Hotel proposed for Fort Trumbull

NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — All along the streets of Fort Trumbull there are cars in newly numbered spaces. The cars belong to employees of Electric Boat. The company’s garage is not big enough for all of them.

But it is this thriving business atmosphere which could spur new development on the waterfront peninsula.

“Anecdotally we’ve been told by EB that there is a need for smaller conferences and meeting spaces,” says Peter Davis who adds there may also be a need for a place where EB visitors can stay.

fort trumbull 1 Hotel proposed for Fort TrumbullDavis is the executive director of RCDA, the Renaissance City Development Association, which is working with the city to try to develop the once troubled Fort Trumbull.

Starting in the late 90’s homes were taken by eminent domain for development which would never be. There was even a US Supreme Court fight over the move. Now there is a new director and a new direction for the economic development agency.

“We’re trying to move away from that typical corporate model to more of a community based model,” says Davis.

The latest proposal comes from the J-Patel Hotel group out of Massachusetts which is interested in building a higher end hotel possibly with a coffee shop, free standing restaurant, and conference space.fort trumbull 2 Hotel proposed for Fort Trumbull

“If there’s a convention center in there you could have meetings and stuff. Right now we go to Ocean Beach where it’s kind of small,” says Bruce Woods who is a designer at Electric Boat. “So they have something larger, newer that would be great,”

Davis believes the time might be right for new development because along with Electric Boat, the National Coast Guard Museum and the possible merger between Lawrence & Memorial Hospital and Yale-New Haven Hospital are all in the works.

fort trumbull 3 Hotel proposed for Fort Trumbull“The high point for me is that people beyond Connecticut not just the region are seeing interest in New London,” says Davis.

Before any real details are released the developer must do feasibility and marketing studies so he knows best what would work on Fort Trumbull.

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