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Yale Preps Lower Dixwell Makeover

by Thomas MacMillan | Jun 11, 2014 1:04 pm

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

Posted to: Arts & Culture, Dining, Business/ Economic Development, Food, Higher Ed, Dixwell

Thomas MacMillan Photo The UPS store near the corner of Dixwell and Goffe is packing up and shipping out.

The store will deliver itself to a new location, a stone’s throw away across Dixwell Avenue.

Just down the block, two new take-out restaurants will open up. And new apartments may not be far behind.

Yale University unveiled those plans Tuesday evening at the monthly meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) in the Hall of Records on Orange Street.

Yale representatives appeared to ask city permission for two projects: moving the UPS store, and opening two new eateries. The BZA approved the former and referred the latter to the City Plan Commission for an opinion ahead of a BZA vote next month.

33-37 Dixwell

Yale attorney Joseph Hammer made the case to the BZA Tuesday evening. He requested a zoning variance to allow the UPS store to move to 33-37 Dixwell Ave. (pictured), in an RM-2 zone. The store would occupy a 3,000-square-foot space on the first floor, most recently occupied by the Yale police department as a temporary office. Prior to that, the space has been vacant for 15 years and was never used as a residence, Hammer said.

UPS would have more storage space at the new location, Hammer said.

An adjoining parking lot has 17 spaces. The BZA decided to require Yale to re-stripe that lot.

Apartments on the floors above the store have been vacant for years and are in poor condition. If they’re renovated and rented out, the parking lot will have ample space for tenants, Hammer said.

BZA member Victor Fasano asked what would happen at the UPS store’s current location (pictured). Hammer said Yale is still looking at potential replacements; nothing has been finalized.

The BZA voted unanimously to approve the variance.

9 Dixwell

Hammer next asked for special zoning exceptions to allow a restaurant in a space formerly occupied by a package store, and to have zero parking spaces where 14 are required.

Yale wants to lease first-floor spaces at 9 Dixwell Ave. to two restaurants.

Hammer told the BZA that the restaurants will be dine-in/take-out operations. One will have 14 seats, the other 40. Neither is seeking permission to sell alcohol. Most of the customers will walk in, not drive in, Hammer said.

Lauren Zucker, Yale’s director of student affairs, said that since university hasn’t yet signed leases with the restaurants, she could not disclose their identities.

“They’re not in New Haven right now,” Zucker said. “They’re going to be great additions.”

Dixwell Alder Jeanette Morrison, the alder for the area, said she supports the projects. She said she doesn’t know what restaurants will come in, but that they will be “not high end—something that all people can take advantage of, just like people are able to take advantage of Popeye’s,” the fried-chicken restaurant nearby.

 

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posted by: Anderson Scooper on June 11, 2014  1:21pm

Yale is also talking quietly about converting HGS from a dorm into apartments, and Bruce Alexander also has plans to build graduate students apartments on the Tyco lot, between York Street and Trailblazer.

My understanding is that the new Yale Provost wants to keep Yale $$$ “in house”, even going so far as to ban outside caterers for Yale functions.

posted by: anonymous on June 11, 2014  1:30pm

New apartments and locally-owned stores are a great idea for this area. Yale can easily make the area more conducive to walking and better for small businesses if it invests in some public space improvements, including reconfiguring the terrible, car-oriented traffic pattern that keeps most pedestrians away from the area.

Alder Morrison should have said, “just like Popeye’s is able to take advantage of people,” not the other way around.  The fast food economy’s corporate chains are destroying the middle class, and the purveyors aren’t being honest about what poisons are in their food.

Look at the chart on the top of page 8 and you may never go to Popeye’s again:
Playing Chicken: Avoiding Arsenic in Your Meat
http://www.iatp.org/files/421_2_80529.pdf

posted by: Scot on June 11, 2014  1:46pm

It would be awesome if they could get the gas station next to UPS to move, so they could develop that property as well (perhaps in conjunction with the UPS site if Goffe St is merged onto Dixwell farther up the road).

posted by: anonymous on June 11, 2014  2:03pm

I agree with Scot, merging the gas station and UPS sites, and re-routing Goffe Street, is a must-do. 

