Downtown Meriden building will be soon be demolished

Downtown Meriden building will be soon be demolished

Record-Journal


MERIDEN — A downtown State Street building will soon be demolished to make way for the parking lot of a new train station.

Demolition of the vacant former Stone Insurance office, 88 State St., should begin “any day now,” according to state Department of Transportation assistant rail administrator John Bernick.

The building was acquired by the state through eminent domain at the beginning of this year.

The 0.8-acre lot was purchased for $675,000, and will be converted into a 79-space lot for the new train station. It is part of the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield commuter rail project, which includes improving 62 miles of rail across the state, new train stations and updated rail cars.

The demolition will be done by a contractor working for the state DOT, Bernick said.

“If we take a property and it’s vacated, we don’t like to leave it standing for too long as it becomes a nuisance in the city,” Bernick said.

The building has been vacant for several months. The property has some overgrown weeds and the parking lot was recently blocked off with “caution” tape.

The new two-level station will follow shortly thereafter, although no contractor has been selected. The station will include a bridge over the tracks that connects State Street to Colony Street. Bernick expects the contract to be awarded “within the month.”

Across the railroad tracks from the former Stone Insurance building, the state also bought a right of way and part of the property that houses Catholic Charities for $53,000.

It is located at 61 Colony St and includes a parking lot to the north of the building.

The state “took about seven or 10 feet from the back of the lot” Edgar Bernier, chief financial officer for Catholic Charities, said. The purchase also included temporary access to the rear of the lot where the state will build a retaining wall to block noise during construction of a southbound train platform.

Bernick said the right of way is for sidewalk access to the southbound platform.

“It’s more convenient walk-up access,” he said.

Bernick said the current station will not be razed until the new station is completed. The site will become a drop-off area for people using the train.

mcallahan@record-journal.com (203) 317-2279 Twitter: @MollCal

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