NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Jordan’s Furniture is officially open. The major retailer celebrated their grand opening on Friday, bringing a destination shopping and entertainment experience to New Haven.
City officials say they’re excited about the new store, and how it is helping to revitalize the Long Wharf section of the city.
“One of the things that we believe is underutilized for development is the Long Wharf area, and I think this really makes us focus more on that,” said Mayor Toni Harp.
Several more projects are in the works, and others are being explored.
“I think we’re looking at a transition. The place was built sixty years ago as an industrial park,” said Matthew Nemerson, the city’s Economic and Development Administrator.
Decades later, there are now two major retailers book-ending Sargent Drive. Ikea on one side and now Jordan’s. In between, a combination of newer buildings mixed with re-purposed ones. The city says there are plans in the works for Southern Connecticut State University to move into the old Gateway location. They’re also thinking about possibly building a garage and pedestrian bridge for commuters to access Union Station.
Across the highway, there are also plans to revitalize the waterfront.
“There’s gonna be a boathouse which will bring in small boats and crew racing and the University of New Haven will have maritime programs there,” said Nemerson.
Construction on a new dock and boathouse has already started and is expected to be complete sometime in 2017.
The waterfront is also famous for its food trucks. Nemerson said there are plans to improve that as well.
“We have thousands of people who go there every weekend. So, we’re going to be adding some new parking and some new lanes and new areas for people to sit and eat,” said Nemerson.
All of these projects mean more jobs coming to the area as well. Jordan’s alone hired more than 200 people. City officials say they’re hopeful those employees, as well as people coming to shop, will explore other areas of Long Wharf and the city as well.