$180M New Haven Redevelopment Breaks Ground

At what was formerly the site of the Shartenberg Department Store in New Haven, Conn., a major redevelopment project has broken ground, marking the largest project for the city in more than 20 years, and the largest residential building ever built in the entire state. The redevelopment of the 700,000-square-foot area (pictured) located at 360 State St. will be managed Suffolk Construction Co., a privately-held building contracting firm headquartered in Boston. Fairfield, Conn..-based Becker+Becker is the developer and architect firm for the project.New Haven Mayor John DeStefano–who attended the groundbreaking–told CPN, “The most interesting aspect about this is that it is happening. In an officially-acknowledged recession that has its depths in the housing market collapse, this is a kind of a contrarian activity. It reflects for us what is a very strong housing market in a central business district and for the neighborhoods around the central business district.” New Haven is currently experiencing a construction boom, with $1.5 billion worth of projects in some stage of development. Companies investing in Downtown New Haven include regional as well as national firms such as Becker + Becker, Winstanley Enterprises, the Multi-Employer Property Trust, Northland Investment Corp., Intercontinental Real Estate Co. and Forest City. The particular development starting at 360 State St. is estimated to pump another $400 million into the local and regional economy, some 1,200 new union construction jobs and 492 new permanent jobs. This will be the first LEED silver residential building in Connecticut, with energy efficiency measures anticipated to reduce energy usage by as much as 35 percent. The project has been chosen to serve as a pilot for the LEED Program for Neighborhood Development. It will include innovative features such as photovoltaic arrays, recycled and local materials, and a fuel cell. Construction is slated to be completely finished in the third quarter of 2010, and will include 500 apartments (50 of which will be affordable units), a grocery and other retail stores, plus a parking garage, and an early childhood education center. About 90 percent of the funding for the project comes from pension funds, provided by Landon Butler & Co., and additional monies are coming from public financing for affordable housing, as well as public parking garage revenues. Mayor DeStefano explained that the city had owned and contributed the land. “We sold it for a dollar to Becker+Becker,” he added, “when we closed on the deal earlier this year.”