CITY OF NEW HAVEN ANNOUNCES NEXT STEPS IN DOWNTOWN CROSSING PROJECT
(12/8/2010) NEW HAVEN- Following a favorable vote of 24-1 by the Board of Aldermen earlier this week to accept $16 million in TIGER II funding, the City of New Haven hosted a news conference today to announce next steps in the Downtown Crossing Project. The Downtown Crossing Project will convert Route 34 from a limited access highway to an urban boulevard that will reconnect City neighborhoods as well as support the growth of the medical district.
“Nearly 50 years ago the Route 34 Connector was built as part of a national push to create highways as a remedy for urban conception blight. In New Haven, this “highway to nowhere” for the last 50 years has separated both the central business district of Downtown with Yale-New Haven Hospital, the Medical District and the Hill Neighborhood,” said DeStefano. “Monday night, the Board of Aldermen took the first step towards removing that scar, and fostering economic growth—as a city, and in a democratic manner with the acceptance of the $16 Million TIGER II Grant Funding.”
Next steps in the infrastructure and design process for Downtown Crossing focus on:
? Grant agreements with Federal and State authorities
? Accelerating design for Phase I infrastructure
? Development agreement for Parcel D (100 College Street)
? Infrastructure start of construction in late 2011
? Development start in 2012
TIGER II funding was awarded to the City on October 15th after receiving strong legislative support from Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Senator Chris Dodd and Senator Joseph Lierberman. TIGER II funds will support the development of the first phase of Downtown Crossing, which includes the conversion of North and South Frontage Roads to boulevards with road, streetscape, bike and pedestrian enhancements, as well as the reconstruction of College Street to grade level. All elements of this conversion follow the City’s Complete Streets standards, a rigorous set of criteria that ensures City streets and sidewalks are safe for all forms of transportation.
Downtown Crossing will stimulate New Haven’s economy, create jobs at all skill levels generate tax revenue and increase livability throughout the City. This project will open up 10.5 acres of developable land Downtown—this becomes particularly important considering the fact that New Haven is fully developed and has under 2% developable land. The project will reunite neighborhoods, enhance traffic, bicycle and pedestrian safety and enhance economic conditions particularly for medical and emerging technology businesses in the area.
The project will create 2,000 immediate construction jobs, and 960 permanent jobs in the first phase project. Looking ahead to the full build out, there will be over 1,500 jobs in the corridor generating well over $150 million in economic activity. The jobs created will be at all skill levels and economic spin-off will help businesses across the city and the region.
“This project will have a positive economic boost to the city, thus generating countless jobs created and supported because of the businesses brought to these parcels of land.
Restaurants, Retail, and Entertainment Venues in the city will all benefit from the influx of business due to the construction of Downtown Crossing,” said Kelly Murphy, Economic Development Administrator. “The thousands of employees and patients at Yale-New Haven Hospital and the Medical District each and every day will easily be able to access all the things that Downtown New Haven has to offer, without being separated by a highway which currently creates a barrier to these folks.”
Phase One of the Downtown Crossing Project also sets in motion the development of 100 College Street under a separate project. This new 400,000 square foot health sciences building will be located adjacent to a growing cluster of research and development facilities associated with Yale-New Haven Hospital and the Yale School of Medicine, including Smilow Cancer Center, 55 Park Street and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. The development of 100 College Street will result in approximately 2,000 construction jobs and up to 1,000 permanent jobs.
“This is a great day, and a day to celebrate this project, but make no mistake: we have many more steps ahead of us, and more hurdles to cross to make Downtown Crossing a reality,” said DeStefano. “We will continue our dialogue with the community as this project moves forward and I stand before you all today, ready to see this project through, and to build a better New Haven for everyone.”
Over the next several weeks and months there will be continued work on the overall Downtown Route 34 infrastructure design. The public can expect to participate in the this process via briefings and neighborhood meetings in early 2011. The Office of Economic Development expects to provide development documents to the Board of Aldermen in the first quarter of 2011.
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