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    (4/12/2007) Becker + Becker to develop transit-oriented sustainable project

    NEW HAVEN- The City of New Haven and Becker + Becker announce today that an initial set of terms has been agreed upon for the redevelopment of the city’s former Shartenberg site. The project will be a model for transit-oriented sustainable development meeting a wide variety of community needs.

    The Shartenberg 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. In February 2007, the City announced the results of the RFP Process and reported that the City would enter into negotiations with Becker + Becker, the top choice developer, to reach a formal understanding on the project and its terms. Becker + Becker’s selection was based on 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. The City and the developer have agreed on a wide range of project terms, including allowable property uses (residential, retail, hotel, office, child day care and parking), development timeline, funding security and explicit expectations regarding design, density, and parking.

    “Our Downtown is growing and improving everyday as we see new businesses thrive and more people enjoying what the city has to offer,” said Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. “I am confident that Becker + Becker’s project, with its responsible Green design, new residences and exciting retail, will certainly add to the appeal of our urban center.”

    This project will include at least 400,000 square feet of development with more than 400 residential units, which will add vitality and more pedestrian activity to the growing downtown. A full-service urban grocery store will be located on the ground floor in addition to other retail uses. The project also features at least 500 on-site parking spaces, which will be wrapped by active uses on the street frontage and takes advantage of its location near the State Street Train Station. The building’s green building design will be assured by LEED certification of the residential portion of the project where the developer has committed to adhere to all City workforce requirements. In addition, the City is working with Becker + Becker on amassing the financing to allow for the inclusion of 50 affordable housing units in the project.

    The developer brings at least $100 million in financing to this deal, much of this funded through union-backed pension funds. This project will be built by union labor. The redevelopment of this site is expected to bring 1,265 construction jobs and 99 permanent jobs to the city.

    “I am very excited about the great opportunities this project brings to my ward,” said Alderwoman Frances Clark, D-1. “This development will benefit our residents and demonstrates the new life in our downtown.”

    The minimum base height of the building, before the tower, will be at least forty-five feet, addressing a significant urban design objective and matching the average building height across the street.

    “We are thrilled to welcome Becker + Becker’s expertise and vision to New Haven. This is a great step in the continuous revitalization of our Downtown,” said Kelly Murphy, New Haven Economic Development Administrator.

    Becker + Becker has already incorporated initial feedback into design revisions*. In an effort to further engage the public and achieve additional community input on the design, the City and Becker + Becker will hold a community design workshop on April 24, 2007 at 6:30 pm. This forum will take place at the Hall of Records, 200 Orange Street in New Haven.

    Becker + Becker has a successful track record serving as developer and planner for projects in dense, urban areas, including The Octagon (Roosevelt Island, NY), The Wauregan (Norwich, CT), and the Times Square Hotel (New York, NY). Earlier this month the principal of the firm, Bruce Redman Becker, was awarded the Harlan Griswold Preservation Award by the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation for redevelopment of The Wauregan. The firm’s Octagon project has been recognized with a “Green Apple” award from the EPA and DEP for leadership in applying sustainable design principles to residential development. Bruce Becker has a Masters in Architecture as well as a Masters in Public and Private Management from Yale 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 and Becker + Becker will use the initial set of understandings to develop a Land Disposition Agreement, which will proceed through the standard City approval processes. The City expects to submit a Land Disposition Agreement and a Development Agreement to the Redevelopment Authority for approval in May 2007, with the Board of Aldermen approval process beginning in June 2007.


    Contact Name: Jessica Mayorga

    Contact Email: jmayorga@newhavenct.net

    Contact Phone: 203-946-7660

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