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Jordan’s Cleared For Launch

by Thomas MacMillan | Dec 11, 2013 9:08 am

(4) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Posted to: Business/ Economic Development, Long Wharf

The Board of Zoning Appeals Tuesday evening approved a new bowling alley, trapeze exhibition, zip line, Ferris wheel, water show, and skating rink—all in one building on Sargent Drive.

That building is the old New Haven Register building at 40 Sargent Dr. The newspaper has already outsourced its daily printing and plans to move to a new newsroom downtown.

When the newspaper leaves, a new furniture store plans to move in. The new operation would be one of a chain of Jordan’s Furniture stores, which combine sofa shopping with an array of other amusements, including, at one store, an indoor ice-skating rink.

The new Jordan’s Furniture planned for the Register building could have a rink too, or an indoor climbing wall, laser light show, or a “motion simulator ride.”

The Board of Zoning Appeals Tuesday night approved those and other uses for the building. That doesn’t mean Jordan’s will build them all. Jordan’s hasn’t figured out just what will go in the building yet, said John Mancini (pictured), an engineer for the chain.

Tuesday night’s unanimous board approval followed a rocky first meeting two months ago, when board members and neighbors balked at vague language in the furniture chain’s initial proposal. Jordan’s came back with a list of possible uses and allayed concerns.

Mancini said Jordan’s plans not to buy the building, but to lease it from the Register. Jordan’s would then spend as much as $20 million outfitting the place, Mancini said.

Jordan’s also secured permission to sell alcoholic beverages until 10 p.m., to have 600 parking spaces where 1,450 are required, and to have 9,438 square feet of signage where only 2,490 square feet is allowed, and to “substantially alter” the tree canopy around the building.

All those permissions, plus the adoption of a coastal area management review required five rounds of voting, all of which yielded unanimous approvals from the board. 

Mancini said the next step is a site plan review by the City Plan Commission, and an approval from the Office of the State Traffic Administration.

He said Jordan’s aims to have the store open in a year.

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posted by: David S Baker on December 11, 2013  9:49am

Wow, lots of unanimous large scale variances approved in one night!  I have to wonder if these folks finaly realized that easing regulations is key to unclogging the jobs pipeline OR if Jordans donated to a lot of unrelated pet projects to offset the perceived impact on the surrounding area. 

Either way, a city with our problems should let them have an 80 foot animatronic neon cowboy smoking a cigarette if they are bringing entry level jobs walking distance from those neighborhoods.

posted by: Atticus Shrugged on December 11, 2013  1:00pm

This is great news!  I’m glad that the BZA didn’t get hung up on the liquor license and I hope that they visited some of the other Jordan’s locations.  This could be a big win for New Haven.

posted by: Gretchen Pritchard on December 11, 2013  1:43pm

Competitition for IKEA, too.

posted by: Stylo on December 11, 2013  9:06pm

I was hoping they would have one of their “real” IMAX theaters in there like at other stores. The others in CT are comparatively pretty small.

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