Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell on May 14 said $10 million to fund a parking garage for the Storrs Center is expected to gain approval when the state Bond Commission meets on May 30.
The nearly $220 million, 50-acre village, complete with restaurants, retail outlets, housing, offices and 35 acres of open space, will be built on Rte. 195 near the School of Fine Arts and E.O. Smith High School.
The bonding will cover about 70 percent of the cost of the garage. Other funding for the downtown project includes approximately $190 million from the developers, Leyland Alliance of New York and $6 million from federal and other state grants.
“This is our opportunity to shape a college town,” Rell said.
“UConn has become truly a world class institution and we are so proud of how far our flagship university has come in so short a time. Still, I think we would all agree that one key ingredient is missing at UConn – a town center that would provide Mansfield with a ‘college town’ look and feel.”
UConn, Mansfield and Downtown Partnership officials have been laying the groundwork for the project since 2002. Officials are waiting for three final permits, including two from the state.
“It’s another step forward,” Cynthia van Zelm, director of the Downtown Partnership, said shortly after Rell’s announcement. “We continue to make progress, and it’s great to see the state step up again.”
UConn President Michael J. Hogan thanked Gov. Rell and praised Senate President Pro Tem Donald Williams, D-Brooklyn, and Rep. Denise Merrill, D-Mansfield, for their efforts in impressing Rell with the importance of the project.
“They worked very hard to move this project to the bonding committee’s agenda so we can move things forward.”
“The support we’ve received from the governor and Sen. Williams and Rep. Merrill, and the assistance of state agencies has been extraordinary,” Hogan said.
“They understand what a necessary advantage Storrs Center will be, not only to the University – where the impact will be huge – but to the Town of Mansfield, Eastern Connecticut and the state itself.”