Sections

Neighborhoods

Features

Follow Us

NHI Newsletter

Some Favorite Sites

Government/ Community Links

The Rent Hits $4,995

by Lucy Gellman | Mar 27, 2014 7:13 am

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

Posted to: Arts & Culture, Architecture, Housing, East Rock, Prospect Hill

Lucy Gellman Photo Silt-covered floors layered with rough wood beams and hail-sized chunks of concrete. Wires dropping and curling overhead like slender garden snakes. Two sinks, back to back, lying on the dusty floor of a would-be study.

Are we finally in the house that Dave Byrne predicted over 30 years ago? A Duchamp retrospective?

Far from it. This – 651 Prospect St. – is what Christina Rossetti predicts will soon be “the hottest pad in New Haven” a year after the City Plan Commission’s unanimous approval to permit Pike International to develop luxury apartments on the premises.

The nine apartments, scheduled to open to renters between April and May, are aimed to re-purpose – or as Rossetti, director of operations at Pike, described it – “upcycle” three formerly institutional buildings, 651 Prospect, its original carriage house, and 661 Prospect. It’s part of a trend toward elaborate historic rehabilitation and higher rents in the Yale-dominated Prospect Hill section of East Rock. Click here to walk through a similar historic rehab of a 1923 Tudor mansion up the block on Prospect.

And how much does, in Pikeville, size matter? The apartments aren’t cheap – they range from $1,995 (800 square feet) to $4,995 (2,142 square feet). Pike said several of them have already been snatched up doesn’t expect trouble renting the others. “We’re hoping to attract people in the higher ed community,” Rossetti explained when asked who the target audience was. Pastor added that he also envisioned older couples who were interested in downsizing.

The first four apartments give a new face to the St. Francis Home for Children (originally Frederick Truman Bradley’s home), forced to close its doors after grant funding was cut off in 2012.

Fernando Pastor (pictured), the project’s designer, said that he wishes to honor the spirit of the house, keeping as much of the original tile, molding and brick as possible. He has taken precautions to do so, discussing the project with the New Haven Preservation Trust, partnering locally with Urban Miners for the bulk of building materials and doing significant historical research.

With his vision, the apartments are rapidly taking shape. Surprising and sumptuous amenities pop out of the literal woodwork: a wine cellar in one apartment and luxurious full bathroom in another.

A third boasts a kitchen larger than most East Rock studios with hand-picked marble counter tops and a balcony.

Two apartments in the nearby carriage house give a better idea of what the revamped 651 and 661 Prospect will look like when finished: Sleek kitchens, neat bathrooms, and bounding bedrooms (pictured above) with views of the nearby Foote School.

The shiny, sunlit hardwood floors suggest what is to come for the Spanish Colonial next door, still in the demo process.

The renovation comes at a time when some New Haveners have spoken out against Yale-driven gentrification and skyrocketing rents, while others have called for building up the tax base in response to rapidly rising taxes, and for creating value by rescuing neglecting properties doomed to foreclosure.

“We’re developing everything we possibly can,” Rossetti said.

Share this story with others.

Share |

Post a Comment

Comments

posted by: Gretchen Pritchard on March 27, 2014  8:01am

I don’t see how even 3/5 can object to this one as “gentrification.”  Pike is making something out of nothing.  Not throwing anybody out of their homes, not changing the character of a neighborhood (it’s already Gold Coast).  Simply returning a cluster of derelict, long-empty mansions to something resembling their former glory, creating attractive, market-priced homes, and broadening the tax base.  What’s not to like?

posted by: Threefifths on March 27, 2014  8:02am

Look at these rents.People wake up.The Gentrification Vampires are coming.Take bets.The rest of the apartments will also up there rents.

posted by: Threefifths on March 27, 2014  8:43am

@Gretchen Pritchard

What about the displacement of people who have been in the area for years and now are force out do to high rents.Can you afford to live in one of pike apartments?

posted by: robn on March 27, 2014  9:09am

3/5,

You offer no alternative to “gentrification” other than stagnation and deterioration, both of which harm the poor more than moving to another affordable apartment. Moving is typically what renters do as well as broad swaths of citizens (owners and renter) all over the US who move for various reasons (affordability, following a partner, pursuing employment.)

posted by: Powers on March 27, 2014  9:20am

You’re right, 3/5.  Let’s just leave all of the vacant, ugly, dangerous property in the city untouched so that there’s not even a chance of anyone’s rent going up.  Not only that, but let’s increase property taxes so that anyone who actually has resources in this town leaves.  It is exactly this kind of thinking that has justified the abandonment of one of America’s greatest cities to squalor, crime, and wreckage by those who used to enjoy all the culture, education, and beauty a world-class city has to offer.

