Staff offices move to Science Park

The old traffic light in front of 25 Science Park was replaced by city workers last month, nearby food shop owner Vinny Yik, 48, said.

“They were preparing for Yale to move in,” he said.

Snigdha Sur

Indeed, Yale began moving employees into the 165,000 square feet it is leasing at 25 Science Park, a formerly empty lot, yesterday. The moving process will last until the first week of December, Associate Vice President for Administration Janet Lindner said Wednesday. About 650 staff from Yale’s information technology services, finance, budget, business services and other departments will ultimately vacate their offices in 155 and 175 Whitney Ave. and move to the rented space at Science Park, where they will remain for a “long time,” as Michael Morand ’87 DIV ’93, associate vice president of the Yale’s Office of New Haven and State Affairs, put it.

The four-acre plot of land between 155 and 175 Whitney Ave. has been slated since 2005 to become the new campus of the Yale School of Management.

But why move to Science Park?

The building is surrounded by desolate factories and biotechnology companies. Although Yale was a tenant under the building’s previous owner, Lyme Properties, this is the first large-scale University move to occur in Science Park in years. Few students interviewed said they have been to the place, although it is only a few blocks away from the recently closed Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library.

It is also near the site of the two upcoming residential colleges.

Although University administrators said they just want to be good neighbors to the area, some neighboring residents said Yale is making a notably vested effort to transform the industrial locale into a safer and more hip neighborhood for the 850 students who will come to the area in 2013.

“They are not improving the community for those who are left,” resident Cynthia Harrison, 49, said. “Anytime Yale comes around, the rents go up. Yale protects its own.”

In response to these concerns, Morand told the News that there is no connection between the move and the residential colleges.

“Occupancy of vacant space,” he added, “is better for the … city.”

And, administrators say, the neighborhood will receive a large benefit from the University presence there. A new Science Park Yale Police Department beat, more walking patrols and added security near parking areas will cover the neighborhood surrounding 25 Science Park, Lindner said. The Yale Shuttle will now stop at the six-floor office building, administrators said, and because Yale rents, it must also pay taxes for the lease.

Lindner said that Yale has been working to better integrate the area and its residents. The University hosted neighborhood tours for employees recently, she said.

In past community meetings, residents of Ward 19 — which includes 25 Science Park — praised one inclusion to the neighborhood: colleges 13 and 14.

Clive Lawrence, a security guard hired by Yale, works near the new University offices Mondays and Wednesdays. From 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., Lawrence escorts employees from the building to the parking lot half a block away.

“There must be some kind of slight danger around this neighborhood,” he said. “A driver told me I should carry a gun.”

On Wednesday, a team of about 20 Yale ITS workers came in to set up phones and computers. Next Monday, 150 more employees will arrive.

The entrance of 25 Science Park leads into a lobby, where Anna Chen Belcher ’89 from Orange Street’s locally famous caterer Anna’s will set up her spinoff store. A sign lay overhead: “WELCOME YALE.”

Two blocks away, a temporary parking lot for the building has been established at the site of old Winchester Repeating Arms Company, once a bustling industrial force. The lot is empty; the factory, still intact, is desolate.

Comments

  • alum

    There's actually a lot of construction around there - the "desolate" factory looks that way because it is being torn down for a massive new parking garage and mixed use office facility, and there are other projects in the works, e.g., Forest City etc. I'm surprised you guys didn't research this area more, or interview the city's economic development staff, before you published the article. Some good news sources to check before writing a story about anything in the city include the New Haven Independent, Design New Haven, New Haven Register and New Haven Advocate.

  • Anonymous

    one of the reporters who wrote this had reported one the construction - surprised the reporter didn't mention it in the article, but i guess the reporter knows about it

  • alum too

    Undergrads inherently lack the perspective necessary to observe the (albeit slow) changes transforming New Haven. In a mere four years, how can one be expected to see it all? They can have NO understanding of just. how. horrible. that area was in the eighties and nineties (and early oughties as well).

    I'll take "desolate" over "despairing" (or "blood soaked and crime ridden") any day.

    Boola Boola!

  • giles

    Eventually Yale will occupy that whole area also. I'm surprised they haven't purchased or leased the fairly new Winchester plant as well for maintenance shops or labs. It is an unsafe area though. And if someones telling the security guards to carry a gun, how are they supposed to protect us? I'll run and tell the guard to keep up.

  • alum

    Giles: It is not an unsafe area. Look at the crime stats. Also, are you sure that Yale hasn't purchased or leased the Winchester plant (which dates from the 1970s and only recently closed), or are you just speculating? It had been up for sale after closing, about a year ago.

  • J.H.C

    ohhhhh ,That's why there is so much more traffic at rush hours.I thought it was some kind of overflow or redirection from downtown and/or the closed parking lot across the street. now it's mainly newly transplanted workers who have no clue as to how to get out of there -quickly.
    Just might have something to do with that new Alder ( the move) any locals who have not vacated are left with absolutely no representation.
    Yes it might be a little safer, unless the pushed down and squeezed unfortunate ass poor gets a grumbling and …
    Well maybe more Alums and chums of alums can volunteer now at Hillhouse High school,a stones throw away for someone with a good arm ,and you'll see very very soon just how athletic the community is.
    Was'nt the school of managements current abode working just fine ?
    OH WELL. i just might wanna check the SCOREBOARD billy jean