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The Voice of Reason

IN-PROGRESS: Storrs Center

40 posts in this topic

I did not see a thread for this and came up with zilch on two different forum searches. I am posting this because it is supposed to start construction this spring, and it is really quite an impressive project.

UCONN has been planning the construction of a downtown as a seedling for creating a college town like setting for the UCONN campus.

"The new town center will occupy approximately 17 acres of the overall 47.7 acre site and will include a new Town Square and a smaller Market Square across from Town Hall"

PROJECTED MIX

Market Rate Rental: 200-300 units

For Sale Residential: 400-500 units

Retail/Restaurant: 150,000-200,000 s.f.

Commercial (office): 40,000-75,000 s.f.

Civic and Community: 5,000-25,000 s.f.

TIMETABLE

Anticipated construction start: 2008

Anticipated completion date: 2014

image3.jpg

Here is the official site

http://www.storrscenter.com/

This PDF has a nice rendering http://www.storrscenter.com/pdf/sc-townpaper.pdf

you can see they are looking to build out at about 5 storys.

Page 6 shows the site plan and gives you an idea just how big of a deal this could be for the area around UCONN.

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This should be interesting to see how it turns out. Storrs is practically the middle of nowhere, even with UConn there. I'm curious as to what could be going in this town center, whether it would be a huge thing or not alleviating the cow country stereotype.

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This should be interesting to see how it turns out. Storrs is practically the middle of nowhere, even with UConn there. I'm curious as to what could be going in this town center, whether it would be a huge thing or not alleviating the cow country stereotype.

based on the renderings and the talking points this will completely kill the cow town thing.

for effect

PROJECTED MIX

Market Rate Rental: 200-300 units

For Sale Residential: 400-500 units

Retail/Restaurant: 150,000-200,000 s.f.

Commercial (office): 40,000-75,000 s.f.

Civic and Community: 5,000-25,000 s.f.

Thats a total of 600-800 housing units! for grad students and professors etc. But more importantly thats as much retail as Evergreen Walk has. Also its enough office to provide space for all the professional service companies the area needs, as well as some small corporate offices. Also it should be noted that this is just the kick off that Uconn and Mansfield are planning. If there is any sucess I suspect that private industry will take care of the rest. As it is there is an emerging tech corridor developing along RT 195. So the area is finally open to change and willing to be more than a cow town. I think the town changing their role and opinion are the most important things going on. UCONN and Mansfield are business partners..... About time!

http://www.courant.com/news/local/ec/hc-to...0,3942653.story

"Inside the headquarters of the research firm Nerac, a handful of twentysomethings, most of them recent

Edited by The Voice of Reason

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Thanks for starting this topic, VOR. I have been following this and thought there was a topic about it somewhere on the board. This project will be huge for UConn/Storrs/Mansfield. It will change the entire character of the region and I think truly transform it into a "college town." UConn is so huge that this thing will certainly be amongst the best if not the best shopping destination in Eastern CT, not including Manchester (which I do not consider as Eastern CT anyway). I think with this project you will begin to see a very sizeable year round student population which could potentially have a huge impact on the area economically. I think it will go a very long way in helping to shed the cow town image.

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I am right there with you HT, I first read about it a year, maybe two ago and was just thrilled. I have only been by UCONN twice, but it quite frankly startled me. I mean there really is NOTHING there. Residential housing is even incredibly sparce. It seems to me that professors and staff have to live in a geographicly spread out area to even keep the school running. When the town and the school build this it will be the begining of moving those workers closer to campus. and that keeps them closer to their students and their research.

There is an enormous amount of room for development up there and nice highway acess. It would be interesting to see UCONN 10 years from now as so much has changed in even the last 5.

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As a 4th-year PhD student at UConn, I share your excitement about this project. UConn has done so much to increase the on-campus experience for students (the percentage of undergrad students living on-campus is #1 in the nation among public universities) but the area surrounding campus is pathetic. There is NOTHING in Storrs right now. I don't know any grad students who live within 15 minutes of campus (Vernon/Manchester is the most common area), but we would all live in Storrs if the options were there.

I've been following this project closely since I arrived at UConn in 2004, and it's been a bit frustrating. In the fall of 2004, they said 2005 would be the start date. Then it was 2006, and then 2007. I hope they actually get it started this summer, as they say. This would dramatically improve UConn's ability to recruit top faculty and students, something it has trouble doing today because of it's cow-town feel. (My other pet peeve is that they need to extend I-384 so that it is easier to get from Hartford to Storrs; that would be huge.)

