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damus

Utopia Ancillary Development News

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I guess I'd better start a thread to post news of the many Ancillary developments being floated for Utopia before they become concrete plans/proposals. We could be seeing a lot of development occuring in NL county in the next several years...

BTW: I might be streching the rules a little bit when I post NL Day Articles, but they are not available to be read witout registration after 24 hours, and after a little bit they take them off the site altogether...

Day - Plainfield hears of Utopia's interest

Joseph Gentile, a principal of Utopia Studios and Utopia Studios Development Corp., spoke with First Selectman Kevin Cunningham this week to reaffirm his interest in possibly building in Plainfield.

...

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Yesterday, the article was full of false information like the location of the towers, it said that they would be hotels not condos, etc. Here are more accurate articles...

Norwich - "it's our time"

Story about Ron Aliano... Is it me or does he remind you or McGeyver?

Norwich's neighbors would like their share

Proposal explained

The next two articles pissed me off a great deal. The Bulletin is trying to cast this in some sort of "utopian" light and trying to say that any perceived negatives are just not there.

Project coult affect schools

Notice how they didn't really touch into the tough areas very much. How easy is it to hire new teachers, I'm sure good ones aren't so easy to find? Due to the influx of students will the city rely heavily on classrooms in trailers? Will NFA (publicly funded private high school that serves the region) start to fill up and result in NFA cutting off admission from towns or could it start being more selective? This is the bulletin, so I guess I should expect nothing from them.

Traffic was issue before Gentile

This one takes the cake... we had traffic before Utopia, so any new traffic is not a big deal at all. Seriously these guys are either on the take or just complete morons for writing such sunny articles like this. They can't honestly believe that ferries will alleviate all of the traffic problems associated with Utopia and its octopus-like network of ancillary developments . This Norwich thing is just the beginning. Apparantly any problems associated with these massive developments, which in all likelyhood will have a much bigger affect on the region than both casinos combined, are trivial and we don't need to put much thought into them... Imagine if these projects are all built and fail.

below is my letter to the editor of the norwich bulletin that I don't expect to see published:

Is there a reason why you are trying to lead the public to believe that traffic will not be a big issue with the new Utopia development? The 2 casinos, stand alone destinations that attract people to stay for extended stays and little else which is a totally different animal than Utopia's proposal, already have had a huge impact on traffic. Why aren't you telling us that we'll need schools, roads, rails, low income housing, etc, etc? I wish you would write a piece about gentrification. The latest proposal makes it crystal clear to me that downtown and probably any other area with good waterfront access, even Greenville, will become too pricy for the middle class. The city is in for some major changes that the general public probably doesn't understand, and your paper reporting in a way that trivializes major issues isn't helpful.

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I am excited for Norwich. This looks very exciting.

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I am excited for Norwich. This looks very exciting.

I agree.

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I am excited for Norwich. This looks very exciting.

I feel kinda bittersweet about this. It's good that Norwich will be on the map again, but we are "putting all our eggs in one basket"? What happens if this is halfway built and loses funding or fully built and no one comes to the parks and they can't make profitable movies (even dreamworks couldn't make it)? There will be growing pains as there are with any city that is developing at such a fast rate, and there are also the issues of affordable housing and gentrification that will ultimately rear their ugly heads and make it into the public spotlight. On top of all that, I personally loathe Joseph Genital (a lot of people in this town have met him and feel the same way, though not enough if you ask me) and all of the people he surrounds himself with. Now that the project is going forward, I wish him nothing but the best of luck because at this point either the project is built and succeeds or its built and fails leaving the region dotted with empty skycrapers.

I edited the previous post from the other day, the Bulletin got all the facts wrong in the first place and then (without posting anything in the corrections section) printed all the correct information today. Lots of articles.

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I feel kinda bittersweet about this. It's good that Norwich will be on the map again, but we are "putting all our eggs in one basket"? What happens if this is halfway built and loses funding or fully built and no one comes to the parks and they can't make profitable movies (even dreamworks couldn't make it)? There will be growing pains as there are with any city that is developing at such a fast rate, and there are also the issues of affordable housing and gentrification that will ultimately rear their ugly heads and make it into the public spotlight. On top of all that, I personally loathe Joseph Genital (a lot of people in this town have met him and feel the same way, though not enough if you ask me) and all of the people he surrounds himself with. Now that the project is going forward, I wish him nothing but the best of luck because at this point either the project is built and succeeds or its built and fails leaving the region dotted with empty skycrapers.

I edited the previous post from the other day, the Bulletin got all the facts wrong in the first place and then (without posting anything in the corrections section) printed all the correct information today. Lots of articles.

Somad:

I still would love to see more Maritime industries in the Thames Valley. Connecticut used to build the Alcot sunfishes and some boats are made in other New England states, but I'd love to see Gateway Community College (along with GOODWIN) create a degree for boatbuilding.

I still think NSS and US (NSS + North Stonington Studios and US = Utopia Studios) would be a help but Connecticut needs to think about their farmers and about industries. (If Ted LaMont wins, I'll say EB will be closed in 5 years along with the Sub base.)

Jim S

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Looks like 2, 37-story towers in the Norwich area, god, why can't this development be closer to Hartford....

Utopia

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Looks like 2, 37-story towers in the Norwich area, god, why can't this development be closer to Hartford....

