PRESTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Years after clean up of the former Norwich State Hospital site began who would have known the Mohegan Tribe right across the Thames River would want to build a resort on the Preston property? The plans include an outdoor and indoor theater complex, an indoor water park, a sports complex, and several hotels.
“Anytime you want to see economic development activity it’s really good to have something large that you can build on,” says Robert Mills, President of the Norwich Community Development Corporation.
Mohegan Tribal Chairman Kevin Brown “Red Eagle” says “With up to $600 million in possible development, we will stimulate growth, drive new business and help strengthen the local economy, solidifying Mystic Country in southeastern Connecticut as a top tourism destination.”
Mills who met News8 at Foundry 66 a cowork space in Norwich has already seen evidence of that growth with the recent sale of the former People’s Bank and another downtown building.
“It is small now but people are positioning to be in a good place for when this really catches on,” says Mills.
“If they put a really nice wedding venue up there I don’t have to go travel anywhere,” says Arnold Alina who rents space at Foundry 66 for his video business, Barnberry Productions.
He is excited for the potential new development professionally and personally.
“I want it to be family friendly which it should be,” says Alina. “I believe it’s going to be and we can hang out and it’s only five minutes down the road.”
“The other thing that’s nice about this is it’s not just one big thing it’s a big thing made up of lots and lots of smaller things and that variability offers a lot of value to the region,” says Mills.
Revealing these plans is just one of several steps the tribe needs to take to win final approval from the town all before this sale is set to finalize February 19th.