SHELTON — City residents packed the auditorium at Shelton Intermediate School on Wednesday night and urged the Planning and Zoning Commission to reject a developer’s plans to turn a section of Bridgeport Avenue into a planned community with apartments, retail, restaurants and possibly a medical building and assisted-living center.
“We are making changes as we go along,” said Dominick Thomas, a land-use lawyer representing Shelter Ridge Associates, the developer. He said the medical building and assisted living center are no longer sure things. But he plugged the site as a future “destination spot” for the city.
For nearly two hours, a crowd of nearly 900 listened at the hearing as Thomas, landscaping engineer James Swift, architect Richard Granoff and Chris Kerin, a partner in a Fairfield real estate agency, urged the commission to change zoning from industrial
Kerin said the apartments would generate about $726,044 in new taxes while income from the retail, offices and medical complexes would reach at least $2.7 million.
But none of that im
Engineering study offers several options for Town Hall project
NEWINGTON — The Town Council is now considering several options for repairing Town Hall, and expects to give the building committee a new direction in a couple of weeks.
Hamden-based engineering consultant DTC presented the results of an engineering study conducted in the facility at the council’s meeting Tuesday night, along with several recommendations.
These included a $24.3 million renovation to address the building’s existing issues without many additional improvements. DTC Chief Operating Officer Graham Curtis presented the scope of this possibility in detail Tuesday.
"We took a no frills approach to repairing the building," he said.
If this project went to referendum in November, construction could begin as soon as April 2018, Curtis said, and would be estimated to last two years.
Councilors, however, seemed to favor an alternative option he briefed them on afterwards. This would be a compromise between a renovation and a $37 million new building, at a cost estimated to be between the two. CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE
The Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee this month approved a bonding package that would cancel $1.06 billion in bonding in an effort to stay under the committee's own debt limit.
CCM said Wednesday, though, that the proposed package has led the state to withhold $60 million in municipal grants that towns had expected this year.
East Hartford is facing the largest hit in the state, losing just under $4.5 million in aid under the amended package, according to a list CCM provided to reporters.
Ted Fisher, spokesman for East Hartford Mayor Marcia A. LeClerc, said officials are monitoring the situation, but declined to comment further until the legislature votes on the bonding package.
"At this point we're waiting because nothing's a done deal," he said.
Stratford would lose the second highest amount at $3.5 million, while Waterbury and Bristol each would lose roughly $2.5 million.
Locally, Manchester, South Windsor, Windsor, and Windsor Locks also are expecting to each lose more than $1 million in aid.
CCM Executive Director Joseph DeLong said many of the towns were planning to use the money for construction projects scheduled to begin around this time of year.
"Much of the necessary repair and repaving of local roads will come to a halt unless these promised state funds are released right now to all towns," he said. CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE
New Haven working to improve development of River Street area
NEW HAVEN >> One building is being partially demolished, while the city is proposing a deal that will see another part of the former Bigelow Boiler Co. stabilized and, it hopes, eventually renovated.
It all comes under the 2002 River Street Municipal Development Project where infrastructure improvements , environmental cleanup and land purchases by the city have slowly evolved over more than a decade with the most recent work dependant upon state and federal grants. The city in 2002 created nine development parcels from about 25 acres in the River Street area, long an abandoned industrial part of the city. Over time, it has purchased all but one acre.
One of the most successful businesses to locate in the area is Capasso Restoration.
It has operated its renovation business out of 34 Lloyd St. since 2008 and purchased the property in December 2015, under an affiliate, Lloyd Street Properties, LLC, after the city completed environmental remediation. The property at 34 Lloyd St. is a portion of the original parcel I, as defined in the development project.
The city now wants to transfer control of 198 River St., which is the remaining portion of parcel I, to Bigelow Square, LLC, another affiliate of Capasso Restoration. CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE
Eminent domain shadows dispute in West Haven to reach agreement for The Haven
WEST HAVEN >> The owners of the S & S Mini Mart Citgo at Elm Street and First Avenue, among the last holdouts in the project area for The Haven high-end outlet mall, say they are ready to accept the developer’s offer. But now there seems to be some dispute about what that offer is. Citgo owners Sheik Hossain and Saed Ahmed, who concede that they previously asked for $5 million “for negotiation purposes,” say they have informed The Haven Group that they want to accept what they say was a $2 million offer. But The Haven Group Executive Vice President Matt Armstrong, who they maintain previously offered them $2 million, is telling them the offer is $1.8 million, said Ahmed.
City officials, who now also are involved, including Mayor Ed O’Brien, said $1.8 million is the only offer they’ve heard. “The developer is playing games with us,” said Ahmed in an interview earlier this week in his store. He said Armstrong made the offer in a phone call about four months ago with Hossain. Ahmed also said that Armstrong said in one meeting, “I cannot go more than $2 million.
“Now, they’re not giving us any kind of offer in writing,” Ahmed said. But Armstrong said in a series of texts Thursday evening, after initially declining to comment, that “the offer was never $2 million. CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE
Construction Employment Increases in 244 out of 358 Metro Areas
Construction employment increased in 244 out of 358 metro areas, was unchanged in 44 and declined in 70 between March 2015 and March 2016, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said the new figures show that the construction sector, in most parts of the country, continues to recover from its years-long downturn.
"With more than two-thirds of the nation's metro areas adding construction jobs it is clear that the demand for construction is broad-based geographically and by project type," said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist, adding that construction employment hit new peak levels in 31 metro areas. "The main soft patch for the construction industry remains the parts of the country most likely to be affected by declining energy prices."
Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, Calif. added the most construction jobs during the past year (11,900 jobs, 14 percent). Other metro areas adding a large number of construction jobs include New York City (9,000 jobs, 7 percent); Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga. (8,500 jobs, 8 percent); and Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla. (8,300 jobs, 14 percent). The largest percentage gains occurred in El Centro, Calif. (45 percent, 1,000 jobs); Monroe, Mich. (36 percent, 800 jobs) and Haverhill-Newburyport-Amesbury Town, Mass.-N.H. (28 percent, 1,000 jobs).The largest job losses from March 2015 to March 2016 were in Odessa, Texas (-2,700 jobs, -14 percent), followed by Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (-2,600 jobs, -4 percent); Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio (-2,500 jobs, -8 percent) and Midland, Texas (-2,200 jobs, -8 percent). The largest percentage declines for the past year were in Bloomington, Ill. (-15 percent, -400 jobs); Odessa; Grants Pass, Ore. (-13 percent, -100 jobs); Decatur, Ill. (-13 percent, -400 jobs) and Laredo, Texas (-13 percent, -600 jobs). CLICK TITLE TO CONTINUE