NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — A new affordable housing option will soon be available in the Whaling City.
Vessel Technologies is building its first modular apartment building in Connecticut and the site is on Bank Street in downtown New London.
The five-story building can be built for a fraction of the cost of conventional construction projects and within less time because the pieces of the unit are prefabricated.
“This is an opportunity to build a higher quality product at a price that works for working people,” said Neil Rubler, President & CEO of Vessel Technologies.
The one-bedroom units go for $1,600 to $1,700 a month which is 80% of the market rate.
“It’s your teachers, your police officers, the city clerks, the people who work for the city, the people who work in the city,” said Felix Reyes, the director of Economic Development and Planning for the city of New London.
The city says affordable housing units are needed and so was development of a downtown lot that had sat vacant for nearly 30 years.
“The missing tooth of Bank Street is finally getting a crown,” Reyes said.
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“It’s definitely encouraging,” said Robert Bernardo, owner of Right Path Organic Café across the street from the site of the new apartments.
While he welcomes new housing some in the city don’t like seeing something so modern in the historic district.
“I’m sure everyone will hate it once it’s erected and done. But everyone will grow used to it and eventually it will just become part of the landscape that people won’t even look at anymore,” said Mark Braunstein of Waterford. Braunstein spends a lot of time eating and shopping in downtown New London.
All the pieces of the project currently sit on a trailer parked in front of the building and will be lifted into place.
At this point, the project is at the halfway mark, and they’ve been building for about four weeks.
The entire framework could be complete by next month and then the entire building by the end of July.
Vessel is also looking to build modular apartments in Fairfield and Hartford counties.
“It’s almost hard to find a place within the state that doesn’t have a profound housing need,” Rubler said.
This city says when housing prices skyrocketed during the pandemic it left would-be homeowners scrambling for apartments which is why there is such a shortage of rental units.