New Haven Looks to Revitalize Mill River District

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC Connecticut

    What once stood as a vacant building at 26 Mill Street in New Haven is now ready for businesses to start moving in.

    “It’s about 25,000 square feet. It can be portioned into four separate areas if someone needed us to, but right now we’re looking for tenants to rent this space,” said Julia Bernblum, co-owner of 26 Mill Street.

    Julia Bernblum’s father purchased the property decades ago, but he decided now was the time to offer to rent it. Right now, the Mill River district employs about 3,000 people, many of whom live in New Haven.

    “The Mill River area is the focus for three types of businesses: precision engineering, food production and home improvement types of items,” said Mayor John DeStefano.

    However, there is also room for growth, especially in some of the vacant buildings.

    “We’re an older city, so it’s a little more challenging and expensive to develop these sites, but we have great property owners willing to invest and some great businesses here,” said Kelly Murphy, the City’s Director of Economic Development.

    The City wants to make the Mill River District attractive to the kinds of businesses that are already here, so it’s making improvements to bring in investments.

    “The public sector, if you think about it, doesn’t really create jobs. What it can do is help the private sector grow with a set of smart zoning improvements, smart infrastructure improvements, and working with the private sector is what we aim to do,” said Mayor DeStefano.

    Bernblum says the city has already stepped in to help fill the Mill Street space.

    “The city has actually been working with us and showing people the space, and they’ve been a big help with linking us and helping us network,” said Bernblum.