Downtown Meriden housing development expected to finish in June

Downtown Meriden housing development expected to finish in June

reporter photo

MERIDEN — Despite several setbacks, the 81-unit townhouse and mid-rise project at 11 Crown St. should be completed in June, according to the developer.

 “The town homes are nearly complete. Inspections and some utility work are all that remain,” said Andrew Davenport, vice president of development for the Michaels Organization. “The garage and the mid-rise building should be completed at the same time (June).”

The $22 million project includes a 27-space garage. Michaels also has a lease for 20 spaces at a city lot at 85 E. Main St. 

Haynes Construction is the general contractor on the development. The company also built the recently completed Meriden Commons I and II in downtown for Pennrose Properties and the Meriden Housing Authority. 

The housing authority stepped in to help the Michaels Organization close a funding gap on the 11 Crown St. project by providing Section 8 vouchers that allowed the developer to receive low-income housing tax credits.

The development will consist of 25 Section 8 units, 49 units considered affordable and 17 market rate units. Michaels Affordable Management will handle the leasing and management while MHA will oversee the Section 8 aspect of the development. . 

“Like all developments that provide quality affordable housing for residents with low incomes, 11 Crown St. has faced a number of challenges,” Davenport said in an e-mail. “The confluence of rising construction prices with a severe downturn in the market for low-income housing tax credits was probably the most challenging for this development. And we are thankful for the patience and perseverance of the city of Meriden and all of its residents who have helped to make this much deserved development come to fruition.” 

Low income housing tax credits are the primary source of financing for most affordable housing in the country, with the credits available to investors in exchange for private equity in the project. The market for low income tax credits was impacted by tax reform and other changes in the market, according to a company spokeswoman.

Leasing will begin when there is a certificate of occupancy, but several potential residents have expressed interest, Davenport said. The company has not yet settled on a name for the development. 

The development represents the last of the low-income units the city needed to build to replace 144  units at the Mills Memorial Apartments, which were torn down two years ago.

“I’m glad to hear they have a finishing date of June,” said the city’s Economic Development Director Joseph Feest.
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File photo - Demolition of the Mills Memorial Apartment buildings in Meriden, Sept. 2018.