Despite Much Interest and Discussion, Future of 30 Old Post Road Remains Unsettled
The future of 30 Old Post Road, something that has been a subject of interest for the past two years, remains up in the air.
Asked on Dec. 28 if there had been any update regarding the property, Economic Development Commission (EDC) chairman John Allen said he had not heard anything. Land use office officials also confirmed to the Harbor News that they have no updates on the property.
In January 2020, the Connecticut Rush, a developmental soccer club with three locations in Connecticut, confirmed to the Harbor News that the Rush had been approached about the using the property. However, plans never made it past the discussion stage.
On Dec. 29, Ed Greene, the director of coaching for the shoreline division of the Connecticut Rush, told the Harbor News that the Rush did at first have substantial interest in the property, especially since Clinton is the midpoint of the territory served by the organization.
Greene said that when the Rush and the property owners met to talk, the two sides were not remotely close to an agreement on a sales price for the property. Greene said that the sides hadn’t talked since 2019. Requests for comment from the property owners were not returned by press time.
In 2018 the future of the property located off of Route 145 at 30 Old Post Road dominated headlines and curiosity in Clinton. The former site of a collapsed warehouse, that year it was the focus of an application from Shoreline Rail & Recycling before the Inland Wetlands Commission for a 94,500-square-foot recycling plant that would be used for storing waste from construction and demolition debris.
The application inspired intense opposition from members of the public who expressed fears over environmental concerns, safety concerns, and possible health issues. In May of that year the applicants withdrew their application after the commission members indicated they would deny the application at the next commission meeting.
After briefly initiating and then withdrawing a lawsuit against the town, the owners of the property, Old Post Realty, met with the EDC and said they wanted to work with the town to develop a use for the property that would be well received. The proposed use that came out of that meeting was for an indoor recreation facility.
In February 2019, the Planning & Zoning Commission approved an application from Old Post Realty to amend the zoning regulations to allow for indoor recreation complexes to be built in the I-2 zone where 30 Old Post Road is located. The approval meant only that an application for a recreation complex could be now received, it was not an approval to actually build the complex. Interestingly Old Post Road is not the only site in town where a proposal to add an indoor recreation complex has been discussed. The new owner of the former Unilever headquarters on John Street was granted permission by the PZC to put indoor turf on a portion of that property, though construction for that use hasn’t started there yet.
Since the zoning commission meeting nearly two years ago, there hasn’t been much in terms of updates about the about the property. With redevelopment opportunities now underway at the old Morgan School and Unilever headquarters building, the Old Post Road parcel represents another tantalizing opportunity for a development to make the town a more attractive destination to live and visit. Whether or not anything comes from this opportunity remains to be seen.