A project touted as an Eiffel Tower-like symbol of a new Stamford suffered a setback Monday night at the hands of the Zoning Board.

The board voted 3-2 to reject a phasing plan for the Atlantic Centre project, whose centerpiece would be a 400-foot tower at the intersection of Atlantic Street and Tresser Boulevard.

“I don’t see why this building can’t be our Eiffel Tower,” board member Harry Parson Jr. said. Standing 50 feet taller than the Trump Parc building – it would become a symbol of the city and provide the “posture” to attract new businesses to Stamford, Parson said.

The developer will now have to return with a new phasing plan, or schedule stating when different phases of the project will be built. Board members who voted not to accept the phasing plan said it was not specific enough. 

William Hennessey Jr., the lawyer representing Rich Cappelli Associates, the project’s developer, said the board’s action was “very poor” for a city trying to develop its downtown area, especially in a troubled economy.

Board member David Stein, who voted not to accept the phasing plan, admitted that he had gone back and forth in his opinion of the plan. He felt the developer was not making enough progress and doubted the project would be built.

Stein remarked, “100 percent I support a project, but this one is not going to be built.” He said the board needed to put pressure on the applicant to come back with a realistic building proposal.

The board has approved the plan itself, which calls for two towers: a 198-room hotel and a 289-unit condominium complex, plus almost 65,000 square feet of retail space.  

What would you like to see built where the Atlantic Centre project is slated to go? Share your thoughts and opinions below or e-mail them to reporter Anthony Buzzeo at .