Work on downtown Meriden housing development progressing

reporter photo

MERIDEN — Workers from Haynes Construction are laying the foundations for the individual rowhouses and building that will make up the 81-unit mixed income housing development at 11 Crown St.

New Jersey-based Michaels Organization is leading the $31 million project following a closing last month that involved a $16.7 million construction loan from Webster Bank. Webster’s financing includes a $10.7 million investment in low-income housing tax credits and a $750,000 subsidy.  

The project also received a $6 million state loan and $750,000 in affordable housing program funds from the Federal Home Loan Bank. 

“Webster is proud to be the lead bank for this project, which will positively affect so many in the community,” Webster Bank senior vice president Robin Gallagher said in a statement. “There is a high demand for affordable rental housing options and we’re pleased to be a key partner in getting 11 Crown St. developed.”

The development, which is in the transit-oriented district, will consist of two garden-style low rises, and a mid-rise building facing the Meriden Green. One, two and three bedroom apartments will be available. Amenities include a community center and a play area.

A total of 17 apartments will be offered at market rates, while the rest will be reserved for families earning less than 60 percent of the area median income. The affordable apartments will include 17 units reserved for the homeless, according to a Michaels Organization statement. Targeted supportive services will be provided by Columbus House, including health screenings and financial literacy and children’s programs. 

“We are grateful for the city’s support of this development, which is an important part of the overall transformation of downtown Meriden,” said Andrew Davenport, vice president of development at Michaels. 

Michaels will provide property management services following construction. 

The city-owned parcel, formerly the Record-Journal Publishing Co., is being leased to Crown Street Associates. Under a ground lease agreement, the development company will develop the site and gain ownership once construction is completed. 

As part of the lease, the city has received a payment of $495,000, earmarked for maintenance of the Meriden Green park and flood control site, city officials said.  The building will be taxable following the construction period. It is subject to an 80 percent tax abatement authorized by the City Council for a 17-year period. 

The Crown Street development will also change its address to 2 S. Colony St. when it begins marketing the units, city officials said. 

The project is the fourth downtown project in the city’s five-year plan to relocate former residents of the Mills Memorial Apartments, a public housing complex demolished last year.

“The design (of 11 Crown St.) incorporates a nod to Meriden’s industrial past while building new, state of the art homes that are timeless and consistent with the historic downtown character,” according to the city’s economic development website. 

The city purchased the site in 2014 using a $495,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The city identified the Michaels Organization as the preferred developer through a bid process. After the Michaels Organization determined the Record-Journal building could not be repurposed, the city applied for and received a $1.73 million grant for environmental cleanup and demolition.

“Investment in and around our city center is essential for redevelopment as a community,” said Mayor Kevin Scarpati. “We are very excited with this innovative concept to build a mixed-use of various dwelling styles, offering better quality housing for our current and future residents.”
Twitter: @Cconnbiz


More From This Section