The city of Meriden was interested in exploring the market economic feasibility of a 300-acre parcel of land. A portion of the property is currently owned by the city, while a 37-acre central portion of the area is not owned by Meriden, but is also available for development. The central portion of the property was once previously the site of the NRG natural gas power generation facility that has subsequently been dismantled.
They hired CERC to produce a study that would give them the economic development possibilities for the site, keeping in mind the demographic and economic trends, as well as the known constraints of the property including the environmental limitations.
Some of the key findings and recommendations from the report included:
- The economic trends are currently favorable for light manufacturing and healthcare in the region
- Encouraging a strategic development and zoning plan for the property that draws on existing regional strengths will help attract potential investors
- The terrain of the property poses a significant challenge for future development and the location’s distance from I-91 limit the potential for large-scale distribution or a technology park
- An advantage of the property is that nearby access to I-691 would allow for developers to tap into the regional labor market
- The uses for the South Mountain Road site that hold the most promise at this time include: Destination Recreation; Wind or Solar Power Generation; Technology or Healthcare Space; Light Manufacturing; and Mixed-Use Development
- The development potential of the site increases substantially if the NRG site is combined with the existing city-owned property into one cohesive property, signaling to developers that the city is interested in a thoughtful and unified plan