Lyme Properties, a Cambridge, Mass.-based development firm, is venturing outside its hometown for its latest high-tech facilities project.
Lyme, the team responsible for developing a high-tech center at Kendall Square, home of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, broke ground Wednesday at the rededication of New Haven’s Science Park technology complex. More than 150 public officials, business leaders, and community representatives were present for the ceremony, during which Yale President Richard Levin unveiled the new name for the project: Science Park at Yale.
The ceremony kicked off a development initiative that includes a $30 million renovation of 25 Science Park, a 266,000-square-foot science laboratory. Adjacent to Yale, Science Park is the former 80-acre site of the Winchester Arms manufacturing facility.
“Economic vitality is the key to success of any city,” Levin said. “If the institution makes the commitment, then success is possible.”
The transformation of Science Park from an underutilized manufacturing complex to a state-of-the-art technology center began in the 1980s. Two years ago, however, the State of Connecticut, the City of New Haven, and Yale University began to look for a more efficient way to develop the property.
Henry Fernandez, New Haven’s economic development administrator, said the relationship between the state, the city and Yale has “blossomed” over the last 10 years.
The Science Park at Yale development stands as an example of that relationship, Fernandez said.
Lyme Properties’ plan includes office and laboratory space as well as retail space. The site, which is located near Yale’s Science Hill, will expand to meet the demands of Connecticut’s growing life science sector. A press release from Lyme Properties said the renovation of 25 Science Park has created more than 300 local jobs.
Levin said the development is an important indicator of what could follow within the larger community. He said more facilities mean more jobs, which means more housing and revenue for the community.
Jerry Turck, chairman of the Dixwell Community/Management Team, said the project has come a long way since its outset. Turck said he hopes the project will continue to maintain its goals of being a conscious member of the neighborhood and that its overall effects will be positive.
Project architect Peg Chambers ARC ’86, of the office of Arthur L. Ratner, said she was excited to be a part of the process.
“Revitalizing the old building has been the most fun part of the project,” she said.
Ratner said his New Haven-based firm had already been working on renovations for the project before Lyme Properties took over as the lead developer.
“We sold our ideas and they asked us to stay on the project,” Ratner said.