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HEDC in the News

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Town Energy Efficiency Coordinator Makes Great Strides For Taxpayers 

Friday, September 15, 2017
The Town‘s efforts to hire an Energy Services Coordinator in 2017 is beginning to pay dividends for Hamden’s taxpayers. Kathleen Schomaker, Hamden’s Energy Efficiency Coordinator began her part time position earlier this year as part of the Economic Development and Neighborhood Revitalization Department. “Adding Kath’s expertise was a critical move to help to continue providing valuable services to both residents and small businesses”, noted Dale Kroop, Director. Ms. Schomaker recently oversaw the LED lighting upgrade at the Lou Astorino Ice Rink at no cost to the town, paid for with a grant and zero-interest loan repaid from savings. On behalf of Hamden residents, she is collaborating with United Illuminating on Energize Hamden 2017, launching on September 18 in media outlets around town. “This program offers residents Home Energy Services (HES) at a substantial savings,” reported Ms. Schomaker. “Hamden homeowners who get their HES ‘blower door’ test can feel immediate benefits in home comfort while also seeing savings on their on their energy bills. This is a not-to-be-missed service in advance of our next Connecticut winter!” At the same time, Ms. Schomaker is working on Solarize Hamden 2017 with Smart Power, a national non-profit specializing in community-based solar campaigns, and with Connecticut Green Bank, specializing in financing for energy projects state-wide. The launch of Solarize Hamden 2017 is on September 28 at 7:00 pm in Thornton Wilder Hall. The Solarize campaign runs through February 14, 2017.
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Hamden Restaurant Week 2017 

Thursday, September 7, 2017
Hamden Restaurant Week returns – September 11 – 16, 2017 Celebrate Hamden’s 7th un-fork-gettable Restaurant Week presented by Bankwell and organized by the Hamden Regional Chamber of Commerce and set for the week of September 11th – September 16th.. Restaurants all over Hamden will be featuring either a buy one get one option or three-course prix fixe menu consisting of an appetizer, entrée and dessert. Special menus will be priced between $9-$15 for lunch and between $20-$35 for dinner.
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Hamden Business Named "Innovator of the Month" 

Friday, September 1, 2017
A Hamden business that builds custom software for startups is U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy's August Innovator of the Month, he announced Friday. Checkmate Digital was founded in 2015 by Quinnipiac University alumni Tom Nassr and Matthew Cameron, who have since grown their team to employ 16 people and offer apprenticeships to other workers. The company designs and builds websites and other software services for businesses in a wide range of fields, from medicine and cyber security to fitness and travel.
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Hamden Specialty Housing to Break Ground at 415 Mather Street 

Thursday, August 31, 2017
Hamden Specialty Housing will hold a construction celebration ceremony at 415 Mather Street, as construction has commenced after a cooperative planning process. The site for Hamden Specialty Housing is near the corner of Dixwell and across the street from Canal Crossing, a 393 unit apartment complex. The event will be on Monday September 18th at 1pm.

Hamden Specialty Housing will include the construction of two new buildings that contain a total of 77 apartments of affordable housing to help people at or below 60% of Area Median Income have high quality, first class rental opportunities. Of the 77 apartments, the buildings will include 14 specially designed “accessible + plus” apartments which will serve those with physical and cognitive disabilities who need support from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Connecticut Chapter. It is expected that at least 6 of these 14 units will serve people who are transitioning from nursing facilities as part of the State of Connecticut’s Money Follows the Person program. Additionally, Hamden Specialty Housing will include 5 apartments of supportive housing for Veterans needing housing and supportive services, provided by Columbus House. One apartment will be set aside for a live-in superintendent.
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Canal Crossing Ribbon Cutting Ceremony 

Thursday, August 10, 2017
Please Join us for the Canal Crossing at Whitneyville West Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. Presided over by Hamden Mayor Curt B. Leng, Thursday August 17, 2017, 4:00 PM- 6:00 PM 380 Mather Street, Hamden, CT 06514
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Legendary Business Re-Opens at New Clothing Location 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Hamden businessman Donald J. Camerato has re-opened his men's clothing store on Whitney Avenue, at the corner of Dixwell. His new shop, residing in a commercial complex he helped design in the 1980s offers high quality shirts, ties, suits, custom tailoring, and consulting services. Camerato hopes that his unique was and attention to detail will draw customers in an age of mass production and online shopping.
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Aldi and Wine Merchants will take over Toys-R-Us Space 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Five years after becoming vacant the former Toys-R-Us space will have two new tenants in the 36,000 S.F. space at the Hamden Mart.


