Two developers are proposing mixed-use projects that will bind together Wooster Square and downtown New Haven with more than 500 new residences and street-level retail.


Currently the boarded-up former Comcast service center at the southwest corner of Chapel and Olive streets will be  demolished and replaced with a new four-story building by Fairfield developer Spinnaker Residential. Community support for the project — which is expected to add 200 one- and two-bedroom apartments with rents in the $1,500-to-$2,000 range and ground-level retail appears strong. The project, however, must first overcome complex zoning challenges before moving forward.


With support from City Hall, aldermen and local community members, the project is expected to go forward even as the developer withdrew his application until more I’s are dotted and T’s crossed.


With easy access to both the State Street and Union train stations, Wooster Square and downtown the project is seen as replacing a no-man’s land with a bridge to Wooster Square and Union Station.


Just down Olive Street, Petra Development is also facing some zoning issues. Its proposal would “create a new neighborhood” including new retail space along Olive and Union Street, townhouses on Fair Street and an apartment block that together would provide a total of 285 new residences, just over the train tracks from downtown and three blocks from Wooster Square.