CT Main Street Catalyst Award
Sponsored by

Meriden Green

Recipient: City of Meriden
Partners: Milone and MacBroom; AECOM; La Rosa Construction; U. S. EPA; FEMA; Army Corps of Engineers; State of CT (DECD, DEEP, DOT); Meriden Flood Control Implementation Agency

Opportunities & Challenges

  • Downtown Meriden had been selected as a key station stop along the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield high-speed rail corridor. The station area will serve as a multi-modal transit center for bus, taxi and private van service.
  • A 14-acre brownfield site in the heart of downtown – adjacent to the transit center, and once a center of industrial and commercial activity, had been flooded, abandoned and contaminated over time. The City recognized the opportunity to create a catalytic transformation of this site, into a city park that serves the dual purposes of providing green space and flood storage downtown, while freeing up new land for mixed use economic development.

Highlights

  • In 2007 the City received $2.9 million in federal and state funds, matched by local sources, to assess environmental damage; demolish commercial buildings and clear the site for reuse; and work with the community to develop a Site Reuse Plan, including the need to address chronic flooding problems associated with Harbor Brook.
  • The Hub Site Reuse Committee’s Plan components included: 1) daylight and restore Harbor Brook; 2) construct a Town Green that also serves as a flood storage area; and 3) dedicate 3-acres outside the 100-year floodplain for future mixed use development.
  • The City received approval from DEEP and the Army Corps of Engineers for flood control, and was awarded $12.9 million in State bond funds, matched by over $1 million in local capital improvement bond funds.
  • In 2016 construction of the park and flood control system was completed – on time and within budget, using 100% small business contracting, and over 25% women & minority-owned business contracting services for site construction.

Funding

  • An unprecedented amount of private, local, state and federal investment in areas of flood control infrastructure, brownfield remediation, transportation, and housing.
  • Total project budget: $14 million. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: $615,000; Urban Act, Brownfields Pilot plus additional State of CT DECD: $4 million; State of CT DEEP: $8 million; City of Meriden funded construction administration and flood control engineering services.

What’s Next?

  • In 2014 the City selected Pennrose Properties & the Cloud Company LLC as preferred developer for the mixed use development component, which will be implemented in two phases:
  • the $24 million Phase I development will be 99 residential units (80% market rate); 8,400 sf of rentable retail; and 3,500 sf of rentable restaurant; and
  • the $20.74 million Phase II development will be 88 residential units (80% market rate); 3,500 sf of rentable restaurant space; 1,600 sf of rentable pavilion/café retail space “envisioned as a sculptural building to serve as a signature visual element for the park.