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Old 09-29-2014, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
3,535 posts, read 2,692,333 times
Reputation: 2305

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Interesting article, but they could have gone up I-91 to Hartford and toured "Dutch Point" basically the same thing they have in Boston, but on a smaller scale.

This is the type of stuff that gets everyone riled up over the "freeloaders" using my tax money to live high on the hog. This trip didn't do anything to dissuade that opinion.
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Old 09-29-2014, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Wallingford, CT
1,063 posts, read 1,046,291 times
Reputation: 1218
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGompers View Post
They need to fix that too. Meriden is in a prime spot at the I-91 & I-691 interchange. They need to figure out how to market that and take advantage of it. I think making it a commuter hub for rail & bus is one possible answer.

Or fixing the damn mall up. That place became a total dump and a lot of stores jumped ship out of there. Milford got completely renovated and it's great. Meriden needs the same treatment.
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Old 11-02-2014, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Northeast states
10,329 posts, read 7,229,362 times
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MERIDEN — As the landscape of the city changes with continued work downtown, so too do the scenes outside local windows, as residents and city workers witness the evolution of Meriden.
The demolition of the former Hub commercial site and subsequent construction of a 14-acre park have been turning heads for the better part of a year, though views of the site vary depending on your vantage point.


Some of the best views are arguably from the upper levels of apartment buildings right in the downtown area, such as Harbor Towers on Hanover Street.
Both Deborah Daniels and her 16th floor neighbor, Joseph Kings, recognize their prime viewing real estate.
“This view is beautiful like a picture,” Kings said last week, gazing out a window in his living room at an aerial view of the city and the Meriden Hub. “In the summer when it’s green, in the winter when there will be snow, in the fall with all these colors, it’s beautiful,” he said.
Daniels, who lives across the hall from Kings, has a view that looks out over the Gold Street area. By craning her neck and looking more north, the east edge of the Hub site along Pratt Street is visible.
“I think it’s good for downtown,” she said of the work. She added, “I love seeing the water.”
One of the main goals at the Hub is to control flooding downtown by diverting three underground brooks into a single, uncovered channel running north to south through the site. A section of Harbor Brook was uncovered in mid-October, and can be seen running through the Hub for the first time in more than 40 years. The water pooling in the middle of the Hub, and the water Daniels was referencing, however, is groundwater and runoff surface water. It is being pumped into two 20,000-gallon tanks on State Street. The water is filtered, then pumped into the city sewer network.
Kings has been in his apartment for three years, he said, and has also had to deal with some drawbacks from being so close to the construction.
“In the summer, there was dust everywhere,” he said, gesturing to his glass coffee table just feet from the window. Kings said the dust hasn’t been as prevalent this fall.
Suddenly, a waterfront
Roughly 11 stories below Daniels and Kings, on the third floor of the Wells Fargo bank on East Main Street, Christine Anderson only has to swivel her chair for panoramic views of the work through the wall of windows in her office.
Anderson looks out over the site of the bulk of current work, near the intersection of East Main and State streets.
“A coworker of mine was on vacation for a couple weeks and was shocked when she came back,” Anderson said, “but when you watch it every day, it doesn’t seem to change all that much.”
Anderson said she’s worked for Wells Fargo for 15 years, the last 10 in her current location, and noted a few instances of dramatic change outside her window.
“When it became all dirt, that was a big change,” she said. “We’d spent 10 years looking at a parking lot.”
A coworker down the hall, whose office also overlooked the Hub site joked, “Now I have waterfront property!”
Three stories below Anderson and her coworker, Gary Stocking was standing at the corner of East Main and State watching crews pour the cement headwall Friday.
Much of Harbor Brook was still visible from Stocking’s street-level view, with work going on roughly 20 feet below.
“I’ve lived in Meriden for 70 years,” Stocking said. “Growing up here, I remember what it used to look like. So it’s a lot different seeing it like this, but if it does what it’s supposed to do — if it helps with flooding down here, then it should be good. It’ll be good.”







