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Statement on the Redevelopment Status of Former Morgan School
The redevelopment of the former Morgan High School site at 11 Killingworth Turnpike (Route 81) is one of the most significant economic development opportunities in decades in Clinton and a major priority for the Board of Selectmen.
Following several years of planning and an agreement to sell the property to Mill Pond, LLC, the project for the redevelopment of the Morgan School property fell apart in the late summer of 2017 because of buyer financing issues. An open bid notice was posted in September and October of 2017, with no significant interest. Following the municipal elections in November, the new administration has worked to solicit proposals from highly experienced and qualified developers. This work has resulted in several promising options that are under review.
Over the next several weeks, the Selectmen will be entering into negotiations for a Letter of Intent or a Purchase and Sales agreement with a preferred developer. While price offered will be one important factor, the Selectmen also recognize that this is a generational opportunity to positively affect the economic climate in Clinton, and it is important to get this right. Chasing a quick score is both easy and profitable in the short-term; it does not deliver long-term value to the Town. The Town Plan of Conservation and Development and the Planning & Zoning Commission has established a clear vision for the preferred redevelopment of this property, and it is important for the developer to understand and deliver upon this vision. Further, the developer must have a solid track record of quality large-scale projects and an ability to deliver a product that fits Clinton’s character and fit into the existing environment with Clinton Crossing, Downtown Clinton, the Route 81 Corridor Study and the surrounding residential and school resources.
While the property has sat vacant for too long, the Selectmen are confident that their due diligence and focus on a quality project for Clinton’s future will be paying off very soon.