HEDC has an active work load that will impact the Hamden community for years to come. In each project, we have been able to raise funds through grants to complete brownfield and community based programs.
For further information on these projects, contact:
Scott Jackson, Executive Director, HEDC
State Street (#2259) Redevelopment Completed at Former Stereo Station Site
One of the important real estate turnaround stories in Hamden in recent years was the remediation and rehabilitation of 2259 State Street. Vacant for over 10 years, the Hamden Economic Development Corporation was tasked with the strategy and execution of a turnaround plan. The owners had passed away and the property became abandoned and blighted.
Dale Kroop, Executive Director of the HEDC, had been managing the project and stated, “We are seeing progress towards a rehabilitated Quanset Hut and a tax producing property again. We have procured a developer/business who will repurpose it as a car dealership called Value Auto. Projects like this are exactly what the corporation was intended for.”
HEDC acquired the tax lien from the town in 2017 and then completed a Request for Developers in 2018. After the selection of the developer, most of 2018 was spent negotiating the development agreement, this process was completed in the fall of 2018 and the project began in October. Demolition and remediation continued in 2019, and the project is now complete.
This property is located at 2259 State Street, north of the DMV. It is known as the Stereo Station site and is called a Transfer Act site, requiring the highest level of environmental cleanup and regulation. HEDC was the catalyst to make this happen and to attract private investment. The Town and HEDC have worked together for over 15 years on projects similar to this. This partnership helps to revitalize areas in key neighborhoods in Hamden.
The Hamden Business Incubator Completed and Rebranded as BOROUGH496
BOROUGH496 is designed to accelerate the successful development of entrepreneurial companies through many shared business support resources and services, developed and orchestrated by incubator management and offered both in the incubator and through its network of contacts. Successful completion of a business incubation program increases the likelihood that a start-up or newer small businesses will stay in business for the long term: Historically, well over 75% of incubator graduates stay in business.
It is anticipated that numerous businesses will become part of BOROUGH496. The location of the Hamden Business Incubator is in the heart of the Highwood/Newhall neighborhood, located one mile from the City of New Haven. The project is projected to create up to 40 jobs in the short term (one year), 80 in the medium term (3 years) and 125+ in the longer term (five years). The facility will generate over $2 million in new payroll in the short term and eventually generate over $100,000 in new taxes annually to the Town of Hamden.
The HEDC will provide common services to small business located in BOROUGH496 to help them reduce the cost of overhead, making them more profitable. These services include reception, parking, rest rooms, Wi-Fi, conference space, etc. The services will also include mentoring and a variety of entrepreneur-growth programs. Their leaner operations will better enable them to efficiently collaborate with other local and regional businesses and other institutions, such as the many universities and colleges in the area.
For the development of the member list, the HEDC/Town is currently working with neighboring entrepreneurial organizations and trade organizations like the Hamden Business Assistance Center, New Haven Manufacturing Association, SBA’s Small Business Development Center, Southern CT State University, Quinnipiac University, Gateway Community College and other important trade groups like the Minority Supplier Development Council in order to identify tenants and assist startups and emerging businesses at the Hamden Business Incubator.
One of the features of BOROUGH496will be the location of the Hamden Business Assistance Center (BAC). Since 2005, the BAC has provided services to start-ups and others needing assistance in the areas of business formation, cash flow analysis, business plans, financing, human resources, etc. To date, the BAC has helped over 200 clients. The BAC will offer these services not only to the members of the Hamden Business Incubator, but also to businesses across Hamden.
It is envisioned that members of the Hamden Business Incubator will include web designers and programmers, professional services, medical form administrators, small manufacturers and other lighter industry providers. Each business located at the Hamden Business Incubator will lease classrooms and other areas within the former school.
Remediation and Demo of Auditorium and Cafeteria Completed at the Former Michael J. Whalen Middle School
The Hamden Economic Development Corporation completed the $600,000 project for the asbestos cleanup and demolition of the Auditorium and Cafeteria at the location of the former Michael J. Whalen Middle School. The 16,000 S.F. structure has substantial asbestos contamination and severely blighted.
