Corporation spurs New London redevelopment
In early 1999, New London, Conn.’s economy received a major boost when pharmaceutical company Pfizer decided to build a $270 million, 790,000-square-foot headquarters for its Global Research and Development operations south of historic Fort Trumbull. That decision served as a catalyst for the city’s $73 million revitalization of the 90-acre area around Fort Trumbull, a site marked by brownfields along the Thames River.
While the city had planned some redevelopment of the Fort Trumbull area before the Pfizer relocation, plans were expanded to accommodate the large company. “With over 2,000 employees slated to work in the new complex, there were tremendous opportunities for complementary facilities and services to serve employee and corporate requirements,” says Dave Goebel, COO for the New London Development Corp. (NLDC).
NLDC organized a team of representatives from the state, the city, locally based Connecticut College and Fannie Mae to remediate the brownfield site for the company’s complex and to plan improvements to the surrounding area. In January 2000, NLDC contracted with the Milford, Conn., office of Parsippany, N.J.-based Sordoni Skanska to manage the redevelopment project.
The team created plans for a hotel/conference center and a daycare facility located within walking distance of the company’s complex. Additionally, it planned a bioscience research park; an athletic center; and 80 units of housing, retail and commercial space. A landscaped riverwalk for pedestrian and bike traffic will connect to a walkway system in downtown New London upon completion.
Last summer, the city completed multi-million dollar infrastructure projects, including two major “roundabouts.” Additional work — from road and utility construction to environmental remediation and shoreline improvements — is scheduled for completion when the hotel/convention center opens in 2003.
The redevelopment efforts are paying off, according to Goebel. “Economists maintain that the Pfizer project is a $6 billion asset to the gross state product, generating more than 5,000 jobs, $26.5 million in net new state taxes and $12.7 million in net new local taxes,” he says.
“The residents of New London will be the direct beneficiaries of all the economic development that’s going on,” Goebel says.