Contact: Adam Joseph
August 7, 2012
NEW HAVEN—Senator Martin M. Looney joined elected officials, business leaders and community members at the roof of the Air Rights Garage Tuesday morning to celebrate the New Haven Board of Alderman’s unanimous approval of new zoning for the entire 11-acre Downtown Crossing site, and the project’s first development agreement for 2.4-acres of land to be known as 100 College Street.
Mayor John DeStefano Jr., Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, Senator Richard Blumenthal, developer Carter Winstanley, State Senator Martin Looney, and Gateway Community College President Dorsey Kendrick spoke at the event. Dozens of community and business leaders who have supported the project also attended.
“Downtown Crossing will be critically important in reclaiming a portion of land for the downtown that has been a weak link for development and will be a strong driver for jobs and economic development,” said Senate Majority Leader Martin M. Looney. “This is exactly the type of strategic federal, state and local investment that will help get our economy going again.”
Downtown Crossing reclaims 11 acres of land currently underutilized by the Route 34 Connector. The first phase of Downtown Crossing and the construction of 100 College Street are expected to generate up to 2,000 construction jobs, 600 to 960 permanent jobs, and millions of dollars in spin-off economic development activity at suppliers, restaurants and other supporting businesses in the City that will create and support an additional 2,700 jobs.
With Board of Aldermen approval in place, construction crews are expected to begin removing the highway and rebuilding the street grid in January 2013, literally paving the way for construction at 100 College Street in May 2013. Roadwork is expected to conclude in June 2014, and 100 College Street is expected to open in the summer of 2015.
“For half a century, the highway divided the City and served as a reminder of the homes and businesses that were lost. No more. This January, work will finally begin to remove the highway and restore the street grid, employing thousands of people and propelling our local economy for decades to come. What was once a symbol of lost opportunity will again become a thriving part of our community,” said Mayor John DeStefano Jr.
The first phase of the Downtown Crossing effort is partially funded by a $16 million competitive federal TIGER II grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, secured with substantial support from Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, Senator Joseph Lieberman and then-Senator Christopher Dodd. Phase one will close exits two and three and will convert the old Route 34 connector at North and South Frontage roads into an urban boulevard for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. College Street will then be reconstructed at grade level, literally paving the way for the development at 100 College Street.
Removing the highway will reconnect Downtown, the medical district, Union Station, and the Hill neighborhood, as the City breaks down the physical barriers that have made it uninviting for people to walk to or from Downtown. In reclaiming the Route 34 Connector, Downtown Crossing introduces 15 Complete Street design elements. Some noteworthy design features include bike lanes, bike boxes at intersections, 10-foot travel lanes, raised intersections, raised crosswalks, raised traffic islands and exclusive pedestrian walk phases. Design continues on the next phase of infrastructure work, which includes new street connections at Temple Street and Orange Street to be constructed in future years.
“I have fought to reconnect our City ever since I worked for Mayor Logue over thirty years ago and am proud to have worked with Mayor DeStefano and former Senator Chris Dodd to help secure the $16 million grant that will allow the first part of the project go forward.” said Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro. “These improvements will start us on a path to reclaim 11 acres that will be used to expand our medical district and continue the revitalization of our downtown. Once built, it will help my hometown of New Haven adapt to the future and flourish for decades to come. I am so happy to see it happen and cannot wait to see our new downtown.”
Developer Carter Winstanley reflected on the public approval process and thanked the many community partners who have supported the effort.
“This has been a long process with many great voices involved over the years. We are thrilled with the Board of Aldermen's vote last night and want to thank everyone who worked so hard to make this a reality—the President and members of the Board of Aldermen, the Mayor, the City's Economic Development Administrator and her extraordinary staff, Gateway College, the Board of Education, Yale New Haven Hospital, Yale University, Alexion, the business community, and all of the members of this community who have worked so tirelessly on this project. Last night marks another beginning of working together as a community to make 100 College Street a positive reality for the City and its residents,” said developer Carter Winstanley.
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Hartford, CT 06106-1591
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