Governor Lamont Announces $45 Million in Funding for 12 Projects That Will Boost Community Vibrancy and Livability
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the State of Connecticut is awarding $45 million to twelve cities and towns under his administration’s newly established Connecticut Communities Challenge Grant Program. The grants are leveraging approximately $74 million in non-state and private dollars and will support projects that improve the livability and vibrancy of communities throughout the state. Consistent with the goals of the program, more than 50% of funding will be invested in Connecticut’s distressed municipalities.
This is the first round of funding under the program, which is administered by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). The second round is expected to launch in the fall of 2022, and DECD is expected to award up to $100 million in grants over the next several years.
“Investing in our communities is a key part of our plan to accelerate long-lasting and equitable economic development in Connecticut,” Governor Lamont said. “This new grant program we launched will have wide-ranging impacts as we emerge stronger than ever from the pandemic, creating new jobs, improving the vibrancy and quality of life in our neighborhoods, and making all corners of the state even more attractive for investment and opportunity.”
“These projects demonstrate how important public-private partnerships are to driving local economic development and community revitalization efforts,” DECD Deputy Commissioner Alexandra Daum said. “I firmly believe collaborative planning and investment leads to more impactful proposals – and results. When complete, these twelve projects will expand Connecticut’s housing stock, create jobs, boost the vibrancy of our downtowns and generally make Connecticut communities even greater places to live, work and play.”
The project descriptions, locations, and grant awards released under this first round are as follows:
- East Hartford ($2 million; 133 and 211 Riverside Drive): The town will partner with Goodwin University to build a publicly accessible marina on campus that will include new transient slips and a water taxi. Future phases will include restaurants and lodging.
- Hartford ($6.3 million; 1355 to 1363 Main Street): The city, in partnership with the San Juan Center, Inc. and the Carabetta Development, LLC, will develop 43 mixed-income apartments, 7,358 sq. ft. ground floor retail space and a new public/recreation space in the first phase and 18 housing units and 1,200 sq ft. of ground retail space in the second phase. The project will tie together and enhance the pedestrian connections between North Crossing and the Clay Arsenal Neighborhood.
- Killingly ($1 million; 128 Main Street and 30 Furnace Street): To convert an underutilized parking lot on the Historic Danielson Main Street to public space with artful wayfinding, colorful and ADA compliant walkways, public popup park improvements, murals, canopy lighting, permanent outdoor seating, public WiFi, electric car charging stations and a multigenerational sensory art park.
- Mansfield ($4,854,595; 113 to 121 South Eagleville Road): The town will partner with the Mansfield Nonprofit Housing Development Corporation to develop Eagleville Green, a 42-unit mixed income housing development. Grant funds will also be used for pedestrian safety, sidewalk and trail extensions and improvements on South Eagleville Road and for improvements to the western gateway to Downtown Storrs.
- Middletown ($4,500,000; 418 to 422, 428, 545, and 584 Main Street and 99 Union Street): The city and its private partners, the YMCA, DFC of Middletown, and 545 Main Realty LLC, will adaptively reuse the vacant and underutilized buildings to create up to 30 new residential units and approximately 40,000 square feet of commercial space. The project also includes the upgrade of the HVAC system at the YMCA property that will help rehabilitate 62 single-room occupancy housing units for low-income men. The retail spaces will include two first floor store fronts, a specialty market, two restaurants, a rooftop bar, office, and community space.
- New Haven ($5,355,840; State Street from Audobon Street to George Street): The city will realign State Street from Audobon Street to George Street to unlock the redevelopment potential of several parking lots for transit-oriented development/mixed-use development for a potential build out to 652,000 sq. ft. of developed space, including 447 new residential units and 80,000 sq. ft. of retail space.
- New London ($5,985,460; Multiple addresses on State Street, Bank Street, Water Street, South Water Street, etc.): The city and its partners will implement historic preservation, storefront improvements, adaptive reuse, and remediation projects and support the development of vacant properties into state-of-the-art mixed-use spaces for residential and commercial use. The project will result in 54 mixed-income housing units, 10 boutique hotel rooms, and more than 5,000 sq. ft. of retail space. The project will also allow the Garde Arts Center to accommodate larger productions.
- Norwalk ($6,000,000; 30 Monroe Street, 15 to 17 Chestnut Street): The Norwalk Redevelopment Agency, in partnership with the city and Spinnaker Real Estate Partners LLC, will provide and expand critical infrastructure that will enable the development of vacant and underutilized sites for a mixed-use/transit-oriented development adjacent to the train station. It will include a minimum of 200 mixed-income residential, 10,000 square feet of commercial, a public plaza, and 60 off-street public parking spaces. The infrastructure upgrades will help support the potential development of an additional 500 new residential units in the area.
- Norwich ($2,000,000; Former YMCA Property, 337 to 355 Main Street): The city, in partnership with Mattern Construction Inc., will redevelop and adaptively reuse the former YMCA property, located at a prominent gateway into the city, for approximately 20,000 sq. ft. of office and retail space and 5,000 sq. ft. of high-ceiling storage space.
- Stamford ($2,528,879; 553, 571, 575, 583 and 670 Pacific Street): The city, in partnership with Scrap Works LLC, will retrofit underutilized properties on Pacific Street to create a year-round beer garden and food truck lot, an authentic German Beer Hall, coffee shop, social coworking space, pilot brewery and tasting room, and event space. The project will also create affordable retail opportunities by building the baseline infrastructure required for future prospective retail tenants such as furniture, fixtures, equipment investments, rent credits, art etc.
- Winchester ($1,818,854; 35 Willow Street, Bridge Street, Rowley Street, and other Downtown Winsted locations): The town, in partnership with Miller Crossing Willow LLC, will adaptively remediate and reuse the property on 35 Willow Street to house new businesses/offices. The grant funds will also be used for sidewalk and street intersection realignment and repairs, wayfinding, public art/mural and downtown walking tour educational panels.
- Windsor ($2,500,000; 144 to 152 Broad Street): The town, in partnership with 144 152 Broad Street LLC, will redevelop Windsor Center Plaza to 40 apartments and 5,560 square feet of first floor retail housed in four new structures. The property is located 500 feet from the Windsor train station.
The Connecticut Communities Challenge program was created last year to fund a wide range of revitalization projects with the goal of creating approximately 3,000 new jobs. The program is an important component of Governor Lamont’s Economic Action Plan – a strategic package of initiatives that totals more than $750 million over five years, matched approximately dollar-for-dollar by private and other non-state funding that will result in a projected 80,000 new jobs.
Additional details on the Connecticut Communities Challenge program can be found online at portal.ct.gov/DECD/Content/Business-Development/05_Funding_Opportunities/CT-Communities-Challenge-Grant.