Construction halted on land involved in eminent domain battle - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Construction halted on land involved in eminent domain battle

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NEW LONDON, CT (WFSB) -

A last-minute setback is delaying construction at Fort Trumbull in New London.

The groundbreaking for The Villages on the Thames, which is a 103-unit housing development, was expected to be Monday, but it has been postponed.

A closing to transfer the property did not take place as planned and now phase 1, which includes building 34 units on the site, was placed on hold.

That same area was thrust into the spotlight a decade ago. The plan to develop there meant taking properties by eminent domain, which is a law that allows cities and towns to take land for economic development.

That didn't sit well with some homeowners and the fight went all the way to the Supreme Court. The homeowners lost the decision and the land was taken by the city.

Years later, the site still has not been developed.

"Right now, we see this as a delay," said New London Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio. "Delays in closings, particularly complicated business closings, are common - they happen. So we'll wait to see if the final documentation can be put together."

Dick Humphreville makes cabinets and owns one of the few businesses that survived at Fort Trumbull.

Humphreville said he is not surprised at the latest setback on a project that's cost the state and city taxpayers tens of millions already.

"Basically what we're dealing with here, (WFSB Reporter) Kevin (Hogan), is amateurs," Humphreville said. "We have to bring professionals into this town to get the job done."

Eyewitness News reached out to the developers for a comment, but the station has not heard back.

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