That’s because there are several projects in the works that will bring retail stores and hundreds of apartments there.
Steve Fontana, the Deputy Economic Development Director for the City of New Haven said, “Formerly, it was a bunch of weird with ugly shaped streets and it didn’t make a whole lot of sense and it was a real opportunity and I think with the growth of the hospital in particular people like to live near where they work.”
Fontana told News 8 when it is all completed, there will be over 550 new apartments.
The projects will revive the Hill area, including the abandoned Welch Annex School.
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The sites on Gold Street and Prince Street were the first to get started.
“It’s reknitting a neighborhood in New Haven. Connecting the downtown area with the school of medicine and the hospital to the Hill neighborhood and the train station and trying to help that become a real community again,” said Fontana.
“I think it’s great. We need to bring people down to New Haven,” Alecia Mackin said.
Those who work in the growing medical district said they need more parking.
One woman said, “I think it’s great as long as they provide parking for people.”
Deshana Tracey told News 8, “I work here in this office building and I had to walk a couple blocks over here to get to my job.”
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Fontana said each site will be useful and unique with a combination of restaurants, apartments, offices, and storefronts.
Mackin added, “That would be great for us because we only have one little coffee shop over here and you have to go into downtown New Haven.”
Liz Womack told News 8, “We are going to have more business and more opportunities to walk around and buy different things.”
Fontana added, “We want New Haven to be a place that is working 12 months out of the year. So having people who live downtown year-round can help create that density, excitement and sustain a lot of the stores and restaurants that we do have.”
The first phase of this project will be completed by the end of the year.