Residents in Preston will know by the end of this month the new proposal for the Norwich State Hospital site. Itâ€™s been more than a year since the deal with Utopia studios fell through.
The 400 acre site along the Thames River hit the headlines when Long Island based Utopia struck a deal for a one-point-six billion dollar movie studio and theme park development. But that fell through when the company failed to come up with cash for cleaning up the site. Now the town of Prestonâ€™s advisory committee has narrowed the field to two new potential developers. Both Northland Investment Corporation and Renova Partners are proposing mixed use developments, with housing, retail and leisure components. But Preston First Selectman Robert Congdon says that there are differences.
"They are similar in some ways, yet theyâ€™re very very different. One is asking for a significant tax package, but has far lower impacts to the town. The second has more impacts, more revenues. So it becomes a question of balancing quality of life."
The committee says it will make a final decision on which to recommend by January 30th. The winning proposal will then go to a vote of town residents. Preston has just over a year remaining until its option to purchase the site from the state will expire.