City Green-Lights 205 Church St. Makeover

Thomas MacMillan PhotoA downtown landmark will have a new life as a 145-unit apartment building, thanks to zoning relief granted this week.

The landmark is the Union and New Haven Trust Building at the corner of Church and Elm streets.

The Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) Tuesday evening gave final approval to several zoning variances requested by the building’s owner, New York’s Cooper Square Realty.

Cooper Square intends to convert the former office building into apartments. To do so, it sought and received zoning variances from open space and parking.

Instead of the 145 parking spaces otherwise required, the building will have only 100 parking spaces, spread over three parking lots between 300 and 1,000 feet from the building.

As a condition of approval, the BZA mandated that the building have on-site parking for 45 bikes.

Renovation is estimated to take 15 months.

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posted by: robn on June 14, 2013  8:55am

How does this affect the taxation of the building? Does the sale trigger a reval under comparables? Will the renovated property be reval’d according to construction cost? Since constructed parking would have been taxed, and the variance allows remote parking has the city struck a deal to regain that lost tax revenue or is this just seem as an investment in a more livable city with less urban space devoted to parking

posted by: Stylo on June 14, 2013  11:23am

robn - it will likely be assessed as a fair market value. Which will be much higher than the current building after re-zoning as residential and improvements are made. If the city is providing free parking, then yes - a deal should be made where the taxes make up for that. If residents are paying for parking in those lots, obviously it’s being paid for by them.

posted by: TheMadcap on June 14, 2013  12:32pm

The city didn’t provide free parking, they made a contract to lease out the parking spaces. The alternative is 140 parking spaces above ground which a giant space of land that’s turned into an unproductive sheet of asphalt. Parking spaces aren’t financially conducive for developers, or for the city(unless said parking spaces are underground), and it’s why these days they’re so eager to grant variances.

posted by: Scot on June 14, 2013  1:12pm

Glad to hear this is getting developed. It’s been a couple of months since the Star Supply proposal was squashed. Does anyone know if that developer is considering submitting another plan or if they have completely walked away?

posted by: Brian Tang on June 14, 2013  4:53pm

Awesome! I wonder if they would be open to input on the bike parking from Elm City Cycling.

posted by: Stephen Harris on June 14, 2013  9:59pm

Great news! New Haven is on the move. With all the new residential going up retail and jobs should follow.

posted by: Kevin on June 17, 2013  9:19am

Scott, I’ve heard from a couple of very well- informed people that a revised proposal for the Star Supply site will be submitted soon.