Wooster Square Apartments Get Green Light

Aliyya SwabyConstruction can now begin on luxury apartments at the site of Wooster Square’s former Comcast buliding.

The City Plan Commission Wednesday night unanimously approved site plans for the mixed-use development on Chapel Street by the corner of Olive. Construction is expected to be completed in 12 to 18 months.

Frank Caico of developer Spinnaker Residential LLC presented renderings of the facades of both buildings. The development plans to create a “pedestrian-friendly and utilized environment,” in the “underutilized” gap between downtown and Wooster Square, he said.

Two existing Comcast buildings at the address will be demolished and redeveloped. A six-floor building on 630 Chapel St. will contain 166 residential apartments with 7,200 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. A five-floor building across the street at 673 Chapel will contain 66 residential apartments with 2,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space on the ground floor.

“It’s designed to look like a new building and fit in the architecture elements of the neighborhood,” he said.

The developers have agreed to replace outdated traffic equipment at the intersection of Union Street, the site of the larger building’s one-way driveway to the parking garage, said project engineer John Gilmore.

Around the corner on Union Street, a second project is in the works to bring 285-300 more market-rate apartments. Read about that here. Both projects have already received needed zoning relief from the city.

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posted by: THREEFIFTHS on November 20, 2014  9:41am

Around the corner on Union Street, a second project is in the works to bring 285-300 more market-rate apartments. Read about that here. Both projects have already received needed zoning relief from the city.

Market rate?Again lock the poor out of housing.

Again,Judas Goat leaders sell out the people.Keep voting them in,This is whay you will get.

posted by: Bradley on November 20, 2014  10:12am

3/5ths, how do these developments in any way harm poor people? Obviously, poor people cannot afford these apartments and the developments do not help them directly. But the developments add to the city’s grand list, reducing pressure on taxes which account for a substantial part of the rent that poor people pay. Moreover, while the Winchester Lofts project may lead to the gentrification of Newhallville, Wooster Square is already a primarily middle class neighborhood.

posted by: RhyminTyman on November 20, 2014  10:57am

Love this project. Great use of an unused warehouse. While large projects like LiveWorkPlay are amazing, something quick like this is going to go a long with with addressing the housing shortage in New Haven.

posted by: Gretchen Pritchard on November 20, 2014  12:36pm

I devoutly hope that part of that retail will be a plain old ordinary Walgreens or CVS or Rite Aid, for convenience shopping and prescription fulfillment for the increasing population in the neighborhood, not to mention the folks at Celentano Homes, most of them with limited mobility, who have been there for decades with NOTHING of this kind located within their reach, and the families in the even more invisible 1960s-era “Columbus Mall” development stashed behind Wooster Street with no street frontage to speak of.

The insanity of the “planning” in the 1960s and 70s never fails to boggle the mind—stacking the elderly and disabled in institutional-looking high rises with NOTHING needed for day-to-day living within their reach without driving.  Dumping low-income families way out in West Rock or Fair Haven Heights (“green!” and “quiet!”) with, again, no retail or jobs or services or recreation reachable without a car, and pathetically inadequate bus service.  Were they really that deluded?  Or did they just not think and not care?  And forty-fifty years later, here we still are.

If it takes the “gentrification vampires” to make Olive Street into something other than a weedy dump full of dead buildings, with Celentano Homes sitting barracks-like and forgotten in the middle of it, then yay for the gentrification vampires, is all I have to say.

posted by: Bradley on November 20, 2014  2:50pm

Following on Gretchen’s comment, how about a survey on what retail should go into the ground floor?

BTW,  what happened to the suit filed by PMC against Spinaker and the city?

posted by: anonymous on November 20, 2014  2:54pm

3/5: Like it or not, private owners control 99% of housing in the United States. 

Until that changes and housing becomes a public resource, we are looking at supply and demand controlling the prices of our housing stock. 

Policy solutions like “inclusionary zoning” are a drop in the bucket, and won’t work.

The only solution to rising prices is to build as much housing as possible. 

The second-best solution is to get rid of parking requirements.  Every parking space that we require to be built (through zoning) means one less apartment for a family.

It’s important to remember that the newest housing will always be the most expensive.  But the luxury housing units of today will become the middle class units of tomorrow. 

If we do not build any housing units, then everything within 5 miles of downtown will become a luxury housing unit—and the rest of us will be living in the street or somewhere like Meriden or Derby.  Supply and demand.

It would be great if the City of New Haven and Malloy administration could strongly encourage these developers to be building 1,000 units at a time, not 200 or 300.  Zoning should be changed to allow the creation of as much housing as possible.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on November 20, 2014  5:12pm

posted by: Bradley on November 20, 2014 9:12am

3/5ths, how do these developments in any way harm poor people? Obviously, poor people cannot afford these apartments and the developments do not help them directly. But the developments add to the city’s grand list, reducing pressure on taxes which account for a substantial part of the rent that poor people pay. Moreover, while the Winchester Lofts project may lead to the gentrification of Newhallville, Wooster Square is already a primarily middle class neighborhood.

