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Hamden Business Incubator Moves Forward With Zoning Approval





Hamden’s proposed business incubator at former Newhall Community Center moves forward

 Progress on the business incubator at the site of the former Newhall Community Center is moving forward since the Planning and Zoning Commission approved a special permit for it at a meeting earlier this week.

Dale Kroop, executive director of the Hamden Economic Development Corp, which is developing the facility, said the commission approved the change in certain zoning regulations that were changed to accompany a site plan presented last fall to the commission.

The next step is obtaining zoning and building permits for the renovation of the 40,000-square foot, three-story building.  It has been closed for 12 years.

Getting the zoning down is really what kicks of the process,” Kroop said. “This is really the next big phase of what’s been going on for five years.”

Kroop, along with a team from Buchanan Architects in New Haven, will create a design for the incubator, which will be sent out to bidders.  He hopes to secure a bid by May.

Kroop said construction could begin in June.

In 2010, the state bonded $450,000 to the town for the new business project.  Recently, the state awarded the project a $5 million grant.

While a design is being created, Kroop said projects like clearing out asbestos in the building’s basement will be completed.

The building’s roof will see renovations and ground work will be performed once the ground is thawed out, according to Kroop.

Construction could be completed by April 2015.

About 20 businesses will be included in the facility.  Kroop said he’s had “many interested parties,” but won’t commit to anyone without nailing down utility costs.

“That’s all part of the tenant’s rent.  Without that, it’s hard to give a commitment.” Kroop said.

Kroop said he won’t lease space until the project is 50 percent completed, which he said could be in October.

The need for this space in unbelievable.  For start-up businesses like this (incubator), there’s not a lot of space in town for this right now,” Kroop said.


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