MERIDEN — Yale New Haven Health’s goal to build a comprehensive medical center at the site of the former Macy’s at Meriden Mall remains behind schedule.
“We are still in the planning stages at this juncture and will update everyone as we move ahead,” Yale New Haven spokesman Mark Dantonio stated in a email. “No other updates at this time.”
Yale New Haven officials said the 179,258-square-foot former Macy’s store will be used to provide out-patient care for patients through partnerships with Smilow Cancer Hospital, the Yale New Haven Heart and Vascular Center and Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital.
The site will also offer blood draw and radiology services.
Construction workers have been doing interior demolition and recently filed a plan revision with city building officials, said city Economic Development Director Joseph Feest.
After purchasing the former anchor store for $2.8 million in October, Yale New Haven Health initially said it planned to start construction in early 2022, and open some services in the next 18 to 24 months. The project was expected to be completed by the end of 2023 or early 2024.
But Yale representatives recently told Hearst Media, “Like many health systems across the country, Yale New Haven Health is facing headwinds stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and the current economic climate. We are being very thoughtful in our planning and will update everyone as we move forward.”
The move puts Yale in the backyard of Hartford HealthCare which owns MidState Medical Center also on Lewis Avenue. The two organizations are among the largest health networks in the state and have been creeping into each other’s service areas.
“They’re committed to the project,” Feest said. “They paid for the interior demo and the remediation has been done already. They are waiting for the next stage of construction on the interior. Last month, they sent in some revisions. Based on that, you know they are still working on it.”
Meriden Mall is among other struggling malls in the state as management attempts to move toward non-retail uses to fill vacant space. After the sale of the former Macy’s store to Yale in 2021, the mall had seen interest in a dinner theater next to a former Best Buy that is also on the southern wing of the retail center. The future of the dinner theater is unknown, but activity has stalled.
Neither mall or dinner theater representatives could be reached for comment.
The mall welcomed a new and unique addition in March called Petrillo’s Fairs and Festivals, a company that produces free, fun events for the entire family to enjoy. The business, which hosts vendors and other activities, is open on the weekends.
“This is a great concept to draw more people into the mall,” Midstate Chamber of Commerce President Rosanne Ford said in March. “So you know they’re there for the event, there’s great exposure for the vendors, but also a good additional way to draw traffic to some of the stores in the mall like Boscov’s.”
Another attraction had been the Meriden Public Library, which operated a temporary location at the mall during renovations to the main library building on Miller Street. The temporary mall location closed last week ahead of a July 14 reopening of the Miller Street building.