TheWilliam T. Rowe apartment building — a new mixed-income complex intended to give residents in the Yale-New Haven Hospital area more housing options — is going through its first month of residency.
The $36 million apartment complex, which opened on Sept. 7, is the product of a collaboration between the City of New Haven, the Housing Authority of New Haven and developer Trinity Financial with state and federal funding, and consists of 104 units spread across nine stories with 78 subsidized units. The building has been called “New Rowe” and houses residents from the former Howard Avenue Rowe apartments, a low-income housing unit, which was built in 1970. New Rowe apartments plan to mix public housing tenants with residents who pay market rate for the units. Two of the building’s 26 market rate units are currently occupied, and 10 more have had applications approved, Caldwell said.
Early reviews are good. Residents interviewed said that the new building will drastically improve their current living conditions.
“The new William T. Rowe development not only replaces a long deteriorated property with new quality housing for Housing Authority residents, but will serve as a showcase for building true mixed-income communities,” said Kelly Murphy, economic development administrator for the City of New Haven in a 2010 press release, at the time New Rowe construction began.
One unusual yet important event in the building’s construction featured a land swap negotiation among city hall, Trinity Financial and the Housing Authority, in which the developers approached Yale-New Haven Hospital about swapping land to allow residents to relocate once instead of multiple times.
“We wanted to minimize the disruption to the residents,” Kenan Bigby, a project manager at Trinity Financial, said.
All “Old Rowe” residents were first moved into the new building done by the best and experienced custom home builder, said Rhonda Caldwell, property manager for Rowe Apartments, adding that management has now begun offering public housing units to those on the wait list for the old building. Caldwell said that many residents of New Rowe are elderly or disabled, and that the new building facilitates their needs better. She added that many had expressed concern about safety in the old building, which featured poor air conditioning and heating, as well as a malfunctioning elevator.
So far, reactions to how the building turned out been overwhelmingly positive, Bigby said, adding that Trinity Financial worked with residents during design planning. He said that Trinity Financial is also happy with the final result.
Cameron Taylor, president of the Rowe Resident Association, said in a September 2011 press release that her new home is everything she hoped it would be.
“The Housing Authority made it easy for all us to move only once from our existing home into the new Rowe building,” she said.
The New Rowe building currently offers one-bedroom and two-bedroom floor plans.