I agree we need to focus on concrete ways to help the poor in our city.  But New Haven is not just for the economically disadvantaged, despite the opinions of those who populated this place before and during its descent into poverty and national ill repute.  There are people who come to this city with ideas and resources that can make life better for all its citizens.  We belong in this city, too.  And we’re not going anywhere.

posted by: anonymous on March 27, 2014  9:35am

“Yale-driven gentrification and skyrocketing rents?”

Rents are being driven up because we’re not building enough housing.  It’s not about Yale - Yale employs about 10,000 people, whereas other companies in the immediate New Haven area employ over 200,000. 

Expect rents to continue to skyrocket until we start planning for new housing and transportation, not more bleak, car-centric strip malls like the City’s disastrous current plan for Route 34.

posted by: thesixteenwords on March 27, 2014  10:06am

Can the Independent please start running some serious articles about Pike? I applaud their efforts to redevelop properties, both in the neighborhoods and in downtown. But I have yet to meet a single Pike (or Preperty) tenant who had a positive experience with management once the lease was signed.

posted by: Threefifths on March 27, 2014  10:27am

@ Robin
Here is four alternative to “gentrification”


1.Push fine grained development instead of large, mega-block developments. When large developers are the primary landowners and the only players in the development game, gentrification happens more quickly as profit trumps community concerns.

2.Encourage self-investment.When people begin to invest in their own homes instead of government targeting a specific location for investment, this acts as revitalization without the ill-effects of intense investment in a neighborhood

3.Implement blanket city policies for revitalization, rather than piecemeal reactive policies intended to halt displacement. Blanket city policy puts in place the effect of “a rising tide lifts all boats” whereas targeted geographically-based policies can result in pockets of gentrification

4.Don’t try to make over existing urban neighborhoods into the posh suburban look and feel you may be used to. Respect and maintain the eclectic, diverse and colorful vibe that attracted you to the urban neighborhood in the first place.

posted by: robn on March 27, 2014  10:56am

3/5,

Do you ever think for yourself or do you just plagiarize? It took me about 5 seconds to find the Firefly article that you cut and pasted.

MY critique of those points:

0) The author doesn’t describe why improvements brought by “gentrification” are wrong; she just insists that people living in deteriorating neighborhoods deserve to stay in that place.

1) With the exception of 360 State and the Live Work Play project in the 9th Sq, most developments in New Haven ARE fine grained. Scale is less of a problem in NH than back room dealing btwn city hall and developers to cheapen their product (and a weak BZA).

2) Self-investment can’t occur without wealth and as you know, a large slice of New Haven isn’t wealthy.

3) “Blanket” social policies run the risk of being one-size-fits all and therefore prone to failure.

4) “Don’t try to make over existing urban neighborhoods,” is exactly the kind of advice we should be ignoring because it promotes living in deteriorating conditions as some kind of noble existence, which its not.

posted by: jim1 on March 27, 2014  10:59am

Lets see. $4,995.00 rent to live in New Haven!!!!!!!  With that kind of rent you could get a nice place on West 11th St. in New York city. These people won’t have a food budget of $29.00 per week.

posted by: Shaggybob on March 27, 2014  1:27pm

Who in their right mind would rent anything for $4,995 a month in New Haven, this isn’t Manhattan. 
It would be cheaper to buy a house in the suburbs. If you make 600k plus a year why wouldn’t you???

If you can afford rent that is 3x the average ANNUAL income of NH residents and 2x what Yale pays. What are we all thinking?

