WEST HAVEN –– Northside Development Co. has purchased a 15,000-square-foot shopping center on 2.5 acres at 1209-1225 Campbell Avenue for $2.2 million.
There were no brokers involved in the sale, according to Northside owner Paul Denz, who acquired the property from Sunrise Plaza Enterprises.
The center has three buildings and is directly across from the University of New Haven (UNH) campus.
Denz has renamed it Charger Plaza, a nod to the school’s sports teams. He is renovating about 7,500 square feet in one building, a two-story, 10,000-square-foot structure, buildings “for UNH to use for their language programs,” and says he has spent roughly $500,000 to build out classroom space and rebuild parking areas.
“The larger plan is still in the works, but it may include taking down a building and building them a larger developments at the site, possibly an office or additional classroom space,” Denz says. The other two buildings could become “office, classroom and maybe some retail” space.
ELS Educational Services Inc. will use the facility, according to UNH chief financial officer George Synodi.
“They are not a UNH entity but they’ve been on our campus for years, providing English-language services to international students not ready to matriculate,” Synodi explains. He estimates that approximately 150 students, most of them undergraduates, will attend classes there, and perhaps one-quarter of those eventually will matriculate at UNH.
The school is providing the space to ELS, and is leasing it from Northside Development.
The arrangement grew out of the university’s need to expand.
“Our enrollment has exploded, and we have a space crunch on campus,” Synodi says. “We looked at purchasing that facility and were about to move forward, but thought it would be better to keep it on [West Haven] city tax rolls.”
That’s when Denz stepped in to buy the shopping center.
“The bigger picture for us is developing the neighborhood in an around our campus and to do it in such a way to protect the tax base and improve the neighborhood,” Synodi says. “Hopefully just a first step in our development.”
Denz sees the project as “an excellent opportunity for UNH to move down into Allingtown.
“And it great for Allingtown, which is in need of some sprucing up,” he says.