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NEW LONDON, CT-Near the planned National Coast Guard Museum, the US Coast Guard Research and Development Center will be housed in more than 46,000 sf of leased space at the former Naval Undersea Warfare Center building here. The US General Services Administration signed the lease with Corcoran Jennison LLC of Boston on behalf of the US Coast Guard, which will take occupancy of the space at the 96,000-sf 1 Chelsea St., also known as Parcel 3A, by December 2008.

Mark Garofalo, project director for Corcoran Jennison, says that renovation of the building will cost approximately $12 million. The rehabilitation of the property is part of the Fort Trumbull municipal development project in New London. The 1 Chelsea St. building is near a parcel where Corcoran Jennison will build Fort Trumbull Apartments, an 80-unit, market-rate rental housing project on East Street. That project, Garofalo says, should break ground this September or October and be completed in 2009. Corcoran Jennison signed a ground lease for the 1 Chelsea St, property back in December 2005. Corcoran Jennison also plans to develop a 120-room hotel on property adjacent to the planned National Coast Guard Museum.

The lease with the Coast Guard was announced recently by Gov. M. Jodi Rell. “Last year we announced Fort Trumbull would be the site of the National Coast Guard Museum, a major attraction that will tell the story of Connecticut’s maritime industry,” the governor said when announcing the lease. “That project is a reminder of the progress we’re making in expanding economic opportunities in southeastern Connecticut. This latest development proves we are building on our success and working harder than ever to continue the revitalization of New London and complement significant investments already made in the region.”

State officials report the US Senate passed a Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill containing $17.6 million for the Coast Guard Research and Development Center, currently housed in the University of Connecticut’s Avery Point Campus in Groton. That funding will go toward research projects and operational costs. Last April, the state announced an agreement with the US Coast Guard to build the $60-million museum in New London. The state has committed $15 million to the venture.

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