For those disillusioned with their current accommodations, a new, albeit pricier, option is now available in downtown New Haven.

Realtors, contractors and government officials gathered for the dedication yesterday of the new CenterPointe Apartment complex, developed by C.A. White. The building, which sits on the southeast corner of Chapel and Church streets, offers 83 luxury apartments complete with wood floors and large glass windows.

The complex also offers a variety of amenities, including a fitness center and whirlpool baths, according to C.A. White’s Web site. The apartments range from studios to duplexes, starting at $935 a month.

Two-thirds of the apartments have already been leased by new residents, including some graduate students.

New Haven Major John DeStefano Jr. said the building is important to the overall downtown revitalization.

“All of us feel strongly of Church and Chapel as the center of New Haven,” DeStefano said. “Frankly — it’s just terrific to see this building being used.”

Michael Schaffer, managing partner of C.A. White, said that among the most important proponents of the plan were Yale President Richard Levin and Vice President of New Haven and State Affairs Bruce Alexander, who helped C.A. White obtain funding by “discussing the importance of this project with the governor.”

The funding for the project came from three primary components, Schaffer said. Of the $16 million invested in the project, $3 million came from a grant from the city of New Haven while $2 million was equity invested from Schaffer’s firm. Roughly $11 million came from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Schaffer, who called the project a “labor of love, of fortitude, of trial” in his public comments, stressed the importance of the community in developing the complex.

“A project like this does not happen without a lot of support,” Schaffer said.

Julie Fagan, Connecticut field office director of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said she believes New Haven could use more projects like the CenterPointe Apartment complex.

“We look for partners who can create a difference in the community. These are the types of ventures we are willing to invest in,” Fagan said.

Fagan, along with both DeStefano and Schaffer, said she thinks that the apartment complex is making a positive impact in the effort to redevelop the downtown area.

“It’s already bringing in residents interested in the area,” Fagan said.

Schaffer said the location of the apartment complex is key. Originally, New Haven’s layout was comprised of eight “squares” that surrounded the New Haven Green. The area that the complex is located in, according to Schaffer, is part of the “forgotten ninth square.”

“Technically, we are part of that redevelopment — but if you look at traffic flow — if you were to define the center of the city, it would be Church and Chapel,” Schaffer said. “[It is an] intersection of commercial and retail activity.”

The CenterPointe building, built in 1861, used to be the Cutler building and was at one point the tallest building in downtown New Haven.

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