History of the Project....
Preston, CT is a very small town in southeastern Connecticut that has about 4,600 residents. What makes it so special then? Its located right between the two largest casinos in the world: Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun Casino. Preston though never saw any benefits from these casinos. All they saw were traffic nightmares in their small town as people tried to head to gamble at the casinos, take in a show, a basketball game, go golfing or do some shopping. Preston was just a town you drove through.
Preston though is home to the former Norwich Hospital. The hospital was closed and is made up of dozens of brick buildings located on 419 acres of prime real estate right next to the Thames River with views of the Mohegan Sun hotel. There was a huge proposal by David Gentile of NY for a project called "Utopia Studios" which would be built on the site at a cost of $1.6 billion dollars.
Utopia Studios would have included movie studios, climate controlled theme park, hotels (5000 rooms) and an art school. The project would have created 22,000 jobs and brought in 8 million visitors.
After years of negotiations the town of Preston pulled the plug in the fall of 2006 on the project because the developer failed to reveal financing sources.
Today (July 2007)
4 developers with 4 differant plans are now competiting to developer the former Norwich Hospital site.
The four proposals are by....
1. Northland Investment Company of Newton, MA (major developer who is the largest downtown landlord in the city of Hartford and is originally from New London, CT)
3. Starwood Capital (based in Greenwich, CT)
4. Tarragon Development Corporation
Here is the latest from the Hartford Courant (by Mark Peters, July 20, 2007)
Also click "related links" to see the specifics of each proposal.