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Ponemah Mill celebrates first phase completion, start of second

September 22, 2018

Norwich — Kathy and Kevin Jesmonth were at their Colchester home watching TV news on May 9, 2017, when a news feature about the 30 million phase one, and a gold-shovel groundbreaking ceremony for construction — which is well underway — on the 184,219 in property taxes this year to the city on 10 properties in Taftville, city Tax Collector Karlene Deal said Friday.

Nick Lundgren, deputy commissioner of the state Department of Housing, said the Ponemah Mill development went from a long-shot dream project to a “shining example” of how public and private investment can transform derelict properties of all sizes throughout the state. He said the department is tackling old mills, a bank building and even a farm house.

“It’s been very exciting to watch this project evolve,” he said.

Karl Kilduff, CHFA executive director, recalled touring the project when the only resident was a worker in a small construction trailer at the far end of the building.

“This is a project we are excited about,” Kilduff said. “This is a project we talk about often.”

Before directing participants to the afternoon’s refreshments, Mills said a year from now, he hopes to be sending out another invitation to a combination ribbon-cutting of phase two and a groundbreaking for phase three: a planned 77-unit renovation of the rear wings of the building that juts back toward the Shetucket River. OneKey has submitted financing applications for phase three already, O’Neill said.

“Sometimes it takes longer than we all like,” O’Neill said, “but we get it done in the end.”

c.bessette@theday.com

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