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Storrs Center study predicts fiscal benefits

by Richard Veilleux - December 1, 2008


A new fiscal impact study of the planned Storrs Center says the mixed housing, retail, and dining complex would increase the annual net revenue of Mansfield $2.6 million.

The study, prepared by HR&A Advisors Inc., a national economic and real estate consulting firm, and reviewed by Economics Research Associates, says that tax revenues, including real estate tax, business and personal property taxes, and other assessments would outweigh the costs of providing increased public services, including police and public works, by $2.6 million.

Even in these difficult economic times, the report says, “given the magnitude of the projected fiscal benefits of the project, even if there are downward adjustments to pricing, the project is likely to generate a positive fiscal impact for the town.”

In a separate development, on Nov. 13, the group 1000 Friends of Connecticut, a smart growth education and advocacy organization, named Storrs Center a “smart development.”

A volunteer group of engineers, architects, land use attorneys, economic development professionals, and citizen activists screened Storrs Center’s plans for maximization of existing infrastructure, compactness and land use efficiency, mix of uses, housing options, accessibility, mobility and connectivity, pedestrian safety, streetscapes, and parking.

With the designation of Storrs Center as a smart growth project, 1000 Friends of Connecticut will actively advocate for the project.

The permitting process also has moved forward. On Oct. 31, the state Department of Environmental Protection approved a water quality certification permit for Storrs Center, authorizing the proposed storm water discharges from the project.

Then, on Nov. 4, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved a federal wetlands permit to fill 0.29 acres of degraded wetlands in the project area. The Corps determined the fill would not have a major impact on the wetlands.

Mansfield’s Inland-Wetlands Agency already had approved a local permit for the fill.

A permit to allow improvements to Storrs Road is still pending with the State Traffic Commission.

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