Coincidence? Here’s some more power-of-the-incumbency for you. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has just announced $27 million in grants and loans to 20 brownfield remediation and redevelopment projects in cities and towns. At 7 he has his first debate with Tom Foley, up at the Norwich Free Academy, not that you’ll know, since it is neither broadcast live nor streamed on the web. Foley, who lost big in the cities four years ago, has tried to gather some traction by announcing support for a variation on enterprise zones in urban areas to attract new business and development. The high cost of cleaning up brownfields, contaminated from decades if not centuries of industrial use, is a major obstacle in cities.
“Many of Connecticut’s brownfield sites have been abandoned or under-utilized for decades because the costs of redeveloping these properties are too expensive for municipalities or private developers to take on by themselves,” Malloy said in a statement after an appearance in Bridgeport. “That’s why my administration has not only allocated the funding necessary to return dozens of unused and blighted properties in every corner of the state to productive reuse, but also taken significant steps to attract private investment and increase participation in our brownfield programs… Since 2011, we’ve allocated nearly $90 million in state money. This is the largest round of brownfield remediation funding ever in the state’s history and we will continue making these investments because we know doing so will generate significant returns for our state and local economies by getting these properties back on the tax rolls, improving the quality of life in these areas, cleaning up environmental contamination and, most importantly, creating jobs for our residents.”
“Bridgeport’s investing in the future,” said Mayor Bill Finch, in a statement accompanying Malloy’s. “We’re doing so in part by revitalizing run down properties…Governor Malloy is giving us an opportunity to turn this run down property into a new mixed-use residential development that will include hundreds of apartments, commercial space, and public waterfront access. He’s helping Bridgeport become a place where more companies want to invest and hire people, and where more families want to live and work.”
The announcement included a statement from Stratford Mayor John Harkins, a Republican, no less:“This grant award is a direct result of the focus, hard work and due diligence by the office of economic development and other pertinent town staff. These funds will allow the town to clean up a long-vacant and contaminated property without placing an additional burden on the property taxpayers of Stratford.”
Here are some of the projects:
- Bridgeport – 60 Main Street, LLC: $2,000,000 loan to 60 Main Street, LLC to remediate and rejuvenate a 12.2 acre parcel in the South End/Seaside; the project includes 1,200 proposed residential units in the Park/University of Bridgeport neighborhood.
- Bridgeport – 1136-1162 Main Street: $1,000,000 loan to 1136-1162 Main Street Managers (POKO/Spinnaker) for the remediation and revitalization of a 0.8 acre parcel in the downtown historic district for mixed use, mixed-income redevelopment; the project includes 50 residential units.
- Bridgeport – Bhagya Realty Holdings: $1,176,300 loan to remediate and redevelop a 3 acre parcel to be repurposed for 156 residential units, retail and a charter school.
- New Haven – Science Park Development Corporation: $4,000,000 grant to Science Park Development Corporation to remediate a 9.4 acre parcel to facilitate adaptive reuse of the historic Winchester Repeating Arms Facility. Abandoned buildings will be redeveloped into a 200-unit residential complex in the Dixwell/Newhallville Section of New Haven.
- New Haven – Housing Authority of New Haven: $833,386 loan to the Glendower Group (an affiliate of the Housing Authoring of New Haven) to remediate 1.7 acres in order to create 32 units of new affordable housing, retail/office and community space for residents and the surrounding neighborhood. This project is a component of the larger redevelopment of the Farnam Courts public housing complex.
- Norwalk – Trinity Washington Village: $1,338,555 loan to Trinity Washington Village to remediate and facilitate the redevelopment of a 0.8 acre parcel to include 80 mixed income rental units including community space. This project is a component of the larger redevelopment of the Washington Village public housing complex.
- Shelton – Shelton Economic Development Corporation: $1,019,470 grant to the Shelton Economic Development Corporation to demolish and remediate the 0.9 acre former Chromium Processing parcel to enable mixed use development and parking capacity in the revitalized downtown area.
- Stratford – Town of Stratford: $2,850,000 grant to the Town to demolish and remediate the 10.5 acre Contract Plating site which lies within Stratford’s Transit Oriented Development District (TOD) for mixed use / TOD development.
- West Haven – City of West Haven: $2,000,000 grant to the City to remediate a 5.6 acre former coal and bulk oil terminal site into a waterfront commercial development and a revitalized gateway to West Haven. The sites will be redeveloped as a destination retail center featuring brand name outlet shopping, restaurants, and public pedestrian elements.