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Welcome To The Land Of English Station
by Allan Appel | Oct 9, 2013 12:36 pm
Posted to: Business/ Economic Development, Fair Haven, Mill River
Planners have placed the image of one of Fair Haven’s biggest polluted eyesores on inaugural signs for the newly christened Mill River District—to make a point about the area’s potential.
That strategy emerged Tuesday at the New Haven Development Commission’s regular meeting.
The business at hand was to approve a resolution endorsing the city’s Mill River Planning Study. The study’s principal recommendations – utilize the district’s under-utilized assets for newer and more diverse businesses and live/work residences – were not in dispute.
They had been agreed on at the September meeting.
Click here, here, and here, for previous stories on the plan and the planning process.
On the verge of the vote Tuesday, commission chair Peter Wilkinson asked why an image of English Station, a polluted site whose clean-up hasn’t begun, was chosen for the signage.
“There are reasons,” replied fellow commissioner Pedro Soto, who helms Space-Craft, one of the most successful small manufacturers and anchoring businesses in the area.
First reason, as suggested by consultants for the Mill River Planning Study: Despite the problems with the English Station site, it remains an “architectural gem.”
The consulting design firm retained by the city and the Economic Development Corporation is Boston-based Utile.
“Even though it’ll be a huge challenge given the environmental cleanup, the reason was to show if we can solve that problem, we can turn around the whole area. It’s aspirational,” Soto added.
To date, seven of the English Station-logo signs have been affixed to poles throughout the Mill River District, according to Economic Development Officer Latoya Cowan (pictured with colleague Clayton Williams): two on Chapel, two on East, two on Grand, and one on Ives Place east of Hamilton.
Having passed unanimously at the commission, signage and all, the Mill River Planning Study next goes with that recommendation to the City Plan Commission. There it will be reviewed and potentially incorporated into the city’s ongoing Comprehensive Plan, said City Plan Chief Karyn Gilvarg.
That larger plan, required by the state every ten years, along with recommendations for how to implement policies for the next decade in land use, housing, transportation, and job creation, then goes through public hearing process at City Plan and the Board of Aldermen, for final approval.
Gilvarg estimated the end-game there would occur within six to 12 more months.
Tags: Mill River District
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posted by: J.R. Logan on October 9, 2013 3:02pm
I work near the Mill River (in the old Starter building at 370 James). In my bike exploration of the area I found a delightful but neglected walking trail that goes out to the river. To me this is a classic example of and under-utilized asset that if improved could be something that makes the working and living in the area better. I contacted the surrounding businesses and handed out flyers to gain some interest. I found that many workers in the area take lunch walks and would use such a space. I also found that Fair Haven Community Health Center thought it had great potential for their patients to utilize. It is great public right of way. It is already complete with benches to sit and watch the river, just needs a little attention.
SeeClickFix issue: http://seeclickfix.com/issues/751039
That’s a great find J.R.! I wonder if it’d ever be possible to repair that old rail bridge to the point it’s safe for pedestrian traffic and be able to take over this section of land
Aside from the bridge rebuilding, it’s also probably require building a fence on the west/south side of it to separate it from the railroad tracks and businesses, but, it could create a nice little recreation area.