Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Frankie811

PROPOSED: Utopia Project

Recommended Posts


I hope something goes forward with that site. Poor Norwich is such an urban backwater. However, I have been to their downtown recently (last week actually) and they are doing a lot to bring back many of the old buildings and get their city moving again. My brother lives near the city and I know first hand that they have invested a lot of time and now money into their downtown. It might be rundown, but it's got some great architecture. Hmmmm, sounds familar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a wonderful project for the area. Norwich is a unique city and many of the downtown buildings are being renovated as a result of Foxwoods Resort Casino and the Mohegan Sun Casino, both of which are within 10 minutes of Downtown Norwich.

The project is slated for construction on the vacant Norwich Hospital Site (mostly in Preston) which is an eyesore. The project will hopefully bring jobs to an area of the state that COULD lose 8,000+ jobs if the Groton Sub Base closes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FINALLY! My fingers' are crossed very tightly that we will see Utopia built and operating by the end of the decade! (It may be time to start buying property in Willimantic!).

Now, if the state/casinos would build high speed rail between Bradley and Hartford and Norwich / casinos...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Willimantic is a city in need of a lot of help and a new town government. The town has gone down the hill ever since they destroyed the Union street area of the city. Willimantic was once one of connecticuts nicest cities. With a little help from some developers and new leaders, Willimantic/Windham could be a nice place to call home. Also, I-384 needs to finally be built so Windhan can be a real suburb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A major project is on the boards in Southeastern CT. This past weekend though the Town of Preston (next to Norwich) voted to recommend that the town end talks with the developer Joe Gentile of NYC whose wife is Cathy Moriaty because they have not provided the requested information. The developer though is not ready to give up and today in a press conference at the Raddisson Hotel in New London assured that he work to get the Town of Preston on board with this massive project and he also assured that the funding is still in place.

The project would be built on the vacant Norwich Hospital Site. 70 acres of the site are in Norwich and the rest are in Preston.The project would create a theme park the size of Disneyland, a 6,000 student art school, a 4,000 room hotel complex, a marina along the Thames River, a huge domed roof entertainment and retail complex The project would also create 22,000 jobs. COST: 1.6 Billion

The project area: Just up the river from the Mohegan Sun Casino, minutes to Foxwoods Resort Casino, minutes from downtown Norwich and 10 minutes from Downtown New London.

What do you think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do you think?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hmm, I think massive traffic jam on 95 and 395, like it isn't bad enough already. Is this right across the river from downtown Norwich? If it is, at least they're attempting to place it contiguous to an already developed, urban area.

Are the New England Central and P&W railroad lines that run up the Thames abandoned? They should put some commuter trains on one of the lines from New London or Groton to this area, to connect to the Shore Line East trains(does that even go to New London anymore?) Then I think this project could be decent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If this project is planned carefully enough so that congestion is kept to a minimum this project could do wonders for the area.

The site is about 4-5 minutes from downtown Norwich itself and diagonally across the river is Mohegan Sun Casino which you can find by it's massive hotel tower.

Traffic is a major concern with this project and the Town of Preston wants more information on traffic that they did not receive from the developer. Preston currently is a small town with very little business so the homeowners foot most of the expenses which is why earlier this year the town residents voted 89% out of 100 to enter the next step in the project. The casinos have increased traffic in the area but they have also used their own money to construct/ reconstruct/ renovate roadways in the area (Rt 2/ 2A)

I do not think the railway is currently running but that would be an awesome idea but CT politicians have not caught onto the idea that railways can help as just now they are replacing the Metro North cars on the New Haven-New York City line that are 30+ years old.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If this project is planned carefully enough so that congestion is kept to a minimum this project could do wonders for the area.

The site is about 4-5 minutes from downtown Norwich itself and diagonally across the river is Mohegan Sun Casino which you can find by it's massive hotel tower.

