NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — City leaders celebrated a ceremonial groundbreaking Thursday for the Vanguard on State in New Haven.

It sits at 793 State St. which used to be one of the most blighted properties in New Haven. Now it will be luxury apartments, part of a push to improve the whole street.

“Really done a lot of work to improve upper State Street, especially this section of upper State Street which had probably the only blighted building on this stretch stood here,” explained Carlos Eyzaguirre, New Haven’s Deputy Economic Development Director.

The Vanguard on State will contain 17 apartments and ground-floor commercial space.

“The building design has been called timeless by some, and I look forward to bringing that to fruition, and I think it’s going to make a statement for the curb appeal and the frontage here,” said Alex Opuszynski, the owner of the Vanguard Private Client Group.

An interesting thing about the project is that there used to be a side street next to the property. It was called Pulaski Street. It got obliterated when they built Interstate 91, but it was still technically still a city street. So, the city had to officially ‘discontinue’ Pulaski Street. The city did that, and now the groundbreaking can happen.

While this means bad news for Pulaski Street, it’s good news for affordable housing because two of those 17 units will be kept at below-market rates.

“We welcome new development. In particular, we welcome all shapes and sizes of development that are supporting more units of affordable housing,” Mayor Justin Elicker (D-New Haven) said.

More housing is also good for economic development.

“When we have new housing coming in, that means new customers for our businesses,” Alder Eli Sabin of New Haven’s Ward 7 said. “When there are new restaurants and stores, people are more excited about the neighborhood and want to live there.”

More good news: there’s plenty of parking in the city lot right next door.