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2017 Fall Report-Economic Development & Community Revitalization

 

Economic Development AND COMMUNITY REVITALIZATION

FALL 2017 REPORT

What does the Economic and Community Development Department do?

Our job is to increase the tax base, create jobs and improve the quality of life for our most important customers, the taxpayers!

 

We administer our Business Incentive Program, provide technical assistance to small businesses, write and administer State and Federal grants for infrastructure projects, administer brownfields and redevelopment projects, market the Town, serve as the representative in several regional and state organizations, play the role of an advocate for businesses and developers navigating the permitting process in Town and develop workforce readiness.

 

We offer incentives for businesses to grow (through the Three-Year Economic Development Plan)

 

In July of 2015, the Legislative Council renewed a three-year economic development plan through June of 2018. This program has been successful since 1998.

Activity 1: Administer the business incentive program including tax incentives, property improvement grants and building permit waivers.

To date, over 140 businesses or developers have been approved for the program. Seventy-Seven projects have been completed along with several other initiatives by our office.  This has resulted in over $27,000,000 in investment.  This increase does not count other new businesses that have located in Town as a result of the comprehensive business approach we are taking.  Over 1,000,000 Sq. Ft. in Hamden have been improved or developed by our incentive programs.

Activity 2: Marketing:

We market the Town for private investment through trade shows, advertising, networking and participation in several regional and local organizations.

The Town will also improve the database of properties in Town. We assemble property data for marketing materials for the web site link to our department and for providing general resource information for developers that are interested in commercial properties.

We promote Economic Development Incentives, Business Clusters, distribute important news and market the Town through the Hamden Economic Development Web-Site (www.hamden-ct.com) and Constant Contact list of nearly 5,000 subscribers.

This site includes many features including a demographics link, business news, grand openings, technical assistance and links to realtors and other regional organizations.

We offer a Business Yellow Pages that provides an on-line yellow pages for residents. The cost of advertising is free for Hamden Chamber members and will be fee based for non-members. Those fees would be used for continued marketing purposes.

The department has developed nine Business Clusters to promote Business Retention and  help key taxpayers and employers in Hamden to succeed and grow. The Clusters include Manufacturing, Workforce, Creative Industries, Health Care, Real Estate, Financial Services, Insurance the Energy Cluster and a cluster for Solopreneurs (Home Based Businesses). We meet with our local clusters to promote them and provide a forum to address their needs.

Activity 3: Provide Technical Assistance through our Business Assistance Center

The Town of Hamden Business Assistance Center (BAC) plays an important role in the delivery and tracking of small business services in Hamden. The BAC is headquartered at Hamden Government Center, 2750 Dixwell Ave. Services are offered at satellite locations upon request.

The BAC will refer clients to the appropriate sources for hands on technical assistance and through free workshops and training in the business disciplines needed. The Coordinator will ensure that the partners track services, ongoing consultation is provided to its clients, and that they are registered for appropriate available certification opportunities for business growth.  Since 2005, the BAC has assisted over 275 small businesses in areas such as developing a business plan, cash flow analysis and marketing..

We also offer a self directed Business and Career Center at the Miller Library, which is open to Hamden Residents during normal Library hours.

Activity 4: Administer the State Street Municipal Development Plan (MDP)

State regulations allow the establishment of MDP's as part of the Manufacturers Assistance Act.  Plans include activities that put productive properties back on the tax rolls. Thus MDPs are plans to help communities help companies locate and expand.

The Hamden State Street MDP was approved in 2002. Phase I (completed) of the plan was the sewer and infrastructure improvements that included the Welton Street Pump Station and Sewer project and a streetscape project.  The Town received funding from the State in the amount of over $1.3 million for these initiatives.  Planning continues for future projects.

II. OTHER PROJECTS, PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES.

Projects Completed.

1.     Created Signage to the Hamden Business Park.

Managed the design and construction of the archway and tenant signage at Hamden Park Drive.

2.   Highwood Revitalization Grants (2): $500,000 and $750,000

The Town received grants totaling over $1.2 million from the CT. Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) for the following economic development projects.

