All this and we still haven’t talked about New Haven’s largest and perhaps most significant development project. Earlier this year city Economic Development Administrator Matt Nemerson confirmed the $400 million multi-phase development is moving forward, powered in part by the momentum of Downtown Crossing and the relocation of Alexion Pharmaceuticals from Cheshire to downtown New Haven (see above).

The ambitious project by Toronto-based Live Work Learn Play will sit on a 4.25-acre site (now surface parking). The former Veterans Memorial Coliseum site will eventually house a 160-room hotel, more than 700 residential rental units, more than 75,000 square feet of retail space and 200,000 square feet of Class A office space. The project’s first phase is expected to house 242 residential units and 39,000 square feet of retail space. Newman Architects of New Haven is the architect for the project. 

Significant city and state improvements for stormwater protection and bringing Route 34 to grade as part of the Downtown Crossing plan are needed to bring the project to full fruition. Confronted by doubters, LWLP CEO Max Reim offered he has more than $1 million of “my own and family money” already invested in the project. Phase I has been projected to be completed by the end of 2016 and the full project by 2020.