Conceptual layout of the proposed Business Park North business master plan district in the Okcum section of Norwich. (Image credit: Henry Resnikoff of RFP, Inc.)
Norwich — Proposed plans for a second business park on former farmland in Okcum are taking shape, and a rezoning application has been submitted to the City Council to create a business master plan district on the 384-acre site. I was.
Norwich Community Development Corp. entered into a $3.55 million contract to purchase 17 lots, including the former Tarrick and Doolittle Farms, on land bordering Interstate 395, Canterbury Turnpike, Roller Lane, Scotland Road and Route 97 in Okcum is tied.
Norwich officials had included $17 million in an application for federal grants for a larger area that would be used to purchase land and develop the park, but in early September, the federal grant was cut. I understand that you have not received it.
NCDC President Kevin Brown said this meant the city would return to its original plan to seek funding in stages, saying that it would be a “first time” to develop the park before an opportunity for federal grants arose. I will gradually reduce the way I used to go to.” Applying for a zone change to create a business master plan district is the next step, Brown said.
The plan, called Business Park North, will be submitted to the city council, which serves as the city’s zoning commission, on October 17. – The Zoning Commission has scheduled a public hearing.
The NCDC purchase option expires on December 31st. Discussions on possible financing of the purchase by the NCDC Board took place in an executive session, but Brown hopes the plan is on track.
“We believe we are heading towards a solution that will allow us to close by the end of the year,” Brown said of the property purchase.
The 17 lots were put together for a planned golf course resort and residential development in the early 2000s by current owners M&A Holdings LLC and Byron Brook Country Club LLC. The lot is currently zoned for planned development or general commercial development.
A masterplan proposal filed last week shows the property divided into potential development lots with 12 notional mostly square or rectangular buildings ranging in size from 9,000 square feet to 500,000 square feet. The department is labeled “flex building”.
The plan calls for restructuring Exit 18 of Route 97 to create a dedicated ramp to serve as the main entrance to the business park. The design of the ramp mirrors East Lime’s new exit 74 ramp.
“There is virtually no land available in the current business parks serving the city to provide new business opportunities,” the plan’s purpose statement said. “Creating a new business park will allow Norwich to attract businesses within the uses set out in his BMPD, and the expansion of electric and gas services to the business park will create employment opportunities and reduce property tax , property taxes, and utility costs.”
The Business Park North project has been underway for several years, with Norwich Public Utility funding $575,000 for initial development costs, including purchase option fees. A Business Master Plan District was created by the City Council in 2021 in anticipation of a newly proposed business park. This district will act as a floating zone that can be applied to large areas of the city where large-scale development is proposed.
The city’s Inland Wetlands and Waterways Commission approved the plan.
A submission to the City Council’s Zoning Commission said Mayor Peter Nystrom, Alderman Stacey Gould and Alderman Swaranjit Singh Khalsa had to step out of the debate as members of the NCDC board. Mayor John Salomon and Norwich Public Utilities General Manager Chris Larose also serve on the NCDC board.
The redesigned Exit 18 ramp includes new traffic lights for US 97 and two new freight truck roundabouts. One on the new Business Park Road and one at the intersection with the Canterbury Turnpike to “protect local traffic on the Canterbury Turnpike”. planning state.
Property consultant Henry Resnikoff, who is working with NCDC to design the business park plan, told the NCDC board of directors on September 22 that an environmental and archaeological survey of the property had been conducted, but no significant He said he had found nothing. According to Lesnikov, he has one small area under archaeological investigation.
Brown told the board that he is in contact with the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development and is supporting the project.
“By reaching a final state of titled and permitted land, it’s much easier and ready to market the property,” Brown said.