State looks at plans to develop run-down Seaside Park hospital - WFSB 3 Connecticut

State looks at plans to develop run-down Seaside Park hospital

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WATERFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Neglected for decades, the former Seaside State Hospital is the state’s newest waterfront park. 

Now, the state has invited developers to check it out and possibly create an inn-like setting. 

Deputy DEEP Commissioner Susan Whalen was the host on Wednesday as Channel 3 toured Seaside State Park in Waterford.

The 32-acre waterfront park was built in the 1930’s by iconic designer Cas Gilbert. 

It was a hospital for children suffering from tuberculosis and closed as a group home in 1996, and made into a state park 4 years ago.

As prospective developers walked the grounds to prepare a multi-million dollar private plan of development, Channel 3 got an inside look.

“So we’re doing remediation right now of all the asbestos that’s in the building and as part of that you’ll see a lot of walls down and big open spaces.  We do think it will provide a clean slate for anyone interested in redeveloping this property,” said Whalen.

The buildings need work.

The state hopes to team with private developers and overhaul the buildings and create a destination with lodging for guests.

A similar concept was done in New York state at Bear Mountain State Park. 

The waterfront setting speaks for itself, a possible 50-year lease deal for the selected developer.

“We know that it’s going to take a long time for someone to recoup their investment in this and we’re really looking for a long term partner in this,” said Whalen.

Inside it looks like a dorm.

“Although these buildings look pretty rough they are in recoverable shape,” said Whalen.

Someone is going to spend upwards of $35 to $45 million, and that includes two private residences

The doctor's house and the director’s house could become family suites.

“This is a one of a kind property in Connecticut.  It’s hard to find this kind of expansive public space like this,” said Whalen.

Developers have until the end of July to present their proposals and the state will vet the ideas, and bidders with a decision about a partner sometime next year.

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