Despite construction, 1 Broadway still empty

Though construction crews have been diligently working on the corner of 1 Broadway throughout the summer, a tenant has yet to pick up the prime retail location.

There are currently three construction companies working on the project, refacing the facade, improving the windows and walls and repairing the roof, according to Tony Santangelo, general manager of one of the companies, Universal Preservation Group. Though the construction companies are hard at work, they are completing only general repairs and not working for a specific tenant, according to Santangelo and representatives from University Properties, which manages Yale’s commercial properties.

“There is nothing in ink,” said Carin Keane, the director of Retail Leasing & Marketing at University Properties, when asked about securing a new business to occupy the space. “But we’re actively showing it and the space has a lot of interest.”

The question of what would become of 1 Broadway began back in late when May when Au Bon Pain closed. At the time, workers of the now-closed cafe complained that they were only given four days notice that they would no longer be employed. According to University Properties Director Abigail Rider, UP gave Au Bon Pain management a six-month prior notification in December 2012 that their lease would not be renewed, calling the company’s failure to communicate that decision to employees “regrettable.”

“Yale chose to not renew the lease so that necessary upgrades could be made to the space in which Au Bon Pain is currently located,” said a May 2013 UP press release.

Those upgrades are now underway — thus far, they have been entirely exterior repairs, Santangelo said. His Universal Preservation Group was hired by UP earlier this summer after ABP vacated the building and has been involved in refacing the brick facade of the building, which will most likely be finished in the next week.

The other two construction companies on the job are Consigli Construction and Ernest Peterson Inc., which are responsible for carpentry and roofing work. After University Properties has selected a tenant, another construction company will work to remodel the inside, Santangelo said.

He added that, though he would not be privy to information about which tenant is moving into the space, certain decisions, like which glass will go into the property’s windows, have not yet been decided because it is unclear which tenant will eventually occupy the space.

There has been much speculation around campus about which tenant will be selected for the coveted location at the corner of Broadway Street, but so far no rumors have been confirmed. Keane declined to comment on which businesses UP has courted as potential tenants.

One of the rumored tenants, women’s clothing store Anthropologie, is not likely to come to Broadway. In an email to the News on Saturday, Rebecca Oliver, a representative for the store, said that Anthropologie does not currently have plans to open a store in New Haven.

University Properties has over 85 retail tenants.

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