New Haven's much-anticipated Downtown Crossing project broke ground this morning with the construction of Alexion Pharmaceuticals at 100 College Street.
The project will transform a now empty space into an attractive collection of restaurants, shops and offices and is just one of many in the city seeking to develop underutilized commercial and residential space.
“What it means for families is more kinds of work in all types of places." said New Haven Mayor John DeStefano. "What it means for them also is more choices where to live. We've clearly had the emergence of a downtown neighborhood, which didn't exist ten years ago."
Alexion alone will employ about 2,000 construction workers, then bring in its 350 employees from Cheshire and add on another 200 to 300 positions. It will also bridge New Haven's medical district and Yale's Medical School with the rest of downtown.
New Haven residents are optimistic.
“Hopefully that will make more jobs to students and post-docs working here,” said Sadya Achanta.
“I think it's a wonderful location to have it next to the med school because there is so much research being done here, and I think it will allow a lot of collaboration between here and these different companies,” added Will Olds.
The city is also planning to develop the site where the Coliseum once stood. There the city plans to build housing, office and retail space. It's waiting on a grant that would allow the development to join different parts of the city, just like Downtown Crossing, DeStefano said.
Downtown Crossing's 11-story office building is scheduled to be completed in 2015.