With $1,000,000 from the federal government and a commitment to move in from the Bilco Company, West River Crossing could see construction begin next spring.
"It's a game changer," said Mayor John Picard, (D) West Haven. "It'll retain seventy to eighty jobs," he said.
Those are jobs at Bilco, a steel-door maker that's been based in West Haven next door to the site for the last 60 years. Executive vice president Roger Joyce, grandson of the founder, says it is a thrill for employees to be able to stay close to home.
"Moving elsewhere, certainly moving out of state, was out of the question for us," he said. "We needed to stay here for that workforce that has supported us so well."
The building, six stories tall in the plans projected by the Yale Urban Design Workshop, will have other tenants, with hundreds of office jobs if all goes as planned. The federal grant goes for reconstruction of the harbor bulkhead along the site.
Next spring could see a groundbreaking if environmental cleanup of the property and the bulkhead are completed.
"No one could have repaired this bulkhead but the public sector," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal. "No one can create jobs here like Bilco can and this kind of alliance is greater than the sum of its parts."