After months (in one case, years) of study and debate, two major proposals to change New Haven’s landscapes won final approval Wednesday night, with nary a peep.
The Board of Alders voted unanimously at a City Hall meeting to approve the two proposals:
• To change zoning in order to pave the way for a Fairfield developer, Spinnaker Residential LLC, to convert Wooster Square’s Comcast building into 200 luxury apartments.
• The redevelopment of 56 River St. as part of a broader plan to revamp the largely vacant and dilapidated riverine district between the Wooster Square and Fair Haven neighborhoods, once lined with factories that have since left town.
“We are grateful to have the Board of Alders’ support for these redevelopment projects,” city economic development chief Matthew Nemerson stated in a release issued after the vote. “Adding more new, mixed use space would bring even more vibrancy to the city and would be great news for the residents of New Haven.”
The votes were swift; neither question generated any debate or questions.
That hasn’t always been the case.
The proposal for the now-vacant Comcast building at Chapel and Olive streets is part of a new wave of housing planned to transform the underused, industrial stretch linking downtown to Wooster Square. Click here and here for earlier stories detailing the plans as well as some objections about the precedents they may set for higher buildings and spot zoning. And click here to read about a newer proposal in the works to build a 325-apartment community a block away on Union Street.
Click here and here for details about the Mill River plan. The broader goal, beyond reviving a stretch along the Mill River with empty factories, is to expand the city’s industrial and tax base, creating new jobs and small businesses.