New Haven city officials held a ceremonial groundbreaking Thursday afternoon at the future site of “44 Olive Street.”
“We’re generally fully built out, so reinvestment in areas that are somewhat under developed lots of surface parking lots very important to put those into more important use,” said New Haven’s Interim Economic Development Administrator Michael Piscitelli.
Developers say the plan is to transform the space in between Olive and Union Streets into nearly 300 rental housing units.
“What will soon be another downtown pillar to support growth opportunity and vitality in New Haven,” Mayor Toni Harp (D) said.
According to city officials, there is a growing demand for multi-family rentals near two of New Haven’s biggest employers, Yale University and Yale-New Haven Hospital, as well as bio-tech companies and their venture capital firms.
“What’s very important about this location is its access to both train stations, the highway system and probably the densest concentration of jobs in south central Connecticut,” Piscitelli said.
Developer Darren Seid from Epimoni Corps said there is no timetable for when construction should be complete. But once finished, this redevelopment project will connect downtown to the historic Wooster Square neighborhood.
“The charm of this neighborhood is so unique,” Seid said. “New Haven is unique in itself when compared to anywhere else in the country, the Ivy League component to it and the history here.”
The developers’ plan includes building more than 6,000-square feet of new retail space on the Olive Street side facing Wooster Street and its world famous pizza.
“The development will create a retail destination at this intersection,” Harp said.