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here we go boys and girls!

http://www.hartfordbusiness.com/article_li...=HBJTODAY#A5491

A proposed $10 million to fund a share of a parking garage that will serve the Storrs town center at the edge of the University of Connecticut campus is expected to gain approval when the state Bond Commission meets May 30.

"We are serious about stopping sprawl, preserving our state's character and emphasizing responsible, controlled development," Rell said.

A parking garage is always a great step. sometimed development follows even just thhis one amenity. I have yet to see a nice site plan that makes sense in my head for this project. but I do not follow it too closely.

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TIMETABLE

Anticipated construction start: 2008

Anticipated completion date: 2014

6 years? I think BBS took about 2, is the scope of this project so much larger?

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6 years? I think BBS took about 2, is the scope of this project so much larger?

in a word: YES

Storrs PROJECTED MIX

Market Rate Rental: 200-300 units

For Sale Residential: 400-500 units

Retail/Restaurant: 150,000-200,000 s.f.

Commercial (office): 40,000-75,000 s.f.

Civic and Community: 5,000-25,000 s.f.

BB2 actually built

Market Rate Rental: 48 loft apartments

For Sale Residential: 59 condo units

Retail/Restaurant: 230,000 s.f.

Commercial (office): 175,000 s.f.

Civic and Community: renovated library

The retail and commercial side of BB2 is obviously a bit larger, but the residential side of Storrs is just plain massive. Neither has any hotel aspect but I would assume both will be getting a hotel eventually as 2ndary developments. Especially the Storrs one.

as far as the time frame I think that is also due to the states involvement and that there are multiple developers for for Storrs making it more complicated.

at least they are starting it though. I know it will do wonders for UCONN and Mansfield

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in a word: YES

Storrs PROJECTED MIX

Market Rate Rental: 200-300 units

For Sale Residential: 400-500 units

Retail/Restaurant: 150,000-200,000 s.f.

Commercial (office): 40,000-75,000 s.f.

Civic and Community: 5,000-25,000 s.f.

BB2 actually built

Market Rate Rental: 48 loft apartments

For Sale Residential: 59 condo units

Retail/Restaurant: 230,000 s.f.

Commercial (office): 175,000 s.f.

Civic and Community: renovated library

The retail and commercial side of BB2 is obviously a bit larger, but the residential side of Storrs is just plain massive. Neither has any hotel aspect but I would assume both will be getting a hotel eventually as 2ndary developments. Especially the Storrs one.

as far as the time frame I think that is also due to the states involvement and that there are multiple developers for for Storrs making it more complicated.

at least they are starting it though. I know it will do wonders for UCONN and Mansfield

I posted a rumor a while back about a BBS hotel proposal that was floating around. I'm sure there will be more than one at STC eventually. On an aside, I just got back from Atlanta for my 5 year reunion from college and got to check out Atlantic Station. Now that is truly a massive mixed use development. It borders on being a new town unto it's self. It's amazing. I just wish stuff like that would be possible here some day.

Atlantic Station

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It took Blue Back Square longer than 2 years to go through approvals. You must remember though that BB2 was a slam dunk winner. It expanded on the very successful West hartford Center which was a major upscale destination for shopping, eating and entertainment. That got the financing in line quickly so construction could start quickly. Storrs Center may have to prove itself first before tenants and financing is lined up. We will see how good it does. Jay

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I am not sure about there are multiple developers. I thought it's just Leyland. Anyway a 6 year construction period seems long to me.

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I am not sure about there are multiple developers. I thought it's just Leyland. Anyway a 6 year construction period seems long to me.

This is from the developments site. It may just be the way it is written but it just sounds like a complicated conglomoration.

I was clearly confused by all the names

DEVELOPER

Storrs Center Alliance, LLC, an affiliate of LeylandAlliance LLC, Tuxedo, New York, is the master developer. The following consultants form the balance of the Storrs Center Alliance development team: Herbert S. Newman & Partners, P.C., New Haven, CT (master planning, architecture); Live Work Learn Play LLP, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (retail consulting); BL Companies, Meriden, CT (engineering, architecture); Urban Design Associates, Pittsburgh, PA (pattern book, planning, architecture); LaQuatra Bonci Associates, Pittsburgh, PA (landscape architecture); Patrick L. Pinnell, Architecture and Town Planning, East Haddam, CT (architecture); Robinson & Cole, LLP, Hartford, CT (legal); Michael W. Klemens, Ph.D., Ridgefield, CT (environmental consulting); Desman Associates, Farmington, CT (parking consulting); Steven Winters Associates, Norwalk, CT (sustainability consulting); Zimmerman/Volk Associates (market research).