         Demolition of Johnson Building

         Completed Three Streetscape Improvements: Phase I was completed in 2002, Phase II was completed in 2004.  Phase III was completed in 2011

         Highwood Square; Site work and remediation for 27 units of  housing & 13,000 S.F. of commercial space

3.   Eli Whitney Museum Expansion:

This project was funded by a $247,000 grant for the remediation of the former Amoco gas station and rehabilitation for the expansion of the Eli Whitney Museum. It is now a boat construction workshop.

4.   Highwood Square

Our office managed the site assemblage and secured the Preferred Developer, The Mutual Housing Association of South Central CT developed a $12 Million, mixed-use project on the site of the former Johnson building. The project included commercial (13,000 S.F) and artist housing (27 units). The developer purchased four (4) blighted properties to complete the project.

5.   Other Projects Managed:

 .   Dadio Farm

      a.  Acquisition of the old Dadio Farm property

      b.  Demolition of the buildings on Dadio Farm

    c.  Subdivision plans for new road

      d.  Management of design and construction of the new road construction project

      e.  Wrote and managed EDA grant that funded the project

 

.   Westwoods Road Land Swap, Negotiations, Disposition and Redevelopment

 

    Pathmark Plaza:

      a.  Home Depot/Pathmark Plaza development and acquisition negotiations                                                                                                                                                                  

      b.  Land negotiations for the widening of Benham Street

           

.   Streetscape Projects:    

      a.  State Street

      b.  Concord Street/Dixwell Avenue

      c.  Lexington/Dixwell:  (Planning Stages)

      d.  Highwood

                                                                                    

.   Brownfields:

      a.  400 Goodrich Street

      b.  Newhall Study

      c.  Newhall Community Development Program 100+ units renovated.

      d.  Rochford Field and Villano Park

      e.  Hamden Business Incubator

 

.   Operating Engineers State Land Purchase at Exit 60

 

.   Whitney Center: Revenue Bond Approval, Management of Referendum Process.

.   Hamden Fire House:  Planning Stages

 

Ongoing Initiatives

6.   Work on Redevelopment and Brownfield Projects:

We work on creative solutions and funding sources for the many properties with real or perceived environmental problems. We do this to increase the inventory of available property. Many of these properties have long-standing tax problems with the Town and without our involvement, will likely be developed (if at all) into mediocre uses that will not produce any decent tax revenue.

We work with funding sources such as the REX Development and the Federal EPA and EDA to apply for assessment and remediation funds. Since 2000, we have secured over $4 Million in grants and loans for numerous projects. Where there were loans, the developer repays them.

In the future brownfield and redevelopment projects will be among the highest priorities in the Town. To help meet these goals we have formed the Hamden Economic Corporation (HEDC) as a tool for redevelopment. HEDC has grown to manage over $30 million in project funds, including  funds for the new business incubator.

            7.   Workforce Development:

One of the goals of our department and the Economic Development Commission is to address the workforce needs of businesses and to provide as many opportunities for employment as possible.  We support them by linking businesses, training programs & people needing a job.  We have a Workforce Cluster which is comprised of important partners in Workforce Development & Readiness.  This group deals with many other workforce issues such as day care, transportation, etc.

8.   Energy:  Coordination with Energy Efficiency staff, small businesses, residential tax payers and the Board of Education.

9.  Neighborhood Assistance Program: Tax credit program for area non-profits and businesses.

10.   Grants Consultant:  Work with (the new) Grants Consultant to coordinate with other departments on grant development administration.

11.  Misc. Activities:

There are many smaller day-to-day things that we are involved in. An ongoing list of things includes (It changes every week):

         Project management of municipal projects, i.e. sale of Canal line property.

 

         Daily advocacy work with brokers and buyers/lessors in helping put together transactions for

      a much greater chance of success.

 

         Work (through amended regulations and procedures) with the Planning and Zoning Office and Commission to establish and continue a good environment for business development while protecting the integrity of the neighborhoods.

 

         Cultural and Arts Asset Development: Plan and implement a strategy to capitalize on the cultural and artistic diversity. All over the country and in CT. communities are finding ways to provide housing and change zoning regulations so that artists of all kinds can change neighborhoods. This happens mostly in the Neighborhood Revitalization Zones.

Neighborhood Revitalization Zones: Committees and other community groups: Build and assist the NRZ's on projects where our funding can be of assistance.

 

 

Develop collaborations between colleges for internships, also work with local realtors and the Hamden Board of Education.

 

 

         Work with utility companies for better services and programs to lower costs for businesses.