You say Wooster Square is already a primarily middle class neighborhood.But the question is can they afford the rents the rents that are coming there way.Check this out.This is what you call Affordable Housing for Rent,Based on Household Size and Annual Household Earning.

https://a806-housingconnect.nyc.gov/nyclottery/AdvertisementPdf/105.pdf

Check out East Harlem,

https://a806-housingconnect.nyc.gov/nyclottery/AdvertisementPdf/108.pdf

My question to you is why are the rents not like these apartment.Also How come this state does not have rent-stabilized and rent control and the Mitchell-Lama Housing Program?

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on November 20, 2014  5:23pm

posted by: anonymous on November 20, 2014 1:54pm

3/5: Like it or not, private owners control 99% of housing in the United States.

Until that changes and housing becomes a public resource, we are looking at supply and demand controlling the prices of our housing stock.

Not true.The problem is not housing.The problem is the rents being charge.How come rents are not like this in New Haven.

https://a806-housingconnect.nyc.gov/nyclottery/AdvertisementPdf/108.pdf


https://a806-housingconnect.nyc.gov/nyclottery/AdvertisementPdf/118.pdf

posted by: RhyminTyman on November 20, 2014  5:44pm

Surely you jest 3/5. The solution isn’t more public housing. New Haven has way too much public housing for a city of it’s size. The answer isn’t to make public housing market rate but to make more market rate housing. This way with more new units available, the older units become more reasonable. No matter how many times you deny it 3/5 New Haven doesn’t have enough units. It is supply and demand. There is simply too much demand in New Haven. However I think you issue is the people who would be moving into these units, not the units themselves. Just like your problem with bikes turned out to be a problem with who you felt were riding the bikes.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on November 20, 2014  5:50pm

posted by: RhyminTyman on November 20, 2014 4:44pm

Surely you jest 3/5. The solution isn’t more public housing

You need to read.These are not public housing.

https://a806-housingconnect.nyc.gov/nyclottery/AdvertisementPdf/108.pdf

https://a806-housingconnect.nyc.gov/nyclottery/AdvertisementPdf/118.pdf

These are Affordable Housing for Rent,Based on Household Size and Annual Household Earning.How come this state does not have rent-stabilized and rent control and the Mitchell-Lama Housing Program?

posted by: RhyminTyman on November 20, 2014  6:03pm

3/5 Do you read the links you post? It is program ran by the NYCHA, that uses subsidies and prioritizes applicants based on need and affiliation. That is public housing with a pretty face.

posted by: Gauss on November 20, 2014  6:53pm

Gentrification vampires or not, this is very exciting. That corner was a dead zone - between the Comcast building and the parking lot, it was a depressing block to walk through. I’m looking forward to some interesting retail options.

For all those lamenting the lack of a CVS or Walgreen’s in the area: there is a RideAid at Church and Crown, just a few (very walkable) blocks away, and the Elm City Market / ex-co-op just across the bridge.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on November 20, 2014  8:37pm

posted by: RhyminTyman on November 20, 2014 5:03pm

3/5 Do you read the links you post? It is program ran by the NYCHA, that uses subsidies and prioritizes applicants based on need and affiliation. That is public housing with a pretty face.

Do you read.This is not run by the NYCHA.This building is being constructed through the Low-Income Affordable Marketplace Program (LAMP) of the New York City Housing Development
Corporation and the Low Income Rental Program (LIRP) of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development

It is run by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development NYCHA does not run these.Case and point. This building is being constructed through the Inclusionary Housing Program of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development

https://a806-housingconnect.nyc.gov/nyclottery/AdvertisementPdf/17.pdf

Here is the list, Feel free to read.These are not run by NYCHA. People who live in NYCHA buildings can apply.

https://a806-housingconnect.nyc.gov/nyclottery/lottery.html#current-projects

My point is why are the buildings that are being build here not charging the same rents.

May be the reason they are not is they may have to do this.

Poor Door in a New York Tower Opens a Fight Over Affordable Housing.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/27/nyregion/separate-entryways-for-new-york-condo-buyers-and-renters-create-an-affordable-housing-dilemma.html

NYC Apartment Building Will Have Separate Door for Lower Rent Tenants. What’s Up With That?

http://time.com/money/3018706/separate-entrances-affordable-housing-new-york-city/

posted by: Bradley on November 20, 2014  9:57pm

3/5ths, if you believe that housing in New York is affordable for most poor and working class residents, I have a bridge I would like to selll you.. Perhaps you saw the article in today’s Times about the recently opened affordable housing project that has 124 units and had 48,000 applicants.

posted by: BenBerkowitz on November 21, 2014  4:56pm

Agreed on the pharmacy. Vote it up here: http://seeclickfix.com/issues/1371143

posted by: MyOwnOpinion on November 25, 2014  11:29am

I wonder if Mr. Frank Caico of developer Spinnaker Residential LLC did his homework and is aware that St. PJ church, right across the St., plans to host a free DAILY breakfast program for the transient and homeless which residents vehemently oppose. Perhaps this is the opportunity to ban this proposal (which still is in the works).Contact Rev. Alex Dyer and the folks from Liberty Community Services PLEASE. I’d hate to see the developer start the project to only abandon ship if found out too late. We do not need another eye sore in our neighborhood.