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Residents Worried About Financial Viability Of Storrs Center Project

http://www.courant.com/community/news/ec/h...0,2690689.story

Some times I hate residents.

Is it not the burden of the developer to determine financial Viability?

In the small town of Potsdam that I lived in for a decade as a kid the town would not let a hotel downtown double its size because they didnt think there was the damand. now 15 years later downtown is much quieter because the hotels outside of the village wre able to expand freely and take demand. I hate that crap!

but I digress.

from the article:

And, yet, as the project awaits a delayed groundbreaking, some residents are worried about its viability in a down market and fret about a proposal for the town to make a low-interest, $3.7 million loan to help the developers build a relocation building for existing local businesses and keep the starting rents low. The town manager has required an update on the downtown project's status and is hiring analysts to look at the financial prospects before the town decides on a capital investment

Apparently a 3.7 Million dollar LOAN is the hang up. if a 3.7 Million dollar loan kills a 220 million dollar development the leaers of Mansfield need to be beaten publicly to within inches of their lives. Ok, well at least voted out of office.

3.7 might be a lot to mansfield, but this is a loan not a gift. and it is ear marked to help keel rents low for existing businesses and to give them a temporary loaction while the project is being built.

I might be too cranky to offer any constructive comments, but this just drives me mad!

here is the rub

"A 2005 cost-benefit analysis projected that when complete the development would yield $2 million in local tax revenue, a figure Hart says is conservative, and about 900 jobs. Leyland will update those projections this summer, and the town will have them reviewed. "

Discuss.

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Freakin' NIMBYs suck, man. This project will be an instant success as soon as the shovels hit the ground. There is absolutely no real financial risk that I can think of here. This will be the only game in town of one of the nation's major universities. It's such a no brainer, that I wonder if the residents have brains. Do they not want the jobs and more places to shop, eat, and live? WTF. Oh well, I'm sure they will have no bearing on the final outcome.

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Eastern Connecticut has a big problem with the local populace trying to keep the region pure and rural, and anything that threatens it is heavily opposed by those who wish to keep the area with some sort of character... regardless if keeping the character continues their economic and societal tailslide.

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Freakin' NIMBYs suck, man. This project will be an instant success as soon as the shovels hit the ground. There is absolutely no real financial risk that I can think of here. This will be the only game in town of one of the nation's major universities. It's such a no brainer, that I wonder if the residents have brains. Do they not want the jobs and more places to shop, eat, and live? WTF. Oh well, I'm sure they will have no bearing on the final outcome.

Who cares what they want? Half of the time it's about exerting power simply for the sake of it, small minds collectively trying to stomp out bold ideas.

Look at their concerns; it just reeks of contrarians. Concerns about the economy? Concerns about losing identity? Vague and specious, easy to make and difficult to refute without time, money, and concessions (community bribery).

Edited by Chessplayer

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apparently there was a meeting on the project last night and although there was some negative speakers, there were many positive speakers.

it seems as though this thing will still happen.

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The Mansfield Downtown Partnership's board of directors, the organization guiding the proposed Storrs Center project, has approved new eco-friendly guidelines for the development of a $220 million retail, office and residential neighborhood next to the University of Connecticut campus in Storrs.

The guidelines cover all aspects of development, from land planning strategies, storm water management and energy conservation to using green building materials and environmentally responsible construction methods. Besides careful use of land resources, the goal is to enhance indoor air quality, conserve materials and improve energy efficiency

PDF: View Storrs Center Sustainability Guidelines

http://www.storrscenter.com/

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Saw in today's Courant, the first tenant for this project will be a Storrs branch of the Vanilla Bean Cafe, which is a very well known establishment at its location in Pomfret. I never been, or to the sister place 85 Main in Putnam, but I hear good things.

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This should be interesting to see how it turns out. Storrs is practically the middle of nowhere, even with UConn there. I'm curious as to what could be going in this town center, whether it would be a huge thing or not alleviating the cow country stereotype.

I think it is merely a place for Uconn students to go. And I think with something like this, the entire region would benefit. Companies would have a place to build around. I think it 's a great idea. Looking forward to seeing it develop.

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Trust me, this project will be epic for the campus environment once it's done. This will be a night and day transformation. Great to see it still progressing.

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