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Ideas pitched for New London’s Crystal Avenue property

September 26, 2018

New London — Two entities, including a trash hauling company building a transfer station in the city, have pitched ideas for use of the former Thames River Apartments property on Crystal Avenue.

The city is in the process of buying the 12-acre parcel from the New London Housing Authority and seeking viable proposals to turn the formerly tax-exempt property into a revenue generator.

Two proposals were submitted in response to the city’s request last month for expressions of interest. The city has declined, however, to release names of the respondents or proposals for the property, claiming an exemption under the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act.

The Day obtained a copy of one proposal by Connecticut Waste Processing Materials LLC and Manafort Brothers, a construction and demolition services firm, who are nearing completion of the solid waste management and recycling facility on Fourth Street, close to the Crystal Avenue property.

CWPM has proposed acquiring the Crystal Avenue property from the city, demolishing the apartment buildings and using the land primarily for bulk shipping and storage facilities, partially to support its own business.

CWPM says a portion of the site would be used by DRVN Enterprises Inc. DRVN currently leases space at the Admiral Harold E. Shear State Pier to store salt stockpiles and would supplement their current operations at the Crystal Avenue site, the proposal states.

CWPM and Manafort Brothers “are a well-established demolition, site and abatement contractors with projects throughout New England. Our growing presence in New London and the opportunity presented in this project, allows us to use our unique core businesses to continue our expansion and address the sizable financial and environmental challenges of the Crystal Avenue property,” said Jason Manafort, a principal in CWPM, in a statement for The Day.

“With the impending completion of the multi-million Fourth Street development, CWPM will continue to expand, invest in New London and to seek out mutually beneficial opportunities,” Manafort said.

Based on its own walkthrough of the aging high-rises that remain on site, CWPM claims the 1.75 million and as a result has asked the city in its proposal to contribute 185,000 but have yet to close on it. School buses are now being parked on site thanks to an agreement signed by Student Transportation of America, the city and Housing Authority.

Passero said the city will explore possible lease or sale of the property and work toward either a development agreement or purchase and sales agreement, depending on the type of proposal.

He said there is still the option of soliciting more proposals, if needed.

g.smith@theday.com

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