HAMDEN RECEIVES $600,000 FOR BROWNFIELD CLEANUP AND DEMOLITION OF PART OF FORMER MIDDLE SCHOOL
Grant Funds to be Used for Next Phase of Neighborhood Revitalization
Good news was delivered this week to Hamden. On Tuesday 2/14, Hamden was notified by the CT Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), that the Hamden Economic Development Corporation has been awarded $600,000 for the asbestos cleanup and demolition of the Auditorium at the location of the former Michael J Whalen Middle School. The 16,000 S.F. structure has substantial asbestos contamination and is severely blighted.
Commenting on the awarded funding, Mayor Curt Balzano Leng noted, “I am exceptionally pleased to hear that Hamden has been awarded this funding. The auditorium at Michael J. Whalen Middle School has 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 is able to properly restore a portion of the grounds to a condition suitable for new investment and development. I greatly look forward to the start of this remediation project, and to the many positive returns it will bring for Hamden.”
The CT. DECD has successfully offered the brownfield programs for nearly 10 years. Hamden has taken advantage of the brownfield program as well as other economic development programs for nearly 20 years.
“Investing in the remediation of blighted properties and putting them back into productive use ultimately becomes an economic win for our communities,” Governor Malloy said. “When we clean up these sites and repurpose them, we can turn what was once an 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 is being remediated under the 2003 Newhall Consent Order. The demolition will 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 in the construction phase and will be completed in late 2017 or early 2018.
“Investing in brownfield redevelopment has brought significant private investment and new jobs to cities and towns throughout the state,” DECD Deputy Commissioner Tim Sullivan said. “As a result, municipalities are seeing the transformative effect of these redevelopments in each and every community. From transit-oriented development to affordable housing and historic preservation, DECD’s investment in brownfields is is advancing numerous important policy objectives of Governor Malloy’s administration.”
The funding will be used for the creation of a remediation and demolition plan by BL Companies, who prepared a study of environmental conditions, which was the basis for the grant details. The project will be completed over the next 6-9 months.
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
“This is exciting news from the DECD that will help towards the final revitalization of this key site in southern Hamden. It will help remove a terrible blight and assist in our ability to market the Hamden Business Incubator. We are thankful to Governor Malloy, our entire delegation and the DECD for their support”, stated Dale Kroop, who will manage the project.
For more information on the Hamden Business Incubator please visit the web page for the Hamden Economic Development Corporation at http://www.hamdeneconomicdevelopment.org/
For more information about the Mutual Housing Association of South central CT, please visit Neighborworks New Horizons at http://www.nwnh.net/