A newly renovated apartment complex has opened at 1435 State St., a lot previously home to a YMCA built in the early 1900s.
Ocean Management company and Paris Realty Group, which collaborated on the housing complex, officially opened the space’s 21 new housing units to the public last week. After buying the property for $550,000 and spending $3.5 million on an 18-month-long renovation, the groups have already rented out nine of the 21 units. All of the rentals come with brand-new furnishings and community amenities, including security measures and a backyard space.
Hoping to bring new investment to the neighborhood, which lies behind East Rock in the Cedar Hill community, Ocean Management and Paris Realty have also purchased other buildings nearby, hoping to turn those into refurbished apartment rentals as well.
“We started renovating a little under two years ago,” said Mendel Paris, the development manager of the project. “Pretty much we covered the whole building inside, besides the original hallways. We left some of the original windows. But the electrical, the framing, everything is pretty much new.”
The complex has a diverse offering of housing options, ranging from 600 to 900 square feet, and from studio spaces to two-bedroom apartments.
Beyond 1435 State St., Ocean Management company also operates nearly 800 other housing units in New Haven, most of which are multi-family homes. Ocean Management and Paris Realty anticipate starting work on the warehouse adjoined to 1435 State St. next week, after carrying out some environmental cleanup. The two groups are also planning to renovate 191 Foster St., a building previously owned by the Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc.
“We’re doing quite a few developments around the city,” Paris said. “This whole city block has homes that have been abandoned for many, many years, so we’re working with our architects and purchasing that. There will be 30 condominiums for sale. There’s just not a lot of people doing condos right now, so I think there’s a market demand for that.”
With these new real estate developments comes the hope for positive growth in the surrounding community. Bringing nicer housing options will hopefully attract new tenants and consumers who will strengthen the area’s economy. Ultimately, the developers are hoping to communicate and work with city officials to stimulate growth in the neighborhood.
“We really want to help the whole Cedar Hill area,” said Matthew Nemerson SOM ’81, the economic development administrator for New Haven. “It’s one of those areas that, just because of where it is physically, sometimes we don’t pay enough attention to it. And the mayor has really asked us to take a look at it.”
He added that the two groups are good investors with a “large amount of investment capital,” which he said can revitalize the neighborhood and bring customers to the shops in the area.
Small business owners near Cedar Hill echoed those sentiments and said they are eager for an influx of residents and consumer spending.
“More people in the area [is] better for business,” said Andrew Holmes, the owner of One 6 Three, a popular pizzeria located near the State Street housing. “It might clutter the community a little bit, but I think in general, more people, more consumers. That’s a good thing.”
Still, the city is cognizant of the need to continue preserving a diversity of rental rates in New Haven as investment flows in. With 60,000 housing units of many different types, New Haven strives to maintain a variety of options for residents in its housing market, Nemerson said.
For Cedar Hill, which has always been an affordable neighborhood, it is especially important to balance attracting homeowners, who bring stability to the area, with protecting original housing costs. Because the new building at 1435 State St. is of higher quality and, subsequently, has relatively higher rent than what has existed in the neighborhood before, the implications of investment in the area need to be considered.
The 1435 State St. complex has not been occupied by residents in the near past, so the development is not immediately raising rental rates in the area, Nemerson said. Nevertheless, in a small neighborhood like Cedar Hill, extensive investment and a transformation in the landscape need to be closely evaluated, he added.
“If you have a developer who’s planning on making a lot of large-scale investment, who’s buying a lot of buildings there, we want to encourage that,” Nemerson said. “We also want to make sure that we structure in … enough affordability so that all the rents don’t go up, because that’s one of the roles this neighborhood plays in New Haven. Good transportation and very affordable apartments.”
Built in 1900 as the New Haven Railroad YMCA, the 1435 State St. lot originally housed itinerant workers who were part of freight train crews.
Contact Ruiyan Wang at email@example.com .