The Accidental Success of Connecticut’s Largest Housing Development: 360 State Street in New Haven
In the summer of 2006, the City of New Haven decided to fill in what it saw as a gaping hole in its urban fabric. For over 40 years, the site of the once-grand Shartenberg Department Store had sat, flat and unimproved, as a surface parking lot, the unfortunate consequence of the city’s urban renewal efforts of the 1960s and 70s. For city planners, the continued existence of a run-down parking lot where a New Haven iconic structure had once stood was a reminder of the economic decline of the city in the latter half of the twentieth century, and a cautionary tale about the perils of inappropriate city planning. Yet the site also represented a unique opportunity for large-scale development in the heart of the city’s downtown – an accidental asset that presented a chance to do something new, different, and transformative. After years of waiting for something positive to emerge from the site, many city officials wanted an ambitious re-conception of a long-neglected block. “We were looking for the home run project.” What emerged was 360 State Street, a $190 million, 32-story residential apartment complex with 500 units and plans fora high-end grocery store on the street level. It is the largest private residential building in Connecticut. Perhaps most notably for a site long plagued with construction miscalculations, the building was completed on-budget and ahead of schedule, and has enjoyed a relatively positive response from renters and city residents.