New housing is coming downtown. New stores and apartments for the elderly are coming to lower Whalley. And West River is getting some spring cleaning.
The City Plan Commission voted Wednesday night to give the green light to all those projects.
• Urged on by the Army Corps of Engineers, a contractor will remove 500 cubic yards of material from the West River. The contractor will use turbidity curtains—floating booms with mesh sheets that hang down into the water to catch sediment—to help clean the water while cranes remove the debris.
Seven or eight mating pairs of mallard ducks have been seen in the area, but representatives of the project assured commissioners Wednesday night that fish and waterfowl will not be harmed by the cleaning. In fact, water quality will be improved, they said.
• A dilapidated parking garage on Crown Street is going to transform into a mixed-use building containing a ground-floor commercial level, an underground split-level parking lot, and 24 apartments—complete with granite countertops and large windows. Parking will be for the residents, but the lot will only fit 15.
Attorney Jim Segaloff (pictured, middle) started off with the good news.
“This project will not impact any mallards, ducks, fish ...”
Westville Alder Adam Marchand, a City Plan commissioner, interrupted him.
“Maybe pigeons, you never know,” Marchand said. Click here for a previous story with details.
• Whalley Avenue will see more development. The area next to St. Luke’s Church, which now contains a pizza joint and a one-level mini-strip of stores, will be replaced with a mixed-use building (pictured) that includes housing for the elderly. Goodbye Papa John’s, hello Grandpapa John. Nobody mentioned potential impact on birds. (Click here for a full story on that project.) The project is part of St. Luke’s’ larger plan to revive its surrounding stretch of the Dixwell neighborhood.
• Also, Pike International won approval to build luxury two- and three-bedroom apartments above the stores at its building at 813 Chapel St., at the corner of Orange Street.