Friday, June 12, 2009

City to sell Cucia Park for $2M

The Economic Development Committee had a very busy meeting this week.  Most EDC meetings are on Monday, but this month they met on Tuesday, unfortunately, it was at the same time that the Eye's beat reporters were participating in and covering the Board of Education and the Sonnet Slam.  Fortunately, at the Strawberry Festival on Thursday afternoon, I had a chance to catch up with two members of the EDC, Councilmen David Bauer and Bob Santangelo.  What follows is based on our conversations, and on the draft minutes available at the Planning Department's web site.  

Cucia Park Sale
The Army offered the city $2M for Cucia Park, as reported earlier in The Eye.  This was considerably less than the $3.4M that many in City Hall expected to get from the sale of this city park, and thus the city hired its own appraiser as the first step towards negotiating a higher price with the army.  At the EDC meeting, the members went into executive session to discuss the results of this appraisal.  After coming out of executive session, the EDC voted to recommend that Mayor Giuliano sign the option to sell Cucia Park for $2M.  

(The Common Council voted in April to use $1.5M of the money from selling Cucia Park to fund operating expenses.  None of the Cucia Park money has been set aside to replace the open space that the city will sell, as the Council stated would happen, in Resolution 10-12 last October.)

City-owned Maromas Land
The Bow Lane property given by the state to the city was the subject of a discussion over how the city could develop it for passive or active recreation.  This is the same property on which the city granted an easement to Buckeye Pipeline, and where brownstone use led to a query at a previous EDC meeting.  The Buckeye project is expected to clear much of the area, and Director of Planning Bill Warner raised the possibility of issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for developing active and passive recreation uses for the land.  The EDC voted to issue such an RFP, which Warner said would likely yield results in time for the August 10 meeting of EDC. 

Midfield Property on Broad Street
 The EDC voted to authorize attorney Corey to prepare a budget for pre-litigation and litigation over the development of a parcel of land on Broad Street, owned by the Midfield Corporation.
 Midfield owns the Charter Oak Building, and as part of its agreement with the city, apparently promised to develop the lot at the corner of College and Broad.  The EDC has now
 taken the first steps necessary for the City to sue Midfield to honor that commitment.

Lady Katharine Cruises
The EDC voted to require the Lady Katharine Cruise company to construct pilings at Harbor Park, as part of its lease with the city for dock space.  These pilings would be designed to better protect the city-owned dock from damage by large boats.  Bauer told me that the Lady Katharine's lease also provides for two free cruises for Middletown seniors.  

City Lobbyists
The EDC voted to continue paying the lobbying firm of Panuzio and Giordano a monthly fee ($2000/month) for lobbying in Washington.  The lobbyist has been working to steer the flow of stimulus package dollars to our city.  


dyanna said...

I like your blog.I'm waiting for your new posts.

Mr. Fixit said...

Re; , City preparing to fund legal action against Midfield Corp to
force development on their empty Broad St. parcel; When it is economically feasible for Midfield to develop this parcel, I have no doubt they will proceed at full speed to do so. It is disturbing, laughable and so very sad that Middletown is bent on pursuing their fool's task on this issue.
Regards, Mr. Fixit

Ridge Road Resident said...

So sad to see this beautiful green space just a block from Main Street has plans for development--I always thought of it as a little oasis in a see of concrete.

madamnirvana said...

I don't understand how the City wants to keep open green space, and make up for some of the land sold as part of Cucia park, but then wants the green space on owned by Midfield developed. Just a little confused..

green lady said...

The Broad Street green space in question clearly has heavy applications of pesticides applied to it from the looks of the grass. Its also private property. In the past I have seen a security guard chasing kids off the property. Its not the same as a public open space. Development absolutely should take place in downtown / already developed areas. This is certainly prefereable to development expanding outward into sprawl.

Anonymous said...

At leasat green lady gets the idea of smart growth !!! This piece has always been planned and approved for development. The issue is Middlesex backing out of its comitments to the city and the state. The property was acquired with city and state money and given to Middlesex in exchange for development of 2 office buildings, not one.

madamnirvana said...

Thank you for the clarification! Makes sense now!:)