City selects developer for Shartenberg site
John DeStefano, Jr. City Of New Haven
Mayor PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday Feb. 13, 2007
CITY OF NEW HAVEN SELECTS DEVELOPER FOR SHARTENBERG SITE
PROJECT WOULD BRING HUNDREDS OF HOUSING UNITS AND JOBS TO DOWNTOWN
New Haven: The City of New Haven has selected Becker & Becker as the developer for the Shartenberg Site. The site is currently a 1.5-acre surface parking lot located at 745 Chapel Street, on the corner of State, Chapel, and Orange Streets in downtown New Haven. The City will enter negotiations with this developer for a period of time to reach a formal understanding regarding the project and its terms.
“My Administration looks forward to working with the community and neighbors to ensure that everyone has a chance to offer input about this project,” said Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. “I believe this is great step forward for downtown New Haven. This development will create jobs, bring hundreds of new residents downtown, and add to the vitality – not to mention the grand list- of the City of New Haven.”
The selection of Becker & Becker as the developer was based on the evaluation criteria and was solidified by their proven track record in urban areas, qualifications of the developer and members of the project team, their experience, financial capability, and financial commitment. Specifically, Becker & Becker brings a streamlined architecture and development team, more than $100 million in equity financing from a union-backed pension fund, green building principles with a commitment to LEED silver standards, and a strong commitment to work with the City and with the local community to achieve a project that contains important community benefits and new local amenities.
Becker & Becker’s original proposal showed a 489,000 SF project with 420 units of housing, 25,000 SF of retail, and an early childhood education center. The housing was proposed to be a combination of market and affordable units, as well as a mix of rental and home ownership. The original design included a thirty-two story tower. Becker & Becker and the City are working together to refine the design to improve the fit of the project with the immediate neighborhood, and Becker & Becker plans to hold a community charrette to seek input into the design.
Becker & Becker has a successful track record serving as developer and planner for projects in dense, urban areas, including The Octagon project (Roosevelt Island, NY), the Wauregan (Norwich, CT), the Times Square Hotel (New York, NY), and the Crescent Building and Fairfield Apartments in Bridgeport, CT. The principal of the firm, Bruce Becker, has a Masters in Architecture from the Yale School of Architecture and has been active in community organizations including the Harlem School for the Arts, the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, the AIA National Affordable Housing Task Force, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The City received nine proposals from developer-driven teams seeking the opportunity to transform the former Shartenberg site into an active, vibrant and urban downtown streetscape. The City formed a Review Committee, made up of five active members of the local community, to review each proposal, evaluate the proposal based on the review criteria, conduct interviews, and develop a set of recommendations to the City. With these recommendations, the City conducted further due diligence and completed its decision. Alderwoman Bitsy Clark, Tony Rescigno (Executive Director of the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce), Chandler Howard (President and CEO of First City Fund Bank Organizing Committee), Althea Richardson (Executive Director of Empower New Haven), and Scott Healy (Executive Director of New Haven Town Green Special Services District) all contributed their time to serve on the Review Committee.
In the next several months, the City will be working with the developer to reach final agreement on the project components. These components will be worked into a land transfer agreement and proceed through the standard City approval processes.
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