In fact, the gas station, the parcels just beyond the gas station, the UPS site, and the parking lot could all be merged together into a large parcel that could completely transform the area if developed, as well as rationalize the traffic pattern. 

Broadway and Tower Parkway traffic could be routed north along the first block of Dixwell, then around to Whalley via the back of the UPS site and Popeye’s site. 

This would create three new intersections, but would eliminate the current traffic pattern which is an absolute disaster that is holding back the entire city. 

Creating this one large parcel would allow a development site that could potentially provide millions of dollars to the city each year in property taxes, and/or allow for the addition of hundreds of affordable housing units.

posted by: LookOut on June 11, 2014  2:05pm

Nice - - this area has been in need of development for a long time. 

Of course, I"m sure we will see the usual posters here complaining that converting vacant properties into something of use will harm the neighborhood….

posted by: Threefifths on June 11, 2014  6:27pm

Dixwell Alder Jeanette Morrison, the alder for the area, said she supports the projects. She said she doesn’t know what restaurants will come in, but that they will be “not high end—something that all people can take advantage of, just like people are able to take advantage of Popeye’s,” the fried-chicken restaurant nearby.

Be careful what you ask for..


Census Shows Blacks Leaving Big Cities.

http://youtu.be/Z5wYfHFNa9k


posted by: LookOut on June 11, 2014 2:05pm

Nice - - this area has been in need of development for a long time.

Of course, I"m sure we will see the usual posters here complaining that converting vacant properties into something of use will harm the neighborhood…

What can I say.The truth hurts.


Columbia U., Race, Class and the Gentrification of Harlem.


http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=7072


Like I said Keep sleeping New Haven.

My Bad.Notice most of these out-of-state developers

posted by: Bradley on June 11, 2014  8:22pm

Anonymous, the current traffic pattern is crazy. But it is impeding development in one part of one neighborhood, not “holding back the entire city.” There are projects involving tens of millions of dollars underway elsewhere in the city and even more development in the pipeline, notwithstanding the mess in this area.

While this is before your time, one of the rationales for urban renewal was that it was needed in order to consolidate parcels to make them attractive to developers. Our friend 3/5ths routinely raises the specter of gentrification. Redevelopment of this area would in fact displace low-income residents who have few housing choices.

posted by: Esbey on June 11, 2014  10:06pm

Yes, yes, end Goffe early and develop the UPS/gas station site.  If Yale does it, get them to agree to pay property taxes, though.

posted by: RevKev on June 11, 2014  10:41pm

I once rode my bike to that UPS store. Almost lost my life narrowly missing getting run over by cars and a bus.

A few weeks ago I walked to that UPS store. Almost lost my life narrowly missing getting run over by cars and a bus.

This morning I drove to that UPS store. First of all it took me forever to figure out how to get there from the northwest side of town. AND… I nearly lost my life narrowly missing getting run over by other cars and a bus.

That intersection is not safe for ANY means of transportation!!! It doesn’t matter what businesses you put in there if they aren’t accompanied by some infrastructure improvements the benefits are minimal.

On the other hand, this is a good move. I will admit that I’m a bit concerned about who Yale wants to bring in. Not a fan most chains and that seems to be what they are going after. I understand they want it to look more like home for their students but they also have to realize that their students really aren’t in Kansas anymore. If New Haven looked like my home town I would just go home. At least I could get mama’s cooking a couple times a week.

I stayed after finishing school because I fell in love with New Haven’s uniqueness. New Haven’s got swag! I love the mixture of old and new. We need both. But if they put a Chic-fil-A or something of that ilk in there I might just have to get my protest boots on!

posted by: BillSaunders1 on June 12, 2014  1:39am

3/5th’s

As always, you stick to your point, to the point of being dismissed, but I do wholeheartedly concur. 