MyRecordJournal.com | Meriden, CT | Can
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Old 11-23-2014, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Northeast states
10,329 posts, read 7,229,362 times
Reputation: 2704
MyRecordJournal.com | Meriden, CT | Plan would bring live music venue to Meriden



MyRecordJournal.com | Meriden, CT | Meriden Hub project:
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Old 11-23-2014, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
3,535 posts, read 2,692,333 times
Reputation: 2305

These links can't be accessed for free. Seems like the record journal only allows so many free views and then it forces you to pay.
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Old 11-23-2014, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Northeast states
10,329 posts, read 7,229,362 times
Reputation: 2704
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGompers View Post
These links can't be accessed for free. Seems like the record journal only allows so many free views and then it forces you to pay.



MERIDEN — Architectural renderings of a proposed $33.7 million West Main Street housing, retail and music theater project cover the walls of City Planner Dominick Caruso’s office where he talks about its potential impact on the city.
“It’s really neat,” said Caruso. “It’s a game changer and a great use of that property. It’s wonderful for downtown, and as an anchor for West Main Street.”


If built, the 100,000-square-foot development in the city’s newly created Arts-Oriented District would dramatically alter the face of a corner where across the street Dunkin’ Donuts and an AutoZone are among the few commercial drivers. It could also provide an entertainment destination for visitors using the expanded New Haven to Springfield rail service, he said.
“This is probably the most exciting project, even more so than 24 Colony St.,” said Robert Cappelletti, executive director of the Meriden Housing Authority, who has partnered with five other entities to build it. “The city is very cooperative about it.” The housing authority is also planning a mixed-use development at 24 Colony.
The first phase of the West Main plan consists of 51 units of housing, 45 affordable and six market rate, on the top three floors of 143 W. Main St. The project also includes properties at 113, 119 and 127 W. Main St. to make up about four acres, and requires the city to abandon a small road, Maple Branch to build the 580-seat music theater into the hillside.




The genesis for the concert center came from a development partner in the housing authority’s Yale Acres renovation project. He had contacts in the music industry interested in operating a concert venue midway between Boston and New York. Meriden fit their needs, Cappelletti said.
“We wanted to help the city fulfill its mission of creating a viable downtown,” Cappelletti said. “With the market rents not there yet, we asked what can we do to help attract other development?”




The Meriden Housing Authority and its five partners have raised $8.5 million of the $9.3 million cost of the live music and performance venue. According to a business proposal, the theater to be named The 7th House will be a multipurpose performance center built for the “digital age.” It can also be used to create unique film, video and recorded sound productions —with a live audience, or in several studios also included in the site plan.
The same business plan states The 7th House will be staffed by music, recording, video, film and entertainment marketing professionals who will train students from nearby colleges and universities.
Wesleyan University and Middlesex Community College have expressed interest in working with the venue organizers.
“The 7th House partnership is managed by the 3rd largest independent producer of live music and entertainment in Michigan, Huron Entertainment; and backed up its partnership with the Anshutz Entertainment Group considered among the top producers of live music and entertainment in the world,” according to the plan summary.


A letter of commitment from Huron Entertainment states that AEG will bring in at least 60 to 80 acts per year that will easily sell out the venue and provide promotional, marketing and sponsorship opportunities.
It will also work with and support local and regional music producers, theater, dance, film, comedy and other types of live performance to build their capacities, audiences and markets.
The commercial space on the lower levels of the building will house a cafe, shops and box office to support the theater.
As with Yale Acres, and 24 Colony St., the complex will use geo-thermal and solar energy.
Worker housing will occupy the third, fourth and fifth floors, with parking next to the theater rooftop. Another goal is to provide housing for theater and retail employees.
Robbie DeRosa, who recruits the musical acts for the annual Daffodil Festival, is among several local music promoters, invited to participate in The 7th House lineup. DeRosa also hosts a music radio show Homegrown on WESU that features Connecticut talent.
DeRosa said he had only attended one meeting about The 7th House but is cautiously optimistic.




