Bulldozers entered the parking lot on Broadway adjacent to Tyco this past week and bored holes in the ground to prepare for the summer construction of a new graduate student apartment complex.
Yale will begin construction on the building at 272–310 Elm St. — which will house two stories of retail below four stories of housing with 41 two-bedroom units with kitchens — in early June. The project was approved by the New Haven City Plan Commission this February, according to Bryan Yoon GRD ’18, the facilities and health care chair of the Graduate Students Assembly. Yoon added that the building is on schedule for completion in fall 2018, when renovations to the 83-year-old Hall of Graduate Studies are slated to begin. Yale announced in September 2014 that it would be constructing the 82 new graduate dorms on Elm Street to replace the 168 beds that will be lost when HGS is transformed into a center for the humanities.
Administrators explained the decrease by citing the small number of graduate and professional students who seek school-provided housing out of the 6,859 total graduate and professional students at Yale, according to Stefan Krastanov GRD ’19, who currently lives in HGS.
“Generally, the sense of the administration is that not many people are interested in HGS,” Krastanov said. “They’ve thrown around the number that only 10 to 20 percent are interested.”
The plan hit an obstacle earlier this year due to disagreements between Yale and the city over the quantity of parking spaces that Yale would build. During the February meeting of the City Plan Commission, the commission’s vote rejected the University’s plans to build a 62-space parking garage in Dixwell across the street from Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen to accommodate residents and visitors to the new building. Members of the commission said that the University’s plan had not given adequate consideration to the concerns of Dixwell residents.
City parking ordinances dictate that for a building of this planned size, the University should have built 142 on-site parking spaces in preparation. One month after the public disputes between Yale and city residents at the February meeting, Yale withdrew its request for a special exception to build zero parking lots from the March agenda of the City Plan Commission, according to the agenda.
As of mid-April, the issue of parking between the city and Yale was resolved, University spokeswoman Karen Peart said, adding that the City Plan Commission had approved the Dixwell parking lot.
This January, the University announced that it had received an anonymous $50 million gift — $30 million of which will go toward construction — to move forward with plans to renovate HGS.
Correction, April 12: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that construction was delayed because the City Plan Commission did not approve Yale’s request at a February meeting; in fact, though the University confronted an obstacle, the construction was not delayed.