In fact, I have come up with a new slogan that celebrates gentrification…..I am thrilled to try it out here first, in our little Hamlet:

      NEW HAVEN
  I really liked you better
back when you really sucked.

pretty catchy, huh?

posted by: anonymous on June 12, 2014  7:24am

Bradley: The parcels I mentioned primarily serve as a parking lot for Yale. There are no residents on them except the one fraternity house. So why do you think there would be “displacement”? In fact, bringing in additional millions per year in property taxes from this assembled parcel is precisely what could reduce displacement by allowing the city to invest in affordable housing or create more homeownership opportunities for young adults who live here so they aren’t forced out to Waterbury.

posted by: Threefifths on June 12, 2014  8:48am

posted by: BillSaunders1 on June 12, 2014 1:39am

3/5th’s

As always, you stick to your point, to the point of being dismissed, but I do wholeheartedly concur.

In fact, I have come up with a new slogan that celebrates gentrification…..I am thrilled to try it out here first, in our little Hamlet:

    NEW HAVEN
  I really liked you better
back when you really sucked.

pretty catchy, huh?


How true.

posted by: LookOut on June 12, 2014  9:43am

three fifths - thank you for making me look filled with wisdom when I forecasted that you would attack this development opportunity.  I’ve read many of your postings and watched some of the related videos but I still cannot understand the logic:

For two centuries, various ethnic groups (Irish, Italian, Eastern European, Black(African), Black(Hispanic), Hispanic, South Asian…. have landing in US cities such as New Haven.  The cities provide basic services and some low level jobs to get folks on their feet.  Invariably, as the neighborhoods and families develop, they seek places with more space, greater safety, better schools, and higher level jobs.  In most cases, this has led these groups out of the cities. 

Why should any of us tell people of color that they should not seek a better life for themselves and their families?  Why should one group be stuck in their current conditions?  Why should anyone expend so much energy fighting against progress, both for the city and for its citizens?

BillSaunders1:  Great Slogan!  Where can I buy a bumper sticker?

posted by: markcbm on June 12, 2014  9:48am

Bill Saunders,

Wordemup!

posted by: Eva G on June 12, 2014  10:29am

For about as long as I can remember, I’ve wondered why this area had to be so unbelievably cruddy looking and dangerous to navigate. I once considered renting an apartment in one of these buildings (we’re talking decades ago, here, ca. 1988) and decided that it would be too dangerous to walk home at night. Not because I thought I was going to be mugged, but because of vehicular traffic—I thought visibility was so bad, I would be asking for trouble when I was walking home from work (usually around 1.30 a.m.). RevKev and Bill Saunders are right on the money, as far as I’m concerned. I hope some cool stuff happens down here. Those handsome old building deserve some love.

posted by: DingDong on June 12, 2014  10:45am

My understanding was that the Yale union (Local 34 I guess?) is putting a lot of pressure on Yale not to use outside caterers.

posted by: BillSaunders1 on June 12, 2014  10:51am

LOOKOUT,

If you come to the ORBIT Gallery opening on Saturday Nite, (52 Howe Street, 8pm-10pm), they will be available for a small donation in support of some summer Ideat Village Fun.  T-shirts, too!

posted by: Bradley on June 12, 2014  10:58am

Anonymous, I wasn’t thinking of the parking lots, but of the surrounding residential buildings (we agree that almost any use is better than surface parking). My concern is that when Yale invests heavily in an area, it prompts other property owners to do likewise. On balance, this is a good thing, but it can lead to displacement as a result of higher rents.

posted by: romby on June 12, 2014  11:27am

@ 3/5s

I’ve been reading your sometimes repetitive posts since I joined this forum and I get the distinct feeling you’re actually a chatbot.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2361220/computer-said-to-pass-turing-test-by-posing-as-a-teenager.html

posted by: BillSaunders1 on June 12, 2014  11:56am

Romby,

I have met the ‘real’ 3/5th’s, and believe me, he ain’t no chat-bot…

posted by: Threefifths on June 12, 2014  12:01pm

posted by: LookOut on June 12, 2014 9:43am

three fifths - thank you for making me look filled with wisdom when I forecasted that you would attack this development opportunity.  I’ve read many of your postings and watched some of the related videos but I still cannot understand the logic:


If you watched some of the related videos,You would have seen the women talking about how development is only worthwhile when the elite move in.How come ? She also said Why didn’t we see this? Why was this not done for us? Why were we allowed to live in the misery of drug infections and vacant lots that was littered with glass and garbage and needles?


