NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– Soon you will see three major development projects popping up in New Haven.
Deputy Economic Development Director Steve Fontana said, “It’s going to pump more life into the city…We actually have a huge increase in investment in the city and that investment is taking the form of a lot people wanting to come in to build new mix use housing developments.”
The Lofts at Wooster Square is a five-story luxury apartment slated to start this year at the site of the Comcast. Another project in the works are nearly 300 apartments on 87 Union Street with restaurants and retail stores. New apartments will also be built on Audubon Square Development on State Street.
Fontana added, “Ultimately it will be 500 apartments with ground floor retail along with a parking garage.”
These apartments are considered luxury, but city said they try to work with developers to help support affordable housing.
Fontana added, “We try to interest them and encourage them to pursue affordable housing whether by taking state money for it or voluntarily by structuring the rent such that people of modest means can afford to live in them.”
“If it is not city property and they are not taking public money, they have no obligation to provide affordable housing,” said Fontana.
Long time New Haven resident Lee Cruz said the city could be more diverse like the Fair Haven community.
Cruz said, “There are some places that are more challenged…some have more opportunities. I think those of us who live in diverse neighborhoods need to sustain that space so that other people can see the value of it when they come and visit us.”
Fontana said overall the new development will help support city operations.
Fontana added, “It is investment in terms of construction jobs, hundreds of construction jobs in the short term and then long term it is going to be millions of dollars a year in property taxes.”