This isn’t business development, it’s an atrocity for the 99% and an insult to the working poor. You can feed a family of 4 for a year with one months rent. How is that even humane? Its nice they are fixing up these empty buildings, but…seriously

@ everyone who thinks we don’t have enough housing-360 State-the coliseum site-College Street condos-Church and Elm Apartments- that’s over 1000 rental units when complete.

I agree with the request for an article on Pike-I have yet to hear a non-negative experience with renting from this landlord giant.

posted by: RhyminTyman on March 27, 2014  1:54pm

3/5 so copy and paste responses left and right but let’s try some different. What would you have done with this building? A follow up, is leaving a block blighted or vacant better than a improvement that raises surrounding property value? Which by the way would had no matter what you develop unless it is a prison or sewage plant.

posted by: Threefifths on March 27, 2014  3:36pm

posted by: RhyminTyman on March 27, 2014 2:54pm

3/5 so copy and paste responses left and right but let’s try some different. What would you have done with this building? A follow up, is leaving a block blighted or vacant better than a improvement that raises surrounding property value? Which by the way would had no matter what you develop unless it is a prison or sewage plant.

Everybody in it still requires food.I would replace blighted or vacant lots with gardening/farming put in Neighborhood co-ops. These neighborhoods were ruined by slumlords and block busters.In fact a lot of this blighted houses were cause by ownners walking away.how do you know pike will not do the same thing.

posted by: Threefifths on March 27, 2014  3:42pm

posted by: robn on March 27, 2014 11:56am

3/5
Do you ever think for yourself or do you just plagiarize? It took me about 5 seconds to find the Firefly article that you cut and pasted.

I just forgot to put the website in.My bad.but I agree with all points.And I do think for myself.

posted by: robn on March 27, 2014  4:07pm

3/5,

Sorry about the cheap shot.
But still my rebuttal stands. Its a huge sense of entitlement expecting someone to ride in on a white horse and sprinkle money all over a deteriorating neighborhood for no return (and its unfair to poor people who have to live in crap conditions.) I never believed in the early 80s Republican propaganda slogan “trickle down economics” which justified tax breaks for millionaires, but I DO believe that having more people with expendable income living in New Haven will provide more retail, construction and maintenance job opportunities for local people who don’t have the benefit of a higher education. That’s not going to happen unless we stabilize neighborhoods with quality new and renovated housing.

posted by: Threefifths on March 27, 2014  4:45pm

@Robin.

Absentee landlords are the blamed for the urban blight and the city for not enforcing the laws on the books to fine these Absentee landlords.Also in all fairnes High Taxes have made people walk away from there buildings.do you think someone is going to pay From $1,995 (800 square feet) to $4,995 (2,142 square feet) to live in that part of New Haven. How do we knoe pike will not walk away.I am beting they will.

posted by: Threefifths on March 27, 2014  4:49pm

Hot off the press.Like I said.How do you stop this.

Scammer, Awaiting Sentence, Rebuilds.
who will pay the taxes when he goes away.

http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/yossi_levitin/

posted by: 14yearsinNHandgone on March 27, 2014  6:35pm

I agree with the above posters who want an investigative piece on Pike. I know at least four people who had TERRIBLE experiences with Pike.  Not just bad, but TERRIBLE.

What about Pike’s 2-Star rating on Yelp? And that is not counting the five pages mostly 1-Star reviews that are “not recommended” reviews, which somehow Pike has gotten Yelp to remove from their rating!

http://www.yelp.com/not_recommended_reviews/mfLaR9r-IWferZiZ6UK6WQ

posted by: wendy1 on March 27, 2014  6:50pm

looking at those photos I cant see how they can get these high rents.  That place was a dump when the orphans had to live there and now it’s still sad-looking in these pictures.  This is not Westport or New Canaan, it’s Prospect St. which deadends near the Hamden line.  Too bad the school of forestry didn’t get it.  I bet they need the space.

