While it plans to build graduate student dorms in a six-story building in the current parking lot at 272 Elm St., the University has announced that it has no plans to build more housing on Dixwell Avenue or Goffe Street, despite owning tax-exempt land on the streets.
The building will have room to house 80 students in 41 apartments on four floors, and each apartment will have two bedrooms and a kitchen. In addition to the housing, between one and three businesses will set up shop in the two stories and 13,000 square feet of desginated space. The type of the businesses has not yet been determined by University Properties.
“As students are only here about eight months of the year, it is critical to find tenants who not only serve our immediate local population, but also draw shoppers from a wide radius around New Haven,” said Lauren Zucker, Yale’s associate vice president and director of New Haven Affairs in her column “Regards to Broadway.” “The mix on Broadway cannot only cater to students or the merchants do not survive, as past history demonstrates.”
The building’s retail space will be taxable, according to Zucker.
New Haven Economic Development Administrator Matt Nemerson SOM ’81 said that Yale has been doing a “fabulous job of renting out the Broadway area,” and that the area could benefit from a casual dining establishment, such as a breakfast or burger restaurant in the space.
The Elm Street building will replace the current graduate housing in the Hall of Graduate studies, which is currently home to 170 graduate students. The Hall of Graduate Studies will be repurposed as office space.
At the meeting, Zucker did not comment on where the remaining graduate students would be housed.
While the plan was in its infancy, city administrators, including Nemerson and City Plan Director Karyn Gilvarg, raised concerns about what will be done to compensate for the lost parking space. But Nemerson said that he is not concerned with the amount of parking in the area after the development is built.
Graduate students interviewed said that most students they know do not own a car, so the demand for parking space is not high.
“I don’t think a lot of people have a car. I use a Zipcar, which Yale provides discounts for,” said Sung Jin, LAW ’15 . He added that he thinks international students seek Yale-provided housing.