Traffic is a major concern with this project and the Town of Preston wants more information on traffic that they did not receive from the developer. Preston currently is a small town with very little business so the homeowners foot most of the expenses which is why earlier this year the town residents voted 89% out of 100 to enter the next step in the project. The casinos have increased traffic in the area but they have also used their own money to construct/ reconstruct/ renovate roadways in the area (Rt 2/ 2A)

I do not think the railway is currently running but that would be an awesome idea but CT politicians have not caught onto the idea that railways can help as just now they are replacing the Metro North cars on the New Haven-New York City line that are 30+ years old.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hmmm, I dont know what to think of it. Hopefully the developer will have to pay massive impact fees. I think the developer and the state of CT should partner up and get trains running up from New London (and to New London from wherever the Shore Line East ends). And of course, there's always the widening of I95... -_-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The developer so far has pumped 4.5 million dollars into this project and it appears to me at least that he is very committed and would like to see his dream become a reality.

I know the state just received an enourmous sum of money (forgot how much) to use on transportation. The money was enourmous increase over what the state received last year and they plan to use the money for numerous projects including improving I-84, the I-91/I-95 interchange in New Haven and the widening of I-95 in southeastern CT all the way to the RI border

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The state got 2.5 billion, I think. I know they are going to widen 84 from Danbury to Waterbury to 4 lanes in each direction.I think they should consider a light-rail running through the median or right of way of 84.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That would be a good idea

I did find out that the state plans to use the extra funds to:

Widen I-95 from Brandford to North Stonington

Improve the roads around Adrieans Landing and Coltsville in Hartford

Start up the Hartford Circulator Bus system

Put funds towards the New Britan Hartford busway

Improve Rt 11 and 82

Improve 84

Improve Mark Twain Drive in Hartford

Marina improvments (Norwich Harbor)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Utopia Studios Rendering

1UTOPIAMARINE031305.jpg

Other nearby Hollywood type of Projects

More Movie Studios Near Utopia Being Built

I don't think people really grasp the scope of this yet. If this comes to fruition CT will be the largest entertainment production center in America outside of Hollywood. It is a well known fact that entertainment is the number one export from America and if this gets built it will dramatically reshape CT's economy. That is not to mention what it will do to what is already the largest tourist destination area in the Northeast. :D Needless to say I am all for it. Bring the big businesses home to CT.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm skeptical about this whole project, but the more and more I see the developers coming back to the table to negitiate makes me think this thing could be for real.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm skeptical about this whole project, but the more and more I see the developers coming back to the table to negitiate makes me think this thing could be for real.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think this project is definately for real. Here is the article from today's Courant. I'm pretty positive that it will happen, it is the best location in the Northeast to build something like this, halfway between NY and Boston and minutes from 2 of the largest tourist attractions in the Northeast. Also, Cruise lines have now starting coming to port in New London occasionally so I think that the future for Southeastern CT is definately in tourism and now maybe entertainment and people are starting to take notice nationally. The Brokarage firm Bear Stein in NY is already lined up with financing for the Utopia deal and the only obstacle really is getting the town to approve it. After that is done I think this thing will be a done deal.

Utopia Studios Plan Moving Forward

Courant Staff Report

September 21 2005

A major stumbling block to a proposed $1.6 billion movie studio and theme park plan in eastern Connecticut was removed Tuesday when Utopia Studios agreed to strict terms for negotiating a development contract with the town of Preston.

A letter specifying the terms of the negotiations was signed by the parties late Tuesday afternoon.

The development is planned for the 400-acre former Norwich State Hospital along the Thames River, across from Mohegan Sun casino. Utopia would get the property for $1 but would have to pay for an environmental cleanup that could cost $20 million or more.

However, before Preston can sign any deal with Utopia it must work out a purchase and sale agreement with the state of Connecticut, said First Selectman Robert Congdon, co-chairman of a local committee overseeing sale and development of the hospital property. The state has already promised to convey the land to Preston for $1.

