The very first project undertaken by SLDC was the purchase and demolition of an old automotive supply shop located at 120 Goffe Street. This building was replaced by a two story structure now called Josephine Jarvis Gray Senior Housing (JJAGSH).
Prior to the JJAGSH the structure at 120 Goffe Street, like many of the buildings in the lower portion of Whalley Avenue had fallen into disuse. Its crumpling structures and inside nooks and crannies provided an unsafe environment for the residents in the area.
In collaboration with The Yale Law School Organization (LSO), Mr. Dave Berto a consultant from Housing Enterprise Inc., the city of New Haven, the State of Connecticut and the US Housing and Urban Development, as well as many parishioners from Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church, especially, Mrs. Josephine Jarvis Gray a new 18 unit apartment complex was erected at the corner. Unfortunately, Mrs. Josephine Gray, who was supposed to have been the first tenant took ill shortly after completion of the complex and died shortly thereafter. The building is appropriately named after her for her generosity and strong belief in the activities of the corporation.
Current and Future Projects
SLDC currently owns 115, 125 and 129 Whalley Avenue which are occupied by various tenants including Saint Luke’s Steel Band, Music Haven and Beacon Self-Directed Learning. These tenants are all non-profit organizations whose missions fit very well with that of SLDC. They are in the business of providing opportunities for children and adults in the New Haven area. Music Haven teaches strings to children in the neighborhood and provides free lessons and instruments to participants and the Steel Band teaches steel drum music. Together the two have become icons of New Haven not only teaching but entertaining and lifting the spirits of many people.
SLDC has crafted a medium and long term plan which calls for the replacement of the current structures on Whalley Avenue with a four story commercial and residential building. The plan has been developed with inputs from neighborhood residents and the city of New Haven.
The plan has two phases, Phase I and Phase II
- Apply for CIA funds through DOH to acquire Nizen Property, demolish existing structures and accomplish required environmental remediation at the site.
- Seek additional funding through the City of New Haven’s Office of Economic Development Brownfields appropriations for clean-up. Pre-application is underway for submission to Helen Rosenberg, Economic Development Officer.
- Obtain initial $100,000 LCI commitment as leveraging for CIA application and future development of Phase II affordable residential rental and commercial SLDC Whalley project. The LCI application is being prepared by Housing Enterprises, Inc.
- Green space for community enjoyment at Sperry St. until Phase II is under development.
- Utilize design and development resources through the Yale School of Architecture to develop the Dickerman Street properties for affordable homeownership. 16 Dickerman Street will be rehabilitated to provide one homeownership unit and one rental unit. Two separate buildings, each with a homeownership unit and a rental unit are proposed to be constructed at 10-12 Dickerman. Rental units will help to offset the homeowners operating costs.
- Apply for funding under the Neighborhood Renewal Program to provide housing development subsidy for these proposed Dickerman Street projects that will increase homeownership units in this Dixwell neighborhood area that has extremely high rental housing stock. These homeownership opportunities will leverage local public and private partners including education institutions (Yale) and a non-profit developer (SLDC), and decrease utility costs by building energy efficient units.
- Demolition of existing Whalley Avenue structures.
- Develop opportunities for existing and potential commercial tenants under DECD and CEDC Small Business Express funding for new and existing commercial tenants at the proposed SLDC Whalley Project.
- Construction of SLDC Whalley mixed use project – the creation of 28 multifamily housing units over ground floor commercial space and basement community access space. This mixed income mixed use project will promote healthy lives, a strong community and robust economy. All of the SLDC Whalley residential units will be accessible to the handicapped
- Residents of SLDC Whalley will have easy access to area amenities providing them the opportunity to participate in social activities and to take advantage of the services that are available in their community. The pedestrian friendly layout of the project will offer increased traffic to the businesses that become part of the commercial space. The new building will improve curb appeal in the Dixwell neighborhood of New Haven by providing a pedestrian friendly streetscape.