The auditorium at Michael J. Whalen Middle School had been in serious disrepair for a number of years, and has posed a significant road block in the further development and re-use of the former middle school location. These funds will ensure that Hamden will be able to properly restore a portion of the grounds to a condition suitable for new investment and redevelopment.
The CT DECD has successfully offered the brownfield programs for nearly 10 years. Hamden has taken advantage of the brownfield program as well as the other economic development programs for nearly 20 years. Investing in the remediation of blighted properties and putting them back into productive use ultimately becomes and economic win for our communities. When we clean up these sites and repurpose them, we can turn what was once and eyesore into a community asset that can help revitalize a neighborhood and spark economic growth.
The land around the building and over the entire middle school site was being remediated under the 2003 Newhall Consent Order and is nearly completed.
The demolition will hopefully help to leverage a $23 million dollar redevelopment of the former Middle School site by the Mutual Housing Association of South Central CT, who is readying plans over the next couple years to begin construction of 87 mixed income housing units and a rehabilitation of a building into a Town Community Center. The site also immediately adjacent to the Hamden Business Incubator, which is now open.
The Town has continued to work towards a complete transformation of the Newhall neighborhood of Highwood. Over the next few months the Town will have to develop the contracts with the State DECD and work with the Licensed Environmental Professional come up with a Remediation and Demolition Plan.
Hamden Welcomes New Family to Zero-Energy House
Meet the Traynhams
Hamden welcomes Rickey and Jessica Traynham and their three children! A closing for the zero-energy home was held on February 3rd for a family of five from New Haven who will live in the 1800 SF, 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home, located at 499 Newhall Street (immediately across the street from the Hamden Business Incubator) and built by the Hamden Economic Development Corporation.
This home was built with funding from Capital For Change (formerly known as the CT Housing Investment Fund), a non-profit lending institution and a tax credit investment from Eversource Energy Company through the low income housing tax credit program. The home also includes an attached, two car garage and an “in-law” one bedroom apartment. “We thank all the wonderful partners that helped support and fund this project. Without the Eversource Energy Corporation and Capital for Change, we could never have done it,” noted Dale Kroop.
The home includes many significant energy conservation features including advanced framing exterior walls, shallow frost-protected foundations, Energy Star V3 certified with LED lighting and Energy Star appliances, U-Value U = .17 / triple glazed windows, significant insulation, many green and recycled products, Low VOC materials such as paints, adhesives, glues, cabinetry, carpet and space heating and cooling through a new split air source heat pump system. The new owner will add solar panels to take advantage of tax credits for the investment of a photovoltaic system. With the addition of the panels the home will be close to energy (cost) free.
The mortgage broker was Michael Bagley from the First World Mortgage Company. Banking services were provided to HEDC by Bankwell Bank. Legal Services provided by Cohen and Wolf PC and Palumbo and Delaura law firms.
The property was the previous location of a home which was remediated and demolished under the Newhall Residential remediation program which was completed in 2013. The funds for this home were raised to help to begin to rebuild the community.
“Moments like these are really special because we are beginning to see the community come full circle. There is nothing more important than bringing a new wonderful family like the Traynhams to Hamden to rebuild the community. We welcome Rickey and Jessica and their children with open arms. Hamden needs new families to become the new generation of citizens who make a contribution to the Town and to enjoy our great Town services,” stated Dale Kroop, Executive Director of HEDC.
Rebuilding of Rochford Field and Millrock (Villano) Park
The Newhall Consent Order required that both of these parks will be remediated and rebuilt and services expanded. HEDC has managed the process of design, remediation, and reconstruction since 2013.
The remediation and restoration of both parks are in accordance with the Newhall Consent Order, entered into in 2003. The design of the parks was a collaboration between the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), the Town of Hamden, Haley and Aldrich Engineering from Wethersfield, CT, and Stantec Corporation design firm in New Haven. The concept and engineering design process included numerous community meetings, the Park and Recreation Staff and Commission, Town officials and neighborhood residents. Project cost will be roughly $11.2 million for both parks, with $800,000 for operation and maintenance of the parks for a period of up to 10 years. The Town of Hamden contributed $8 million and the CT DEEP contributed $4 million.
