August 4, 2008

‘360 State’ Project Has Permit in Hand

By Mary E. O'Leary, New Haven Register, Conn.

Aug. 4--NEW HAVEN -- Construction of the much anticipated "360 State Street" project downtown is expected to start by the end of the month.

Building Official Andy Rizzo confirmed that Becker and Becker, developers of the 500-unit apartment complex at State and Chapel streets, where Shartenberg's Department store once stood, has a building permit for the estimated $160 million project.

Sara Bronin, attorney for the project, said the development has been scaled back to a 26-story tower on a five-story base where parking and retail stores will be located, including a grocery store.

At one point, the developers proposed a 36-story project but revised that because of cost considerations, particularly the jump in steel and oil prices. Through design efficiencies however, to allow more useable, rentable space, the number of units will be 500 rather than the 460 originally considered.

Bronin said the company was very close to reaching a letter of agreement with its construction firm, Suffolk, which will then allow the Massachusetts builder to bid out subcontracts. The contract with Suffolk and with Multi-Employer Properties Trust pension fund, the major investor in the project, should be in place within weeks, she predicted.

"Everything is happening at once," Bronin said.

The developer could not come to an agreement on price with local contractor, the Fusco Corp., which was hired to perform preconstruction work.

Joy Ford, a planner in the City Plan Department, said an application for a permit to move uncontaminated soil off the site to the city's River Street Municipal Development area, is expected to be on the City Plan Commission agenda this month.

Rizzo said separate permits will be needed for electrical and other mechanical work, but initial construction can happen as soon as the contractor is ready.


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