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Land to be sold for downtown development

by Richard Veilleux - May 30, 2006

The Board of Trustees on May 15 approved the conveyance of approximately 50 acres in the vicinity of Dog Lane and South Eagleville Road to the developers of a commercial, retail, and residential village planned for the site.

The land transfer will be accomplished though three purchase and sale agreements and a ground lease. The purchase price is more than $1.8 million.

Any ground lease payments to the University would be in addition to the purchase price.

The finalization of the agreement between the University and Storrs Center Alliance LLC, the master developer of the project, is a major step forward for the new mixed-use town center, says Tom Callahan, interim vice president for administration and operational services and special assistant to President Philip Austin.

The sale includes a parcel of approximately one acre bordering Dog Lane near the entrance to Bishop Center.

This is expected to be the site of a small new building designed to accommodate several existing commercial and retail tenants who will be relocated from their current locations in shopping plazas located in the project area.

Macon Toledano, vice president of planning and development for LeylandAlliance and head of the Storrs Center development team, said the agreements are “of critical importance and will allow us to proceed with the initial stage of the Storrs Center development.”

Added Callahan: “The creation of a downtown with stores, restaurants, housing, and public spaces will provide significant benefits to the University community, including students, faculty and staff, alumni, and town residents.”

In February, the development team received final state approval for the Municipal Development Plan, which lays out a vision for the mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented town center, located across from E.O. Smith High School.

When completed, Storrs Center will include residential neighborhoods, small parks, retail areas, walkable streets and, at its heart, a landscaped town square.

The entire community will be located on 15 acres within an approximately 50-acre site.

The balance of the land will be maintained in a protected natural state.

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