by Brett Addleman
A total of 12 cities will be receiving funding through Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont’s new grant program.
The governor announced $45 million will be awarded through the Connecticut Communities Challenge Grant Program, which works to leverage $74 million in nonstate, private funding to prop up projects aimed at improving livability and vibrance of cities.
“Investing in our communities is a key part of our plan to accelerate long-lasting and equitable economic development in Connecticut,” Lamont said in a release. “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.”
More than half of the funding, according to the release, will be sent to the state’s distressed communities. The funding is administered by the Department of Economic and Community Development. A second round of grants is anticipated to be released in the fall. The department anticipates awarding $100 million to projects over the next decade.
“These projects demonstrate how important public-private partnerships are to driving local economic development and community revitalization efforts,” DECD Deputy Commissioner Alexandra Daum said in the release. “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.”
East Hartford, according to the release, is poised to receive $2 million to partner with Goodwin University to construct a public marina on the campus. The marina will include a water taxi and slips for boats, with a long-term plan of adding restaurants and hotels.
Hartford will use $6.3 million, according to the release, to partner with the San Juan Center Inc. and Carabetta Development LLC to create 43 mixed-income apartments, retail space, and new public recreation space. The project will feature 18 housing units and more ground retail space in a second round of construction.
According to the release, Killingly will receive $1 million to transform an underutilized parking lot to public space on the Historic Danielson Main Street. The project will include artful wayfinding, colorful and American Disabilities Act compliant walkways, in addition to parks, improvements, murals, canopy lighting, and outdoor seating.
Mansfield will receive $4.854 million to partner with the Mansfield Nonprofit Housing Development Corporation to construct Eagleville Green, which will be a 42-unit mixed income housing development. Funding will improve pedestrian safety, feature sidewalk and trail improvements, and an extension on South Eagleville Road.
New Haven will receive $5.3 million to realign State Street from Audobon Street to George Street in an effort to redevelop several parking lots and construct 447 new residential units and retail space, according to the release.
In New London, $5.9 million will be used to preserve historical places, improve storefronts, and remediate projects that will transform vacant spaces into mixed-use spaces for residential and commercial use.
Norwalk will use $6 million and partner with Spinnaker Real Estate Partners LLC to expand infrastructure to develop vacant and underutilized sites for mixed-use and transit-oriented development. The project will create 200 mixed-income residences, 100,000 square-feet of commercial space, along with a public plaza and 60 off-street parking spaces.
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Brent Addleman is an Associate Editor and a veteran journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He has served as editor of newspapers in Pennsylvania and Texas, and has also worked at newspapers in Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Kentucky. Addleman contributes to The Center Square.
Photo “Ned Lamont” by Ned Lamont and photo “aerial view of downtown Connecticut” by GPA Photo Archive CC BY 2.0.