Home News 9 Apts. OK’d For Former Vito’s Deli Building

9 Apts. OK’d For Former Vito’s Deli Building

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By Thomas Breen, New Haven Independent

June 22, 2022

Wyoming-based developers have obtained permission to convert vacant offices and commercial buildings into nine new apartments.

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It was the result of the latest regular meeting of the City Planning Commission on Wednesday night. The virtual conference was held online via Zoom.

The local land use committee supports an application by a holding company managed by David Solarts in Jackson, Wyoming, to convert an existing four-story building on 37 Center Street into nine new apartments and commercial and amenity spaces. And voted unanimously.

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They also approved a special permit application from Solarz’s company, allowing two of these new apartments to be located on the ground floor of the building.

The Solarts company purchased a Center Street building that housed the now closed old town. Veet deli— $ 675,000 in April.

Jeff Jahnke, a Hartford-based architect, said the Solars company has two ADA-accessible studio apartments behind the ground floor, plus seven studios and a one-bedroom apartment as an “adaptive use project.” I told the commissioner that I was planning to convert and allow it. Higher level.

He said the developers plan to maintain a space of about 350 square feet facing the street where Vito’s Deli was used for commercial purposes. He said the area could potentially function as a small deli or coffee shop. He said the remaining ground floor space facing the street, which was used as a storage area, would be the lobby of the new tenant. And behind the ground floor will be two new apartments.

For clarity, City Planning Commission Chairman Leslie Radcliffe said, “Your intention is to do commerce. [use] The first floor facing Center Street “?

She asked that question after reviewing Letter submitted to the Commission on May 20 by local landlord David Goldblum In its letter, which owns a property adjacent to 55 Church St., Goldblum urged the Commissioner to require the owner of the new 37 Center St. to maintain a commercial space on the ground floor. ..

“For many years, Vito’s Deli has had a very strong presence on Center Street, serving many customers throughout the day,” writes Goldblum.

“Police are very involved and we can do what we can to support their efforts, as Vito closures, wanderings, combat, drug use and illegal activity have become commonplace in that part of the block. 37 Revitalizing Center Street retail space is essential to our success as it brings more positive activity to that part of the block and the eyes of the street.

“Retail use in these spaces should be economically viable for new owners, because Vito’s has been successful there for many years and the spaces are already set up for food services. Very attractive to food service providers, etc. Please request the Commission to take steps to ensure that only retail use is permitted on street-facing ground units. “

According to Jahnke, developers plan to keep a small portion of the space on the ground floor for commercial use. Earlier versions of the developer’s site planning application suggested removing all ground floor commercial use, but the latest popular applications maintain that.

During the hearing part of the Wednesday night meeting, a local lawyer, Ben Tracten, spoke in support of the project. (He did so not as a lawyer, but as a New Haver, and as an interested civilian.)

“I walk around downtown every day,” he said. “Commercial vacancies [spaces] It’s everywhere. ”

Surrounded by chapels, oranges, centers and Church Street, the block “has always been a challenge from a safety standpoint,” he said. It only reduces safety during the pandemic. He urged the Commissioner to approve a special permit permitting the use of housing on the ground floor.

Westville Alder and city planning commissioner Adam Marchand also said in favor of both the site plan and the special permit application.

He said many real estate owners and developers have come in front of the committee in recent years seeking to turn a commercial space on the ground floor into an apartment. Given that the real estate owner here plans to keep a small portion of the storefront facing Center Street for commercial use, he urged his colleagues to support both applications. rice field.

“Physically, we need to increase the density of housing in New Haven to help reduce the costs of our residents,” said city planning commissioner Joshua Van Hosen. “And I think this project is a good step towards that.”

Radcliffe also praised the apartment plan to add ADA accessible units to the ground floor. She said the preserved commercial space “should give small businesses the opportunity to have enough space to accommodate their business.”

The Commissioner then unanimously voted to support both the project’s site plan and the special permit application.

According to the developer’s land plan application, he plans to begin renovation of the house this month and predicts that the building will open and be occupied by June 2023.

click here Read another public testimony submitted as part of a hearing on the 37 Center St. application on Wednesday night. This letter was written by Susan Godshall of the New Haven Conservation Trust. This letter supports the project because the developers use materials that are sensitive to the historical characteristics of the building.


New Haven IndependentA non-profit daily public interest news site established in 2005.

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