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After lying fallow for decades, a megablock razed in the name of urban renewal will rise again - despite the opposition of one lawmaker and the reservations of another.

The megablock is the area bound by MLK Boulevard and Legion Avenue to the north and south and Dwight and Orchard streets to the east and west. The 5.39 acres there, now a surface parking lot, is slated to become the home of a new $50 million office and retail complex, under a land disposition agreement approved Wednesday night by the Board of Alders.

The development is part of a larger plan to fill 16.2 acres between MLK and Legion, dubbed "Rt. 34 West" Government bulldozers leveled all the buildings in the area a half-century ago to make way for a highway that was never built.

Centerplan, a Middletown developer, will buy the 5.39 acres from the city for $2.65 million. Centerplan has said it will spend $50 million to put up a new home for the Continuum of Care mental health agency, a pharmacy, a restaurant, a parking garage, and a medical building or hotel.

The plan has met with some controversy. Supporters say it's a way to bring new life to a long vacant area, along with jobs and tax revenue. Detractors call it a car-centric suburban-style business park that won't help the area's pollution problems.

It will allow Continuum of Care, which has been in New Haven for 50 years, to grow, adding 300 employees in three years, Douglass said. It will allow the city to collect "millions" in taxes in the coming years. A new Rite Aid pharmacy will be a source of jobs and a benefit to the neighborhood. And the city will get a payment of over $2.5 million for the land.

That said, it will create jobs and bring in taxes, and the neighborhood's alders support it, Roth noted. She said she would vote for the plan, but encouraged the city to have open bidding processes in the future.

"I'm going to vote against this," said Newhallville/Prospect Hill Alder Michael Stratton. "This was the heart of New Haven in the '30s and '40s," he said. It's still the heart, but it "looks like a moonscape now." The city doesn't need more non-profits like Continuum of Care, Stratton said. He said that area could support "high-end" housing.

Stratton's was the only vote against the approval of the land disposition agreement.


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About Us

Centerplan Companies LLC, founded in 2006, offers services in real estate development, construction, and solar integration on properties throughout New England. The firm is developing a variety of retail, commercial, urban mixed-use, and residential properties

Robert Landino

CEO

Mr. Landino is the founder and CEO of Centerplan Companies.

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