posted by: Atwater on March 27, 2014  7:15pm

I’m with 3/5 on this one, gentrification is simply segregation, economic and racial. What Pike is doing is accelerating the process of running the working poor out of New Haven. However, I do not think their overall success is a certainty given that anyone who can pay almost 5k in rent will more than likely buy a condo in Hamden, North Haven, Milford, etc. An alternative to gentrification would be a gradual reinvestment of public funds in the city’s poorer neighborhoods. Not through piecemeal development deals, but through quality of life initiatives, more effective law enforcement, tax rebates for small and medium businesses in the city, major improvements in the quality of public education, etc. If we are truly interested in creating a diverse and vibrant city than we would stop gentrification. Sure, it makes the city look nice and “clean” but it does nothing but push our more vulnerable citizens further towards the margins of our society.

posted by: ElmJackCity on March 27, 2014  8:22pm

I think the free publicity for Pike International is interesting.  Why doesn’t NHI investigate their portfolio?  I have seen so many properties visibly owned by Pike that suffer the conditions of an absentee landlord. 

NHI, care to comment?

posted by: Public-Inefficiencies on March 27, 2014  9:22pm

@threefifths

You can’t blame everything on absentee landlords.  Some of the blame has to go to the renters.

I agree 100% we should impose fines on landlords for any blight they can control.  But, it’s not fair if a tenant decides to litter, put furniture outside, leave household items scattered across the lawn and then fine the landlord.  I’ve rented and owned and have respected my home either way.  It’s high time everyone take personal responsibility, including the poor.

posted by: DingDong on March 27, 2014  11:28pm

3/5 asks “These neighborhoods were ruined by slumlords and block busters.In fact a lot of this blighted houses were cause by ownners walking away.how do you know pike will not do the same thing.”

Wait, I know the answer: because someone is paying them $5000 a month.  Why would they walk away from that?!

posted by: Threefifths on March 28, 2014  7:22am

posted by: Public-Inefficiencies on March 27, 2014 10:22pm

@threefifths

You can’t blame everything on absentee landlords.  Some of the blame has to go to the renters.

I agree 100% we should impose fines on landlords for any blight they can control.  But, it’s not fair if a tenant decides to litter, put furniture outside, leave household items scattered across the lawn and then fine the landlord. I’ve rented and owned and have respected my home either way.  It’s high time everyone take personal responsibility, including the poor.

And what you should do is pass the fine on to the tenant.

posted by: Public-Inefficiencies on March 28, 2014  8:10am

@threefifths

Good luck with that.  Some people can barely afford their rents.

Why not let the city impose the fine on the renters…let’s see if they can collect.

posted by: TheMadcap on March 28, 2014  11:32am

If you want to know why people are scared of the G-word, just look at a map. These developments don’t happen in a vacuum. This isn’t even downtown, this is not even 3 blocks away from Basset st. People in Newhallville look at Yale/Yuppie associated property expanding and rents they could never afford in their lives creeping up on their neighborhood after decades of neglect by the powers that be.

posted by: dadezbombz on March 28, 2014  12:57pm

This is crazy, I used to work here right out of college for years and it is HAUNTED. If nobody believes it, when you work there 3rd shift, and what used to be the “Cafeteria” comes to life, you will see…. Sad that this building had to be turned into luxury apartments when the orphanage that once was just turns into another failed non profit aka St. Francis Home for Children. They did decent work there and the kids were grateful. Pretty sad…what a shame.

posted by: ebw1957 on March 30, 2014  7:40am

DeStafano set in motion a series of corporate moves including with Yale, which were later moved on by the current Governor to bring new high tech and research jobs into the city.

With that growth will come much higher income folks who will want these types of homes. If commenters have a beef with these moves they should look up the former mayor and the Governor. The developer is just doing what a prudent developer does and satisfy a market.

Events Calendar

loading…

SeeClickFix »

Incredible opportunity to connect the Mill River Trail between Fair Haven and East Rock Park
Dec 18, 2014 12:24 pm
Address: Fair Haven New Haven, CT, USA
Rating: 102

Along the East bank of the Mill River between State Street and Humphrey Street along the...

more »
Traffic Signal / Pedestrian Signal
Dec 18, 2014 12:15 pm
Address: 72-80 York Street New Haven, Connecticut
Rating: 9

The pedestrian signal is not working on the corner of York St and North Frontage Road...

more »

PosterWallAdd your Poster

Sponsors

N.H.I. Site Design & Development

smartpill design