A block of land that is now occupied by piles of dirt could soon be converted into a town house development and serve both the Yale and New Haven communities.
The lot, which lies behind the Grove Street Cemetery between 25 and 49 Lock St., is currently owned by the city and used as a dumping fill. However, after meeting with Mayor John DeStefano Jr., University officials are considering building a group of town houses that would compliment the new Yale police station that is being planned for the adjacent lot. Bruce Alexander, vice president for New Haven and state affairs, said that a town house development would be a real asset to both Yale and the surrounding neighborhood.
“It would not be student housing. It would be housing for the community, including Yale faculty, Yale staff and non-Yale-affiliated residents,” Alexander said. “It would be the kind of economically diverse, racially diverse, American neighborhood that we’d like to see more of in New Haven.”
Currently, the project is in its earliest planning stages and still requires city and Yale Corporation approval. This process could carry on into the fall, Alexander said, and in the meantime, the University is conducting environmental work on the site to prepare for any possible construction.
The town house project is being developed in conjunction with plans for a new Yale police station and city park in the adjacent space. Both lots are in Ward 22, and the University has been working with the residents of Dixwell neighborhood and Ward 22 Alderwoman Grace Gibbs on plans for the new Yale police station, which is expected to move from Sachem Street to the former site of the American Linens building at 63 Lock St.
The neighborhood asked the University to purchase the land on Lock Street, which a construction company was considering buying for the storage of construction equipment.
Gibbs could not be reached for comment last night.
Alexander said Yale is happy to work with the community, while at the same time providing a suitable location for the police station. As part of the deal, the University agreed to manage a park for the neighborhood on that block. The original plan to move the station and build a park added to the University’s willingness to purchase the additional land on Lock Street for the town house development.
“It makes sense to plan the two sites so that they compliment one another,” Alexander said.
Alexander added that there is no set timetable for finalizing plans for the town houses, but that the University will continue to work with community members to ensure all sides are satisfied before any ground is broken.