Fort Trumbull’s Little Pink House
One of my last fights for the little guy, against Big Business, Crooked Politicians and their money!
I had to leave the cold weather for health reasons.
The battle actually started in the late 1990s, Fort Trumbull residents noticed real estate agents poking around their streets.
Neighbors suspected something was in the works, and in December 1999 the news hit: the city of New London planned to acquire all 90 acres of Fort Trumbull and turn the land over to private developers.
Spurred by the imminent opening of Pfizer Global Research and Development’s $300 million headquarters next door, the city envisioned a
“waterfront urban village”
of offices, luxury condominiums, and a four-star hotel with river views.
About 80 property owners, many of them elderly, voluntarily sold their homes when the city came knocking.
The remaining seven, including the Derys, refused. In response, the city-chartered New London Development Corp.
(NLDC) seized the remaining houses through a process called eminent domain, which allows governments to buy property from unwilling owners.
‘Little Pink House’ movie revives eminent domain fight that put New London on national stage.
The Fort Trumbull peninsula in New London is seen from the air April 25, 2014.
(Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
The “Little Pink House” was not the beginning of the Fort Trumbull disaster, nor is it the last.
This was a group of poor older citizen’s with little to no money, fight to save their homes from Greed!
The “Little Pink House” that became the focus of the eminent domain fights over the Fort Trumbull redevelopment effort.
In late 1997 Gov. John Rowland, a Republican, decided to make major investments in the state’s cities, including New London.
Rowland and his chief of staff, Peter Ellef, brought in local lawyer-lobbyist Jay Levin, a former legislator and skilled political operative.
Levin solved Rowland’s problem by reviving the New London Development Corporation, a private, nonprofit entity established in the 1970s to aid the city with development planning.
“At the time, it looked like a wondrous gift to the city, Pfizer with its $300 million.
Plans for a hotel.
No one could raise any money to do anything down there and here Governor (John) Rowland was offering $90 million — none of which made sense.”
New London citizens lost $70 million, the poor lost their homes.