Critical to the success of attracting and retaining a talented base of residents in our region is the need for effective, focused, and comprehensive redevelopment of crucial neighborhoods. Investment in buildings and neighborhood infrastructure has been inadequate, and the resulting deferred maintenance is a significant expense for private investment looking to actively redevelop to today’s codes and standards. Yet, the multiple districts, downtowns, and village “nodes” of Groton and New London all possess a healthy and diverse mix of residential, commercial, multi-family and industrial uses all within walking distance.
By strengthening the connection between our two communities—Groton and New London—and taking steps to dramatically redevelop key neighborhoods, we can create a stronger, more stable sense of place and connectivity. With Electric Boat and the surrounding supply chain bringing in more workers, the development of the National Coast Guard Museum, the reactivation of Heritage Park, the purchase of three key properties in the City of Groton, and the development of Hodges Square, this is the perfect time to focus on bringing new residents to our community.
By providing a customized study and redevelopment plan, we can help craft a comprehensive, cohesive, and implementable strategy to support the resurgence of vital and vibrant neighborhoods and districts.
To activate investment in our community through the creation of a Redevelopment Plan for the Thames Street/Bridge Street area in the City of Groton and the Hodges Square area in the City of New London.
The Redevelopment Plan for Thames Street/Bridge Street and Hodges Square will integrate assessment and review of the functionality of the Gold Star Bridge Multi-Use Path linking both areas. Such a Redevelopment Analysis and Action Plan will:
- Create an Existing Conditions analysis of each area including but not limited to, infrastructure, buildings, open spaces, public spaces, traffic and parking, considering and including, as appropriate and relevant, the previous work and plans that both communities have undertaken
- Generate new information, analysis, and data, incorporating property specific real estate, zoning, code and financial analyses, recommendations for future development or enhancements (public and private), renderings and maps
- Provide immediate assistance in the analysis and implementation of projects within Hodges Square such as those highlighted in the New London Creative Placemaking Program, and improvements planned for the Costa Harbor Property on Thames Street
- Provide recommendations for strengthening each district as well as property/parcel specific recommendations based on quantifiable data. The goal of this unique, multi-area, Redevelopment Analysis and Action Plan is to improve the economic viability, infrastructure, function, appearance and connectivity of both neighborhood commercial nodes on an individualized, and in some cases a parcel by parcel basis by:
- Increase customer access and exposure and further develop a sense of place within and between each area and from these areas beyond to the employment, leisure, recreation, eating, creative, and shopping areas nearby
- Improve the functionality of the linked and welcoming gateways on both sides of the Thames River
- Improve the infrastructure, physical and programmatic that will jumpstart the revitalization of each area, and maintain it for the future, all while remaining flexible to changing economic and cultural climates
Our Redevelopment Analysis and Action Plan would include:
- The inventory and examination of all the un- or underdeveloped parcels and buildings. and recommendations and concept plans for the maximization of their potential;
- Examination of the traffic patterns to and within the areas, to improve multi-modality of the street/sidewalk network;
- Review and analysis of Tax Increment Financing program for these areas;
- Recommend physical enhancements to each end of the multi-use path over the Thames River;
- Recommend physical enhancements to the Heritage Park water taxi landing on Thames Street that links Groton and New London;
- Assess CT. Building Codes with regard to the issue of making physical renovations to existing buildings.
Our plan would also address the implementation of individual projects that are expected to enhance a strong sense of place. It would focus immediately on providing refinements and assistance with the implementation of certain key projects such as:
- Bailey Circle – The strategy of this project is to increase the safety of all users of the multi-use path over the Bridge, both in fact and by perception, through enhancement of the entrance/exit to both Groton and New London via the multi-use path with landscaping, lighting and wayfinding signage.
- Old Town Mill – An historic mill (c. 1650) that represents one of the earliest mill industrial sites in the country is currently underutilized. Revitalizing the mill into a working grist mill has potential to integrate community asset in the revitalization process and grow the destination value of Hodges Square.
- City of Groton Costa Harbor properties – Two parcels, one adjacent to Fort Griswold and one across Thames Street on the waterfront and within fifty yards of the State Dock facility utilized by the Heritage Park Water Taxi. The development vision for the waterfront site includes establishment of a waterfront public park, rebuild of an existing dock and future build out of both parcels for public access, parking, and waterfront access.
Sybil Tetteh, City of New London
(860) 437 6380