The third time did not prove to be the charm as the General Services Administration (GSA) rejected the single bid it received from a local developer during last month’s auction for the former Stratford Army Engine Plant in Connecticut.
Hartmann Development LLC submitted a $1 bid as part of a $1 billion plan to build a resort including a hotel; a waterfront promenade with housing, shops and restaurants; movie and television production studios; and a military aviation museum. The firm would have been responsible for cleaning up the 77-acre site. The local firm’s proposal relied on a $500 million investment from the federal government.
Stratford Mayor John Harkins had criticized the project as unrealistic and wants the Army to clean up the property to jump start its reuse.
The government rejected Hartmann’s bid because it fell short of the bidding requirements, reported the Connecticut Post. “The bidder did not provide assurances that the divestiture of the property would occur in a timely manner consistent with the [invitation for bid],” GSA said. “The property remains available.”
The government’s previous tries to transfer the site also failed. After waiting 11 years for the city of Stratford to come up with a plan, the Army decided to auction the plant in 2007. The winning bidder — which offered $9.6 million — was unable to carry out its plan to turn the site into a movie studio complex. More recently, a proposal to build a resort on the property evaporated due to the cost of cleaning it up.