Utopia

I feel the same way. Good thing it's not that far, I went to Mohegan for the Calhoun game on Sat. Everytime I go for an event and come back, I realize how close Norwich really is. This is good new for them and at least I know Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods are both members of the Metro Hartford Chamber, so Utopia will hopefully join as well and will be good neighbors to Hartford. Who knows, maybe Joe Gentile will develop something in Hartford some day since he'll be fairly close by.....

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Looks like 2, 37-story towers in the Norwich area, god, why can't this development be closer to Hartford....

Utopia

In my opinion, if it were any closer, it would create another satellite center like West Farms and Buckland areas, where people live and shop, and would've done more damage to Hartford. I like how it's far enough away that it's an unreasonable commute to Hartford. It's not like the theme parks have really helped downtown Orlando.

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In my opinion, if it were any closer, it would create another satellite center like West Farms and Buckland areas, where people live and shop, and would've done more damage to Hartford. I like how it's far enough away that it's an unreasonable commute to Hartford. It's not like the theme parks have really helped downtown Orlando.

I can agree with this statement as well. Too close but not in Hartford could have been very bad.

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Oops, sorry about that, I skim alot and miss some stuff...

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Bulletin - "A new Norwich"

Gentile said his project won't add stress to the school system, which is already struggling to deal with an influx of casino workers' children. He said would build luxury condominiums and small apartments to add to the housing without attracting children who would enroll in the schools.

This guy takes us all for idiots, and I guess we are. Sure, he won't build the necessary low income housing... someone will have to for this to be a success though. 22k workers at the Preston site, surely thousands more with this development, and more developments to come. Why does it have to be said that low income housing will need to be built. Low-wage service job workers just don't fall out of the sky. There is a housing shortage as it is for the casino workers... this guy stands to more than double the number of low income workers just at his developments, and I'm not getting into the spinoff jobs that will pop up... Though I'm sure Genital would say "well that's up to the towns" when asked in person (and off camera) about low income housing just like he does with most negative arguments. Obviously ... even if Norwich doesn't want 20-30,000 low income workers moving in ... surely Franklin or Lebanon or Montville would be more than willing to take them all in!

This guy is pushing his project by saying only high income types will be moving in (property values... and taxes will soar) when anyone in their right mind knows that in addition to these people there will need to be tens of thousands of low income workers, most of them likely immigrants (or people from Chinatown) with children who may or may not speak English well. The way that this whole thing has been going down should be crinimal.. everyone from Genital to the media is spinning this postively and miseducated the public (who mostly don't give enough of a crap to actually research beyond the bullet points) while not mentioning most of the negatives.

Bulletin's supposed "other side of the story"

Keleigh Baretincic of Preston, who led Preston Residents for Responsible Development, a group opposed to the Preston project, said the divisions about Utopia stemmed from people who liked what the two casinos have done for the region versus people who don't.

"There's been such a drastic growth and a change in the landscape," she said. "Some people would encourage more of that growth and more of that extreme venture, whereas some people are taking a more cautious development approach for the area."

I'll just say that without the casinos this area would've been f*cked with all those defense cuts in the early 1990s, and the casinos DO pay almost $20 million per month each to the state. It's not the casino's fault that the state continuously screws us with the casino money, though they could try speaking up for us sometime.. Utopia will pay far less in taxes and have a far greater impact on the region. I do not fall into Ms. Barentincic's black and white potrayal of the whole situation.

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downtownutopia.jpg

We'll take those for Front Street if you guys don't wan them. You guys will have 2 of the better towers in CT/ New England if this get's built.

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Yeah, I'll take those for the Park St gateway too....

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downtownutopia.jpg

That would make a nice addition to the Hartford skyline.

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That would make a nice addition to the Hartford skyline.

They look like something they would build over in asia

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Bulletin - Norwich, Utopia in Sync

11 Years ago the Mashantuckets were found out to be planning to surround our harbor with condos and hotels, tying downtown Norwich in with their main site (which at the time was planned to eventually house a year round domed theme park) with a monorail. When I compared his Preston plan to what Skip Hayward wanted to build (he thought of Foxwoods as a mean to this end) was really a domed Chinese themed amusement park complete with a replica of the Great Wall, Genital told me never heard of any of these ideas but said it was interesting. Is this guy following Skip Hayward's playbook or is this all a coincidence? Why did the papers, city government, and people all oppose a similar project simply because the Mashantuckets were involved and now that a shady businessman with no relevant experience and with a penchant for leaving the top 3 or 4 buttons undone on his shirt (exposing his hairy, flabby chest!) comes along and ties this all in with a Hollywood East plan... it's great??

I understand if this is where Norwich's officials are coming from: Preston let the cat out of the bag and if they don't play along now the town is going to be even more screwed. Is this their reasoning? Only they know...

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City Officials, Gentile to meet on Norwich plan

The mayor should be real careful with this guy, follow Preston's example and protect the city with a strong development agreement. Everyone should be highly skeptical of this project at this point.

I'd equate the chances of this being built to the Preston site... The problem is if the Preston development happens and Norwich doesn't get any Utopia developments outside of maybe the Norwich portion of the hospital site Norwich would be screwed. Many (if not the vast majority) of the low income workers at Utopia will end up living in Norwich putting a huge strain on services. I'm not even going to get into the other headaches that not just Norwich, but the region will have because of this massive project. Best case for Norwich is Utopia disappears. Even if that means nothing goes up at the hospital site.

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