NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — City leaders broke ground Thursday on the old New Haven Coliseum site — 15 years after it was demolished. 

Since then, the site on South Orange Street has mainly served as a parking lot. 

The $76 million apartment project is called Square 10. 

Construction crews are already on site and fencing is going up making way for the complex’s 200 units. Forty of the units are considered to be affordable housing.

Groundbreakings are becoming a habit in New Haven, with the snip of a ribbon or scoop of dirt marking the start to building hundreds of luxury apartments. 

Mayor Justin Elicker said new developments provide a better quality of life. 

“People want to live in a place where they can walk to the grocery store or walk to the restaurant,” he said. “They want to live in a place where there’s a diverse community, a lot of culture. New Haven offers all of those things in a much more affordable way than like a New York or Boston.”

The city said it awarded $15 million in construction permits in 2021 and permitted 2,200 housing units over the last three years. 

“We used to be seeing 300-to-400 [new apartments] a year,” Steve Fontana, the city’s deputy economic development director, said. “Now it’s transitioning up to 600, 700, 800 a year.”

The developments are also providing access to affordable housing. They’re now required to set aside 10% of new units due to a new city ordinance.  

“We want the city to be inclusive, we want it to be diverse and welcoming, and we want all people to be able to afford to live in all neighborhoods,” Fontana said.

The apartments are expected to be complete by 2025. 

Later phases of Square 10 include a parking garage, retail space and a med-lab building.