Activity and Progress
Even though I drive down Route 81 frequently, I continue to be stunned by the activity and progress at the Old Morgan site, soon to be Indian River Landing. If you infrequently go this way, I encourage you to take a look. This is the most important thing to happen to Clinton since separating from Killingworth or at least since the premium outlet mall was built. I wondered what the outlet mall thought of this project, so I spoke to its general manager. His comment was they are thrilled, and see Indian River as completely complimentary.
But there are other major developments going on. The second one flies under the radar, the modernization of the equestrian facility known as Claddagh Ridge, also on Route 81 across from The Morgan School. Significant funds are being plowed into this property to make it first class; the key is it will be unique on the shoreline. This is much better than a huge housing or apartment complex on this 25-acre parcel.
Third is the long-sought new train station which is nearing completion. This will allow for an expanded schedule in both directions along with a 9 Town Transit Bus Stop on the Unilever side. This has long-term economic benefits, especially for transit-oriented development. The fourth is the development of the long-dormant Unilever property. Slow to get started, the former office building is now being converted into apartments. Other uses of the property are sure to follow. My favorites would be food, brew, and business incubator space.
These developments were supported or approved during the term of the last Board of Selectmen, the most important of which was selecting the developer for the Morgan Property. The other bidding developers proposed to build a large number of apartments.
Phil Sengle serves on the Economic Development Commission.