As soon as next year, the Route 34 West Project in New Haven could transform the North Frontage Road and Legion Avenue area.
"Folks are really excited to see what is an underdeveloped piece of land developed and to contribute some economic vitality," said Yves Joseph, Centerplan Vice President of Development.
The plan for the 5.5 acres would include offices, retail shops, a parking garage, and the headquarters for Continuum of Care. The non-profit organization provides housing and services for those with disabilities.
Continuum of Care is expected to hire another 300 workers with the move, and at a community forum on Sunday officials said the finished $50-million project would provide an additional 250 full-time positions.
"We think this is an important project for the City of New Haven. We really want people to understand it, and if there are concerns we want to hear their concerns so we can make adjustments as we move forward," said New Haven Mayor Toni Harp.
Not everyone at the meeting agreed with the proposal.
"We feel we should just go back to the drawing board and look at it more critically," said Olivia Martson who lives in New Haven.
Martson says some neighborhoods were left out of the planning process, and a big sticking point is the parking garage. She says there are plenty of those already.
"It's a bad plan in terms of the environment. It doesn't improve mobility or public transportation," said Martson.
The mayor says they'll likely send their plans to the Board of Zoning for approval this week and could break ground as soon as this summer.