could include eventually selling off parcels or managing lease agreements.
Ryan confirmed that the purchase and sale agreement was reached only after two toxic remediation plans were agreed to — one between the Army and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection on how the river mud flats would be handled, and the other with Point Stratford agreeing to be responsible for remediation of the land at the site.
Once Point Stratford takes ownership, a typical order of work will unfold, the partners said, including building material abatement, building demolition, toxic remediation, installation of sewers, electrical and water systems, and then site preparation.
Point Stratford Renewal LLC is a three-company partnership comprised of real estate development company Development Resources, which specializes in underutilized sites and brownfields and whose principal is an attorney; Loureiro, an engineering firm with extensive experience in environmental health and safety issues; and Sedgwick Partners, a real estate investment and advisory firm focused on property investment, asset management and real estate services.
The purchase price has not been disclosed.