Congdon said Preston is eager to develop the parcel, but the town wants to make sure it learns more details about Utopia's elaborate development plans, which include 12 sound stages, indoor theme parks, shopping and a school for the film arts.

"I think we've made ourselves absolutely clear," Congdon said. "It's the best way to go as far as our options go."

If the state turns over the property quickly, Preston should know by December whether it has a deal with Utopia.

continue reading

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope this project goes through as planned becasue it will do wonders for the state of CT. Yes things will be cnanged but looking at the overall picture southeastern CT will benefit greatly from the project along with the whole state.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very jealous, I'd love for Rhode Island to have stolen this proposal from you guys seeing how they were also eyeing us as an option. This would have been spectacular on the East Providence waterfront. Congratulations. I do feel bad that this isn't closer to the city though it's not a bad spot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very jealous, I'd love for Rhode Island to have stolen this proposal from you guys seeing how they were also eyeing us as an option. This would have been spectacular on the East Providence waterfront. Congratulations. I do feel bad that this isn't closer to the city though it's not a bad spot.

Have you ever seen the site, Garris? It's amazing, you could fall down drunk and hit the water, trees everywhere, and is basically a bridge away from the Mohegan Sun....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very jealous, I'd love for Rhode Island to have stolen this proposal from you guys seeing how they were also eyeing us as an option. This would have been spectacular on the East Providence waterfront. Congratulations. I do feel bad that this isn't closer to the city though it's not a bad spot.

I think they picked the perfect spot and will capitalize on what is becoming the tourism mecca of the Northeast. They will have no trouble filling the theme park when thousands of people come to the nearby casinos everyday. I think almost anywhere else in the Northeast would be a stretch in order to support this project. IMO this is about the only logical place to put something of this magnitude and the developers feel the same way or they would not be fighting so hard to get the town to approve it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I HAD TO START A NEW THREAD WITH A NEW HEADLINE. SORRY.

IT'S OFFICIAL. UTOPIA IS GOING TO HAPPEN PER TODAYS ANNOUNCEMENT IN HARTFORD AT THE CAPITOL. I HAD TO TYPE THIS IN BOLD LETTERS BECAUSE THIS IS BIG!!! THIS WILL TURN THE TIDE IN CT IF IT REALLY HAPPENS. BUT THE REST OF NEW ENGLAND WILL BENEFIT AS WELL. PROVIDENCE, THIS IS GREAT FOR YOU. IT'S NOT BAD FOR BOSTON EITHER.

IT'S REVOLUTIONARY FOR HARTFORD AND THE REST OF CONNECTICUT!!!!!

1UTOPIAMARINE031305.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So what are we talkin about here, an amusement park and hotels and stuff? Wow, between this and the casinos, eastern CT is gonna be the place to be! Anyone know about more details or can outline exactly what will be included in the project?? I'm particularly interested in the transportation aspect of it?

Very exciting!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So what are we talkin about here, an amusement park and hotels and stuff? Wow, between this and the casinos, eastern CT is gonna be the place to be! Anyone know about more details or can outline exactly what will be included in the project?? I'm particularly interested in the transportation aspect of it?

Very exciting!

To offer some scale to this mega-project, consider that Utopia's proposed 4,200 hotel rooms would represent more than half of this region's entire inventory of some 7,800 hotel rooms. At the moment, the region's biggest hotel is the high-rise Mohegan Sun Hotel, which has 1,200 rooms spread among its 34 stories.

Utopia's 450,000-square-foot school for the arts would be almost half the size of the entire Crystal Mall in Waterford. And the proposed 225,000-square-foot movie studio would be nearly twice the size of a typical Home Depot.

Utopia, according to Gentile, would encompass 5.2 million square feet of space. That's bigger than the combined 1 million-square-foot Crystal Mall and its surrounding sea of parking. The 85-acre mall covers about 3.7 million square feet, or roughly 70 percent of the total

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.