For two centuries, various ethnic groups (Irish, Italian, Eastern European, Black(African), Black(Hispanic), Hispanic, South Asian…. have landing in US cities such as New Haven.  The cities provide basic services and some low level jobs to get folks on their feet.  Invariably, as the neighborhoods and families develop, they seek places with more space, greater safety, better schools, and higher level jobs.  In most cases, this has led these groups out of the cities.

Correct.But those ethnic groups (Irish, Italian, Eastern European you are talikng about move out to the suburbs when Blacks and Latino move in.Now those same groups want to move back in due to the high cost of living in the suburbs.

Part one.

posted by: Threefifths on June 12, 2014  12:20pm

posted by: romby on June 12, 2014 11:27am

@ 3/5s

I’ve been reading your sometimes repetitive posts since I joined this forum and I get the distinct feeling you’re actually a chatbot.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2361220/computer-said-to-pass-turing-test-by-posing-as-a-teenager.html

I am a machine.I am a Autobot. Autobts defending both their own race and other species against the Decepticons and upholding justice and freedom throughout the galaxy.

http://transformers.wikia.com/wiki/Autobot

Seems to me you are a Decepticon.

Decepticon (di-sep-ti-con ) A member of a subversive sect or society. From the noun — ‘decepticon’; one who deceives.

The Politicians along with Judas goat leaders are Decepticons

Decepticons are typically concerned with such things as conquest, rebuilding under their rule, Sounds like gentrification

http://transformers.wikia.com/wiki/Decepticon

I love being a autobot.

posted by: Threefifths on June 12, 2014  12:33pm

Part two

@ look out

Why should any of us tell people of color that they should not seek a better life for themselves and their families?  Why should one group be stuck in their current conditions?  Why should anyone expend so much energy fighting against progress, both for the city and for its citizens?


You need to ask this to those in power who did nothing to Change these current conditions.If you look arcoss this country in urban areas,You will see a shift toward wealthier residents .And that progress, both for the city and for its citizens you are talking about does not Include the poor and working class.


Read this report. New Haven will be next like this.


http://furmancenter.org/NYCRentalLandscape

posted by: LookOut on June 12, 2014  1:46pm

So, Three Fifths - - to summarize your latest explanations, those white folks in the suburbs are coming back because they are hurting financially AND because they have too much money and want to displace the current occupants?!?

It might have been better not trying to spin this into the same tired argument.

posted by: Threefifths on June 12, 2014  2:33pm

posted by: LookOut on June 12, 2014 1:46pm

So, Three Fifths - - to summarize your latest explanations, those white folks in the suburbs are coming back because they are hurting financially AND because they have too much money and want to displace the current occupants?!?

It might have been better not trying to spin this into the same tired argument


Look around the country.You will see this happing in all of the urban areas.10 years ago you could rent a studio apartment for 600 bucks, now try 1500. I know professional white people which college degrees that are getting priced out of their apartments. No it is not a tired argument.It is a fact that this is Happening.  Like i said   gentrification starts in steps.keep your eye on the steps.


My bad.Here are some steps.

How much wiil the rent be.

6 Wooster Street Apartments OK’d

http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/6_wooster_square_apartments_okd/


Shovels Aweigh!

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

In the twenty-first century, the visions of J.C. Nichols and Walt Disney have come full circle and joined. “Neighborhoods” are increasingly “developments,” corporate theme parks. But corporations aren’t interested in the messy ebb and flow of humanity. They want stability and predictable rates of return. And although racial discrimination is no longer a stated policy for real estate brokers and developers, racial and social homogeneity are still firmly embedded in America’s collective idea of stability; that’s what our new landlords are thinking even if they are not saying it.
― Tanner Colby,

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