Media Coverage

http://www.sunherald.com/2012/05/31/3980103/developer-says-gulfports-centennial.html
Sun Herald

Developer says Gulfport’s Centennial Plaza a ‘treasure’

Published May 31, 2012

Anita Lee

Glastonbury Gulfport LLC is seeking tenants for Centennial Plaza on 60 acres of waterfront property designated a Mississippi landmark.

Glastonbury has a long-term lease to develop and manage the property with the nonprofit Gulfport Redevelopment Commission, formed by the city in 2008 to revive the former home of a Veterans Affairs hospital.

The property will remain in public hands and will be open for public events, with Glastonbury paying the city 25 percent of net income.

“There’s not another property like this in the United States,” Robert H. Richardson, a managing partner at Glastonbury, told a crowd of 60 gathered under a tent to celebrate the lease Thursday morning. “It is a treasure and will be treated as such by us.”

The land, shaded by Live oaks and magnolias, overlooks the Mississippi Sound. The federal government completed $39 million in exterior renovations to 10 buildings before deeding the property to the city. The buildings have copper gutters, hand-made roof tiles and wooden windows, many of them domed.

Glastonbury has hired Timothy Casano of Coldwell Banker Alfonso Realty as listing agent. He is shopping space to private clients. “We have several that have certainly expressed interest,” Casano said.

GRC head Carole Lynn Meadows introduced the managing partners of Glastonbury to the public at the Thursday celebration, after the developers spent Wednesday in private meetings with Gulfport Mayor George Schloegel, Chief Administrative Officer John Kelly, four council members and city department heads.

Meadows said she purposely avoided scheduling four council members to meet with Glastonbury at one time because that would have constituted a quorum, requiring a public meeting. After introductions, she said, Richardson and the other managing partner, Jonathan Zich, wanted to hear council members’ visions for the property.

The Sun Herald attempted to attend one of the Wednesday morning sessions with Council President Ricky Dombrowski and council members Cara Pucheu and Libby Milner Roland, but was asked to leave.

“This was purely an information meeting,” Meadows said. “It was input gathering, idea gathering, visionary thought.”

Meadows, who spearheaded development of a ground-breaking children’s museum for Gulfport more than a decade ago, said she hopes to see the old chapel on the VA property turned into a wedding chapel. Glastonbury also is hoping to attract a boutique hotel and restaurants to kick-start revival of the property.

Meadows is excited by those ideas, and happy to offer others. She hopes to see art galleries, coffee shops and apartments on the property.

Glastonbury also would like to attract a college to the campus.

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Developers seeking tenants for Gulfport’s Centennial Plaza

Published: May 31, 2012

AMANDA McCOY/SUN HERALD The Gulfport Redevelopment Commission has signed a lease for 60 of the 92 acres of the old Gulfport VA property with Glastonbury Gulfport which plans to renovate the interiors and market it for retail, offices and other development.

By ANITA LEE — calee@sunherald.com

Glastonbury shares plans for Centennial Plaza

GULFPORT — Glastonbury Gulfport LLC has already hired a listing agent to find tenants for Centennial Plaza, 60 acres of waterfront property designated a Mississippi landmark.

Glastonbury has a long-term lease with the nonprofit Gulfport Redevelopment Commission to develop and manage the property. The city formed GRC in 2008 to revive the former Veterans Affairs hospital campus.

The property will remain in public hands and will be open for public events, with Glastonbury paying the city 25 percent of its net income.

“There’s not another property like this in the United States,” Robert H. Richardson, a managing partner at Glastonbury, told a crowd of 60 gathered under a tent Thursday morning to celebrate the Glastonbury-GRC lease. “It is a treasure and will be treated as such by us.”

The land, shaded by Live oaks and magnolias, overlooks the Mississippi Sound. The federal government completed $39 million in exterior renovations to 10 buildings before deeding the property to the city. The buildings have copper gutters, hand-made roof tiles and wooden windows, many of them arched.

The state had intended to hold its centennial celebration on the property in 1917, but World War I broke out. Mayor George Schloegel told the crowd he hopes the bicentennial can be celebrated there in 2017.

Development will take time. Glastonbury must submit a development plan within 210 days to GRC. Once it is approved, financing must be finalized. Glastonbury Managing Director Jonathan Zich said the property will need utility and other infrastructure work, followed by renovations to building interiors. The buildings will be renovated as demand allows.

Glastonbury, which has a track record of rehabilitating military properties through public-private partnerships, has hired Timothy Casano of Coldwell Banker Alfonso Realty on the Coast as listing agent. He is shopping space to private clients. “We have several that have certainly expressed interest,” Casano said.

GRC head Carole Lynn Meadows introduced the managing partners of Glastonbury at the Thursday celebration, after the developers spent Wednesday in private meetings with Gulfport Mayor George Schloegel, Chief Administrative Officer John Kelly, four council members and city department heads.

Glastonbury is hoping to attract a boutique hotel and restaurants to kick-start revival of the property.

The company also would like to attract a college to the campus.

Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/2012/05/31/3978650/gulfport-leaders-say-glastonbury.html#storylink=cpy

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