NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– New Haven officials broke ground on a new, luxury apartment complex near Wooster Square.
Developers are still going ahead with the project, and others like it, despite the trends of the pandemic. The project breaking ground Tuesday morning is called “The Whit.”
When it is done in a couple years, it will be two buildings on either side of Chapel Street at Olive Street. Together, they will offer 230 luxury apartments, as well as street level retail space.
Behind “The Whit” is Hines, an esteemed international developer that could build anywhere. It chose New Haven.
“It’s a dynamic city,” explained Hines Managing Director Sean Sacks. “It’s got the twin institutional anchors in Yale, Yale New Haven Hospital, and the other universities, and it’s just got this rich character of the neighborhoods.”
New Haven also has a lot of similar new apartment buildings, like the huge Audubon just a few blocks away. Or right next door to The Whit, another, bigger building already under construction offering 300 new units. All that in a pandemic when many people want more space between them and their neighbors.
“Our economic resiliency is not just the pandemic,” said New Haven Economic Development Administrator Michael Piscitelli. “It’s also about the meaningful nature of work here in the city. Science, innovation, biotechnology. These are very strong sectors for New Haven.”
Sectors with the potential to grow in a global medical emergency. Those are the things bringing people to the Elm City. The city has issued some 735 housing permits just this year.
“If you were actually to look at the market trends and the occupancy here in New Haven, they have been a lot stronger than in New York, in fact,” Sacks said.
Developers believe the first people will be moving into The Whit late next year. People will be moving into the building next door a few months earlier, but the city and the developers both believe that New Haven has enough long-term housing demand to fill all of it.