Villano Park includes many new elements from the previous park, including playground equipment and splash pad for all ages of children, passive recreation features for seniors and an area for entertainment and performances. There will also be two basketball courts and new tennis courts open to the public. The entire park will also include new lighting and security features. The Grand Opening of Villano Park was November 2nd, 2015.
Rochford Field will include two baseball fields. One will be for the high school and college dimensions of play and a little league field will be available for children through age 12 as well as for women’s / girls’ softball. There was a new drainage and irrigation system involved in the redevelopment of Rochford Field. Rochford Field will be open for play in the spring of 2016.
400 Goodrich / Daisy Street Redevelopment
These properties have long been a major problem in southern Hamden – since 1996 and earlier.
The location of Globe Metal Finishing or Metropolitan Metals from the early 1960s until 1996, the 16,000 s.f. site was found to contain many contaminated materials both inside and out: metals, cyanide beneath the slab and chemicals/materials in the soil including arsenic, lead and other PAH compounds. There was also a lot of cinder, ash and slag as well as numerous other materials on the site. The basement was filled with water that was contaminated with waste liquids mixed with rainwater that has accumulated throughout the years.
The HEDC became involved with the property in 2005 after complaints from the neighbors and neighborhood activists. The owner had abandoned the property with significant taxes owed and several mortgages. It was polluted and the building was open to vagrants.
Additionally, the building was located in two communities – 60% in Hamden and 40% in New Haven. Zoning was different on both sides.
On behalf of the Town, HEDC foreclosed out all the debts on the property and was able to secure an end user (Construction Management Company). Eventually HEDC raised nearly $2 million dollars for environmental cleanup of the property. In June 2012, Tri-Con Construction services took possession of the building and is currently completing renovations. It is anticipated that they will occupy the building in September of 2013. Remediation funds came from the EPA Revolving Loan fund and the EPA Emergency Superfund Removal program. The remediation project is now complete and the end buyer has begun renovations to be completed in September of 2013.
Deconstruction Training Program
As part of the process of demolition, HEDC was able to raise $50,000 from the New Haven Workforce Alliance to train 8 individuals in the field of deconstruction. Rather than demolish a building that was severely damaged, by using deconstruction and building material salvaging techniques, more than 50% of the composition of houses could be salvaged and reused for other purposes, such as for housing components, furniture, etc. The eight participants took 11 weeks of classroom training at Gateway Community College and then were paid livable wages for eight weeks of employment. At this time, three of the trainees have been able to gain employment in the field of deconstruction.
Newhall Community Development Structural Repair Program
“The work performed at my residence was excellent. The workers arrived on time, left the area clean and were very respectful of my home. I would gladly refer HEDC or Tri-Con to others. It is wonderful to be able to trust a contractor.”
In 2010, HEDC was awarded a grant for $5 million to begin a community development program designed to assist homeowners who owned houses that were structurally impacted by the material in the Newhall neighborhood. HEDC received the funds from the CT Department of Economic and Community Development.
The HEDC will be able to make an impact on nearly 100 homes in the community. To date, there have been improvements to over 80 homes including installation of over 500 window replacements and 30 new roofs. The rehabilitation continues, as approximately 20 homes are still under construction or in the planning phases. Additionally, 13 houses were acquired (their owners relocated) and either demolished or rehabbed for future residential use.
Deconstruction in Newhall
Finally, a new workforce training initiative came out of the Newhall community development program – a program called “Deconstruction.”
As a direct result of the deconstruction training program (completed), HEDC chose to use deconstruction as an alternative to traditional demolition on four houses. The HEDC will soon produce a study that will evaluate the effectiveness and financial result of deconstruction.
In the short run, numerous workers were able to sustain full-time employment for months during the deconstruction of the houses while also limiting the impact on local landfills by not dumping entire houses.