The City Plan Commission gave the go-ahead for the city’s housing authority to get moving on the second phase of the redevelopment of a West Rock public-housing community.
Commissioners unanimously signed off on site plans and inland wetland review for the second phase of the Rockview development during their monthly meeting Wednesday at City Hall.
Rockview was razed in 2003. The first phase of its reconstruction, which includes 37 two-bedroom, 36 three-bedroom and four four-bedroom homes, was reopened in 2013.
Now the Housing Authority of New Haven plans soon to put shovels in the ground for the second phase. The phase includes 78 new rental units— a mix of 25 duplexes, one three-unit building, five four-unit buildings and one five-unit building.
Shanae Draughn, HANH’s special projects director, told commissioners that the housing authority has submitted a 9 percent tax credit application to the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority and expect to hear back by this spring.
“If we are [successful], we would look to have a financial closing and construction to being in September or October of this year,” she said.
Andy Bevilacqua of Diversified Technology Consultants said the design of Rockview II isn’t substantially different from Rockview I, though tenants of rental units in the duplexes will get to enjoy their own personal driveways.
Draughn also told commissioners that 20 percent of the 78 apartments in phase II will be rented at market rate.
If you think that people won’t pay market rate in the remote corner of the city, you’re wrong, she said. She pointed to the completion of the next-door Abraham Ribicoff Cottages, which have 11 market rate units alongside their affordable units. The apartments, which are one- and two-bedrooms, rent for the market rate of $1,300 and $1,500, respectively.
“They’re all rented,” Draughn noted. “Collectively, through the redevelopment of Brookside and Rockview, to date we’ve constructed over 400 apartments, 12 homeownership spaces, commercial space. We’ve probably successfully leveraged 2-to-1 over $100 million for the redevelopment of Brookside and Rockview.”
She said still to be redeveloped as part of the overall $200 million West Rock redevelopment is Westville Manor, with additional houses for people to purchase and a bigger community center. The community center will likely come quickest; the plan is to expand it during the build out of Rockview II.
City Plan Commission Chairman Ed Mattison commended the housing authority for its success in remaking the West Rock neighborhood.
“It’s really amazing what you’ve been able to accomplish,” he said.