“It sounds like pie in the sky,” DeRosa said. “But it’s an interesting and wonderful thing for the city of Meriden. I’m hoping the managerial company they’re speaking with takes into account local promoters.”
The 500-seat arena is the perfect size, similar to the Infinity Hall in Hartford, DeRosa said.
“There is a plethora of rock, Indie, Americana bands that would fill that theater at least twice a week,” he said. “I’d love to work with them.”
Project financing consists of among other sources: $11 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits, and $3.4 million from the New Market Tax Credit Program, $665,505 from CL&P, $8.5 million in investor spending, and $9.8 million in other state and federal financing.
At nearly $40 million, the project investment should return eight times that much in economic development and jobs, Cappelletti said.


The Meriden Housing Authority and its partners, doing business as 143 West Main Street Residences LLC, have acquired several of the parcels necessary to get the four-plus acres needed for the project.
When finished, Cappelletti will ask the city to abandon Maple Branch, file its application to Connecticut Housing Finance Administration and seek the necessary zone change to allow commercial development in a residential zone. If approved, construction could begin in 2015.
Caruso, the city planner, sent Cappelletti a six-page letter last month listing his concerns about zoning, architectural and housing ratio aspects of the plan.
Cappelletti said he is working with Caruso’s office to address those concerns.




The MHA will make a formal presentation about the project before the City Council in December or January, according to city Economic Development Director Juliet Burdelski.
Burdelski stated in an email Friday that it was premature to discuss the plans before the MHA went before the council.
Michael Lawson, founder of promotion company Local Band Review, said the state needs more 580-seat venues that can support national and local performers.
He doesn’t think The 7th House will compete with the Oakdale because it’s half the size and attracts a difference audience.
But Lawson does have some concern with a Meriden venue competing with Hartford’s Infinity Hall less than 20 miles away.
Unlike Meriden, Hartford has the City Grille, Arch Street Tavern and a host of other restaurants and bars to offer a night out before or after a performance.






“People seem to be going out more to see original bands,” Lawson said.
“But you need to create a destination. Otherwise, it’s an isolated island. Get the restaurants.”
The business plan also recognizes Infinity Hall as its closest competitor.
“The two venues will have drastically different performance groups and a wider range of audiences,” according to the report.
“In addition, the 100 extra seats (220 extra capacity, with audiences standing) will be able to attract a surprisingly different level of popular performances of all styles.”
Brian Cyr, coordinator of the music program for Meriden Public Schools, is also listed in the business plan for The 7th House Theater, and attended an introductory meeting several months ago.
“The purpose was to bring the different arts entities together to see if there was support,” Cyr said. “Meriden could definitely benefit from a theater if it’s introduced to the community properly.”
Cyr said that while “we’re all holding our breath” to see improvement in the city’s night life, Meriden’s access from anywhere in the state is its strongest asset.
Cyr was told by the developer that the talent booked at the concert venue won’t be major players, but a variety of strong hip-hop, jazz, blues, rock, and comedy talent.
“It opens up a lot of possibilities,” he said.
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Old 11-23-2014, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Northeast states
10,329 posts, read 7,229,362 times
Reputation: 2704
Another talking about Meriden Hub


HUB Park and Flood Control Project
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Old 12-09-2014, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Northeast states
10,329 posts, read 7,229,362 times
Reputation: 2704
MyRecordJournal.com | Meriden, CT | Meriden offers dinner, prizes in exchange for downtown input
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Old 12-22-2014, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Northeast states
10,329 posts, read 7,229,362 times
Reputation: 2704
MERIDEN — Three firms submitted proposals to redevelop five city-owned downtown properties this week. The plans call for spending more than $100 million to create hundreds of apartments and business and office space.
Proposals included building on the Hub site and a Colony Street parcel and redeveloping the Record-Journal property at 11 Crown St., the Factory H site and the former medical offices at 116 Cook Ave. No plans were submitted for the former Meriden-Wallingford Hospital.




MyRecordJournal.com | Meriden, CT | Firms submit proposals for downtown Meriden properties
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Old 12-23-2014, 05:55 AM
 
2,321 posts, read 2,679,930 times
Reputation: 1555
Any plans to renovate and work on the downtown area would HAVE to include reworking the roads. There is a lot of confusion when approaching and crossing tracks and slight bends and one way streets. Definitely needs to be part of the process.
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