Aldi https://www.aldi.us/ is a Food Market and Dry Goods store located throughout the United States and the world. Founded by the Albrecht family, ALDI now has more than 1,600 stores across 35 states, employs over 24,000 people and has been steadily growing since opening its first US store in Iowa in 1976.


“The Town of Hamden is thrilled to welcome Aldi to the Hamden Mart. For many years, our Economic Development Department has worked tirelessly to fill the vacancy left by Toys-R-Us. Thanks to the dedicated work of Director Kroop and his staff, we are very happy to report a “slam-dunk” with the arrival of Aldi. The Town looks forward to the many benefits their presence will bring to Hamden and residents at large.” said Mayor Curt Balzano Leng.


The no-frills grocery shopping experience focuses on customers first - delivering high quality food they’re proud to serve their family, responsive customer service, everyday low prices and a quick-and-easy shopping experience with only four to five aisles and all the essentials. Shoppers will find more than 90 percent of the groceries we offer are under our ALDI exclusive brands, hand-selected by ALDI to ensure that our products meet or exceed the national brands on taste, quality and, of course, price. That means you don’t have to worry about which ketchup brand or Greek yogurt brand is best, because we’ve specially curated the best product for you and your family.


Aldi partners with a wide variety of growers – including some local farmers – to offer a wide variety of fresh, in-season produce, including organic fruits and vegetables. From USDA Choice meats to gluten-free and organic foods, we are committed to bringing our shoppers the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices.


The Hamden Aldi store will take approximately 20,000 Square Feet and is anticipated to open in the spring of 2018. Approximately 50 jobs will be created.


The Wine Merchant which is currently located on then left of Walmart in the Hamden Mart, had outgrown its space. It will take the remaining 15,000 SF of space.


In other news at the Hamden Mart, Burlington Clothing store will be open in the summer of 2017. Additionally a new Asian Fusion restaurant called Zzaam Korean BBQ, which will open this fall in the former Muscle Maker space, next to Massage Envy.
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Article-Where Hamden is going in terms of types of jobs 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Interesting article from one of Hamden's Economic Development Commissioners, Armando Rodriguez from the University of New Haven. The immediate relevance of this jobs analysis is that it illustrates the general direction of where CT (and Hamden, presumably) is going in terms of the type of jobs. If data and graphs are not your thing - the next to last section -labelled Prospects - has some takeaways. http://unheconomicscollective.ning.com/bl…/searching-for-eli
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Mikro Breaks Ground at Former Depot Site 

Monday, July 24, 2017
MiKro, a craft beer and small plate restaurant located in 3000 Whitney Shopping Center on Whitney Avenue is expanding. Owner Mike Farber, Mayor Curt Leng, and others attended the official groundbreaking at the site of MiKro’s expansion at 0 Depot Road, on Sherman Avenue (behind Dunkin’ Donuts) on Thursday, June 22nd. “It brings me great pleasure to see one of Hamden’s most popular and respected restaurants expanding here in Town. We are all very excited to work with Mr. Farber on MiKro’s expansion, and we look forward to the fantastic commercial and community impacts this project will offer to Hamden.”
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Featured Business-Moon Rocks Gourmet Cookies 

Thursday, July 20, 2017
Hamden is proud to promote unique, local businesses that are independently owned and operated. For this edition, we will feature Moon Rocks Gourmet Cookies.

Since Moon Rocks Gourmet Cookies opened its storefront in 2015, it has become a local favorite for dessert items.
The story of Moon Rocks Cookies actually begins over 40 years ago when Cynthia Rae, a single mother and culinary school student developed a unique recipe for cookies. Cynthia worked tirelessly but could not find employment even after graduating. As a result, she had to put her passion for creating her special cookies on hold.

In 2014, Cynthia’s daughter, Marni decided that it was now-or-never to act on her mother’s dream. With her mother’s recipes and help, Marni started selling Moon Rocks Cookies in September of that year. In October 2015, she opened her storefront at 1830 Dixwell Avenue in Hamden and this past March, she acquired a food truck. Demand has become so large, Marni is looking to acquire more kitchen space to fill orders.

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