The Fort Trumbull Municipal Development Plan (MDP), approved in 2000, is one of the largest redevelopment projects in the history of the City of New London. The MDP area encompasses 35 acres of development project sites that range from one to seven acres in size, within a total project area of more than 80 acres. The Fort Trumbull District / MDP area is approximately one mile from New London’s Historic Downtown Waterfront District.
There were two catalysts for the Fort Trumbull Project:
1996 U.S. Navy’s closure announcement for the 32-acre Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) at Fort Trumbull
1997 Announcement by Pfizer Inc. that they would be developing their Global Research and Development Headquarters on an abandoned 24-acre mill site adjacent to and immediately south of the Fort Trumbull area (Now General Dynamics / Electric Boat Submarine Engineering Offices).
The Municipal Development Plan Project Goals are to:
Create a world class development, setting the standard in New London
Create jobs, tax revenue and spin-off economic activity for the City
Maximize public access to the water, and
Develop a project which will help build momentum for the revitalization of downtown New London.
During 2010 and 2011, the Yale Urban Design Workshop (YUDW), led by Professor Alan Plattus and City Councilor Adam Sprecace, completed an intensive review of the planning and prospective development proposed for the Fort Trumbull area, and the YUDW recommendations are being implemented with the Fort Trumbull Municipal Development Plan.
The Fort Trumbull MDP called for acquisition of property, demolition of buildings, environmental remediation, and installation of new streets and infrastructure in the MDP area. The MDP area includes Fort Trumbull State Park, a new state park on a 16-acre site which was developed concurrently by the State of Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. The MDP area also includes the regional Waste Water Treatment Facility (which was upgraded in conjunction with the Fort Trumbull Plan), and U.S. Coast Guard Station New London, which continues to operate a regional search and rescue station from that facility.
The Fort Trumbull Streetscape incorporates a substantial sidewalk system and on-street parking, in order to promote pedestrian activity – especially between the residential, recreational and business developments in the District.
In addition to new streets and infrastructure, the Plan called for the construction of a public access Riverwalk along the Fort Trumbull District shoreline, construction of new roundabout intersections for Howard Street and Pequot Avenue, and construction of a storm water pump station to address chronic flooding conditions, especially at the intersection of Howard and Walbach Streets. All of these improvements were completed by 2008, with the exception of three remaining blocks of street improvements. This remaining public improvement project is known as the Fort Trumbull Phase III Infrastructure Project, and will provide a new streetscape on Trumbull and Smith Streets, as well as the block of East Street facing Fort Trumbull State Park.
The sources of MDP redevelopment property include the former NUWC site (16 acres), the former Amtrak Maintenance of Way Yard (6.5-acres), the former Castle/Lehigh Oil terminal (3.4 acres), a former gas station and auto body shop, as well as residential/mixed uses along Howard Street and in the Fort area.