For too many years now, there has been little to no commercial development in New Haven. Development goes in cycles everywhere, because, when there is a downturn in the market, there is no financing (or even appetite) for new projects. In addition, there is often leftover space from buildings that have already been constructed or converted. New Haven, as in all Connecticut cities, also has almost no clean land on which to build.
All these factors mean that we haven't seen much that's new--outside of residential rental--in quite some time. Just now, there are several things in the approval, preconstruction, or construction phase. The biggest is a new proposed mixed-use project on the old Coliseum site, which replaces the prior proposal, scuttled when the market turned down. Route 34 has more than one medical or biotech building in the works, and there is a big office building going up on College Street.
Other firms from out of the area are looking here as well, because of our housing, entertainment, and educational opportunities, particularly for younger workers, who choose city living more often than not. New Haven is more affordable than Fairfield County, New York, or Boston, but can be easily reached by train. More residential projects are in the planning phase also, since there is a theory that we could provide housing for commuters. For example, 360 State Street, which filled up faster than anyone predicted, sends 85% of its residents to work by foot, bicycle, or train. Since that's a trend of the future--easy commutability--it's not a bad bet to think it will continue. Those who flock here for dining, nightlife, and the arts may increasingly choose to live here, especially as young professionals or empty nesters.
This is all good news for New Haven, and for the real estate industry, and it's about time. We're ready!