J. Crew to open in a week

Khaki aficionados have reason to be excited: the J.Crew store that has been under construction on Broadway is set to open ahead of schedule, one week from today.

The opening of the store, which has been in the works since August, leaves University officials hopeful that the Broadway shopping area will spur New Haven’s economic growth.

Andrea Pizziconi, a University Properties financial analyst, said the presence of a J.Crew store in New Haven bodes well for the city, both because of the commerce it will generate and because J.Crew has a reputation for only opening stores in cities with strong economies.

“J.Crew is a retailer that goes only in the most economically vibrant areas,” she said.

She called J.Crew’s decision to open a store in New Haven a “stamp of approval for the city.”

Michael Morand, Yale’s associate vice president for New Haven and state affairs, said the store’s opening will bring other benefits to the Broadway shopping area, including increased foot traffic that will benefit other merchants, such as Cutler’s Records.

He said the University decided to bring in a national retailer like J.Crew to help bolster New Haven’s economic and financial status, which he said will be especially important during the summer, when many people come to the city for various arts festivals.

“The University, which will be the single largest taxpayer in New Haven because of our commercial investments, has sought to strengthen the economy of New Haven,” he said.

Pizziconi said the new store is not just for Yalies, but will cater to New Haven residents as well.

“Yale alone could not carry J.Crew,” she said.

J.Crew project manager Pat O’Brien said the store will be opening two weeks early, an unusual feat, thanks to a well-organized construction plan.

“They don’t all go this well,” he said.

He said that new J.Crew stores generally take 12 weeks to construct. But because the building did not need major renovations, the construction crews were able to finish the work a few weeks ahead of schedule.

The construction success marks the beginning of what Morand sees to be an auspicious future for the area.

“We have heard from our neighbors in New Haven enthusiasm about the new building on Broadway from an aesthetic, architectural point and from the increased opportunities that the new stores as well as the renovated local stores provide,” he said.

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