The board of aldermen approved new zoning for the entire 11-acre Downtown Crossing site on Monday night, after more than six years of discussion.
The project’s first development agreement is for 2.4-acres of land to be known as 100 College Street.
Downtown Crossing reclaims 11 acres of land by the Route 34 Connector.
Local officials said the first phase of Downtown Crossing and the construction of 100 College Street are expected to generate up to 2,000 construction jobs and 600 to 960 permanent jobs.
They expect this will also generate millions of dollars in spin-off economic development activity at suppliers, restaurants and other businesses.
Construction crews are expected to begin removing the highway and rebuilding the street grid in January 2013. Roadwork is expected to be done in June 2014 and 100 College Street is expected to open in the summer of 2015.
“For half a century, the highway divided the City and served as a reminder of the homes and businesses that were lost. No more. This January, work will finally begin to remove the highway and restore the street grid, employing thousands of people and propelling our local economy for decades to come. What was once a symbol of lost opportunity will again become a thriving part of our community,” said Mayor John DeStefano Jr.
According to the mayor’s office, a $16 million competitive federal TIGER II grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation will partially fund the first phase of the Downtown Crossing effort.
Phase one will close exits two and three and will convert the old Route 34 connector at North and South Frontage roads into an urban boulevard.
Removing the highway will reconnect Downtown, the medical district, Union Station and the Hill neighborhood, city officials said.
The State will convey land at 100 College Street to the city, which will then immediately convey the parcel to Winstanley Enterprises, which will develop the site into a 426,000 square-foot office, and lab, with ground level retail space.
Alexion plans to relocate its global headquarters to 100 College Street in New Haven by 2015.