Town of Mansfield, CT
1/12/2012 - 01/12/2012: Storrs Center Update

Happy New Year from the Mansfield Downtown Partnership, LeylandAlliance, and Education Realty Trust

Dear Friends and Supporters of Storrs Center:

While New Year's Day has come and gone, the countdown for the grand opening of Storrs Center continues. With a planned opening this summer, Storrs Center, a $220 million, mixed-use development project will provide new retail, restaurant, office, and residential offerings within a planned community of pedestrian walkways, green spaces, and conservation areas. Our journey to this historic point comes after more than a decade of effort by the Mansfield Downtown Partnership, the Town of Mansfield, the University of Connecticut, state and federal elected officials and administrators, the LeylandAlliance LLC and EdR development team, and visionary community leaders and dedicated citizens who supported the dream of creating a new Main Street in the heart of a great university town.

The $60 million first phase of Storrs Center includes the construction of buildings now identified as One Dog Lane and Nine Dog Lane (formerly known as buildings TS-1 and DL-1/2) in Phase 1A. These buildings, along with a new parking garage with an adjacent intermodal transportation center, are planned to be completed and opened in 2012. The ground floor commercial space will include shops, restaurants, and services occupying over 27,000 square feet and upper floors will include 127 market-rate apartment homes.

A grand opening is tentatively planned to take place later this year. Even before this ceremonial opening, a few of the first commercial tenants will move into their new homes and open their doors. Under the current schedule, Storrs Automotive will move to its new location in the late spring, followed by Select Physical Therapy and the offices of master developer Storrs Center Alliance LLC, a subsidiary of LeylandAlliance LLC of Tuxedo, New York. The Oaks on the Square, Storrs Center's first residential apartment homes, will open to its new tenants in August. These premium apartment homes are designed to appeal to a mix of occupants – young professionals, empty nesters, faculty, graduate students, and others.

In August will come more inaugural tenants, including Dog Lane Cafe (operated by the owners of the popular Vanilla Bean Cafe in Pomfret, Connecticut), Froyoworld, Moe's Southwest Grill, and Body Language. Between the first restaurants, shops, service offerings, offices, residents, and visitors, Storrs Center will bring new vitality to our community!

And, this is just the start. Final lease arrangements are underway with Insomnia Cookies, Bank of America, Husky PizzaSubway and others all interested in being part of Storrs Center. It should be fun to dine or shop, live in a beautiful new apartment home, or gather with friends to celebrate a special occasion or event – all in a new Main Street town center.

Detailed planning and work by many during 2011 paved the way for Storrs Center to open in 2012. Among the key accomplishments were:

- Completion of plans for improvements to Storrs Road, Dog Lane, the new Village Street, and the intermodal center. These public components of the project were financed in large part through state and federal grants, supported with additional private funds;

- Signing of a development agreement between the Town of Mansfield, Storrs Center Alliance, and EdR on January 4;

- Approval of a zoning permit for the mixed-use buildings in Phases 1A and 1B on June 3;

- GROUNDBREAKING - the physical sign that Storrs Center was on its way – on June 29 by co-developer Storrs Center Alliance and EdR, with Erland Construction serving as the general contractor;

- Two job fairs held in May and September;

- Construction financing closing with PNC Bank and People's United Bank took place in October; and

- First leases for retail tenants were secured over the fall and early winter months.

Construction of Phase 1B (Building TS-2), which will include additional residences and commercial development (including UConn Co-op, which plans to open a wonderful new bookstore to serve the general public), will commence in the spring of 2012 and is planned to be completed by the summer of 2013.

Prior to the opening of the first phase this fall, there remains much work to be done. 2012 key efforts will include the following:

- Holding another job fair on January 12, 2012;

- Starting the utility work on Dog Lane in January or early February, and the road work on Dog Lane and Storrs Road in the spring;

- Breaking ground on the intermodal transportation center in June;

- Starting the mixed-use development in Phase 1B, to be located in front of the parking garage, in April; and

- Completing the first buildings (now well under way) of One and Nine Dog Lane.

When the first phase opens this fall we anticipate a celebration – a dream will have become a reality. The vision for Storrs Center will be well on its way and the patterns of daily life in a college Main Street community will find its rhythm. People will stop to visit as casual encounters present the opportunity; families will celebrate special moments; students will grab a cup of coffee or a late night snack between studies; visitors will come from near and far to shop or dine before attending a performance at the School of Fine Arts or a game at Gampel; residents will walk to a nearby appointment or to work, and life will continue enhanced by the experience.

Yet, beneath the activities of daily life, an economic engine will also be gaining steam. Connecticut companies and workers will continue to build subsequent phases of Storrs Center – fulfilling a major goal of providing job opportunities within the project for Connecticut workers. Residents and community members should also find enhanced employment in the services, restaurants, and shops of Storrs Center. Community members and visitors spending money in Storrs Center should pump dollars into the economy, and Storrs Center Alliance and The Oaks on the Square will become two of the Town's largest tax payers.

On behalf of the Mansfield Downtown Partnership, LeylandAlliance, and EdR, we wish to sincerely thank the community for its support of Storrs Center. Because of you, Storrs Center will soon become a reality - a compelling place that will positively impact the lives of thousands of people as they go about the daily business of living, working, playing, and learning in this great downtown.


Philip Lodewick, President, Mansfield Downtown Partnership, Inc.
Howard Kaufman, Principal, LeylandAlliance LLC
Tom Trubiana, Chief Investment Officer, EdR

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