MAYOR DESTEFANO AND DECD COMMISSIONER SMITH VISIT NEW HAVEN-BASED SPACE-CRAFT MANUFACTURING TO ANNOUNCE THE LAUNCH OF NEW STUDY THAT SEEKS TO EXPAND THE CITY’S COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL BASE
(6/13/2011) (New Haven) – Today Mayor John DeStefano and Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Catherine Smith visit Space-Craft Manufacturing to announce the launch of a market analysis and planning study focusing on the Mill River district.
“New Haven is positioning itself to attract new investment, as well as to facilitate the continued growth of businesses that are already successful here. The Mill River market and planning study being launched will help ensure that it has the infrastructure and resources necessary to do so,” said Mayor DeStefano.
The City and Economic Development Corporation are currently planning a multi-phase project that will ultimately result in a comprehensive analysis and long-term action plan. The project objectives encompass the economics of re-use, the local and regional market, environmental conditions, waterfront use and coastal management, traffic patterns, utility capacity, and appropriate neighborhood linkages, as well as site use over time. Utile, Inc. and Ninigret Partners have been engaged as the planning and market analysis firms for the project.
The Mill River light industrial district, located on the banks of the Mill River roughly between Interstates 91 and 95, is home to businesses engaged in food processing and distribution, precision manufacturing, design and construction support, specialty building supplies fabrication, and other diverse commercial enterprises. Many of these companies have unique stories and distinctive ties to additional businesses or community support activities, and are good corporate citizens. With regional and global ties, these companies also represent a material portion of New Haven’s non-institutional job base and are significant contributors to the city’s diverse economy.
“The businesses in the Mill River district employ approximately 3,000 people, many of whom reside in the city. The City, led by my economic development team of Economic Development Administrator Kelly Murphy and Anne Haynes of the Economic Development Corporation of New Haven (EDC), is committed to retaining and growing these businesses as well as enhancing the district’s distinct character,” stated Mayor John DeStefano.
While some businesses have prospered, the closure of several plants in recent years has left a number of prime sites open for redevelopment. While this creates significant opportunity, some of these sites require more investment to redevelop than similar suburban locations and are therefore at risk of remaining vacant or underutilized for a substantial period of time, or of being converted to uses such as storage or parking that will not contribute to the city’s economic growth. The Mill River district is well-located at the intersection of major transportation corridors and in close proximity to a ready local workforce, and is an opportune location for economic expansion.
“This district has a unique environment that allows the growth of industries that could not be accommodated elsewhere in the city. Its preservation as a mixed light industrial area is critical to maintaining the City’s diverse economic foundation, as well as providing a backdrop for the continued development of innovative commercial and industrial uses,” stated Anne Haynes, CEO of the Economic Development Corporation.
“In addition to exploring potential new development, the study also aims to understand and address the needs of existing commercial enterprises in the district, as well as how such new uses could complement both the existing business mix in the district as well as the adjacent residential neighborhoods. All of these elements are key to ensuring the Mill River district remains an attractive location for business,” stated Kelly Murphy, the City’s Economic Development Administrator.
Space-Craft Manufacturing, Inc. is located at 300 East Street in the heart of the Mill River industrial area, and is one example of a thriving New Haven business. Space-Craft produces high-quality aerospace components and precision-machined parts for gas turbine engines for clients including Pratt and Whitney, GE, Sikorsky, and the United States military. The company, founded in 1970, has grown from four to over 50 employees over the years, and moved to New Haven’s Mill River district in 1993. Space-Craft has won a number of industry awards, including the National Supplier of the Year Award from the US Air Force, and its founder, Dr. John Soto, has also been recognized for his philanthropic and community service activities.
A public workshop on the study will be held Wednesday, June 29 to begin the dialogue with the community. This first meeting, to be held in the John S. Martinez School cafeteria starting at 5:30 p.m., will focus on orienting the public to the study area and study objectives. The Office of Economic Development and EDC will continue to hold meetings to update and engage the communities involved, and project updates will be posted on both the EDC and Office of Economic Development websites.
Contact Name: Adam Joseph
Contact Email: AJoseph@newhavenct.net
Contact Phone: 203-946-7660