         Network with all regional partners including the Hamden Regional Chamber of Commerce, REX Development, Quinnipiac University, New Haven Chamber, State Agencies, Professional Associations, etc. For example, we have been very successful here leveraging many tens of thousands of dollars from REX Development for site assessments of economic development projects.

         Recruit New Business by participating in trade shows, direct contact, visits, etc. and promoting our products and programs.

         Be available for walk-in traffic of businesses and visitors to the Mayors Office or that of another departments.

 


 

 

WHAT ARE THE RESULTS?

         We are always judged by the results in the short and long term. The following lists includes many new and expanding businesses, some of which have participated in our programs and some of which came because we have improved our image. These are in no particular order of importance. The list includes what has been completed or has come to town due to our efforts.  The list grows every day.  Many were offered Town and/or State benefits.

A.

Technology and Manufacturing

 

 

1.      Carlton Industries                     

2.      Aero Grind Industries (Precision Grinding)

3.      Utilities Communication Company

4.      SNET Call Center

5.      EZ Form Cable Company         

6.      Burt Processing Equipment (3 Expansions)

7.      Amphenol Corporation

8.      ECOAIR, Inc.: Hamden Business Park   

9.      Comcast Cable Satellite Location in Hamden Business Park

10.  Leeds-Himmel Industries*:  Aluminum Extrusion: 25,000 S.F. addition                   

11.  Porcelen Specrail*: 333 Welton St.:

purchased 78,000 SF building with an investment of over $1,000,000 in improvements. 

12.  HAVCO Comfort System

13.  Uplift Mobility

14.  International Provisions  (3 Expansions)

15.  International Distribution

16.  Electronic Specialties

17.  Bell Simons                                                                       

18.  Tachwa Enterprises

19.  Specialty Wire & Cord Sets

20.  Airline Accessory Company

21.  Taylor Freezer

22.  Elm City Cheese Manufacturing Expansion

23.  Nummies Bakery

24.  Contractors Direct                                                                                

 

 

 

 

B.

Retail and Service

 

 

1.

 

Auto Zone

 

2.

Advanced Auto        

 

3.

Clarion Hotel Expansion

 

4.

LA Fitness

 

5.

Walgreen's at Mount Carmel  

 

6.

Whitney Donut: Relocation and Expansion           

 

7.

Community Retail: Stone Academy/Henry Richards Pocketbook Building*

 

8.

Superior Printing: Expansion  

 

9.

Best Video     

 

10.

Ye Olde Butcher

 

11.

The Bon Ton Store   

 

12.

Cash and Carry Grocery Store

 

13.

Hamden Farms

 

14.

Kohls Department Store  

 

15.

Apex Pharmacy 

 

16.

East Buffet

 

17.

Walgreen's (Corner of Putnam & Dixwell)  

 

18.

Save a Lot Grocery

 

19.

Bed Bath and Beyond  

 

20.

New stores for Brooks, CVS and Burger King  

 

21.

Walmart  

 

22

Beans Development

 

23.

Panera Bakery   

 

24.

Strawberries/FYE            

 

25.

Home Depot  

 

26.

Pathmark Plaza Renovation

 

27.

Aldi

 

28.

Burlington Stores

 

 

 

C.

Healthcare and Related

 

1.      Generations Ob-Gyn and Connecticut Psychiatric and Wellness Center

2.      Home Health Specialty Services, Inc.

3.      Express Care Urgent Care

4.      Dr. Robert Henry Medical Practice

5.      Whitney Manor

6.      Spring Glen Medical Center: One Day Surgical Facility

7.      Whitney Center: Expansion

8.      Allied Health Center

9.      New Haven Cardiology Group

10.  Podiatry Associates

11.  Greater New Haven Ambulatory Surgery Center

12.  Amity Physical Therapy Expansion

 

D.  Contractors and Construction Related

 

1.      A & A Associates (Highwood Mechanical)

2.      Dunbar Construction

3.      Genovese and Massaro

4.      DOT Bus Garage

5.      SECO Industries

 

E. Miscellaneous Destination Development

 

1.   Tri-Peg Film Studio

 2.   Highwood Square

 3.   Marriot Residence Inn Hotel

 4.   1409 Dixwell Avenue- Mix Use Development

 

F. Restaurants (last 3 years)

 1.   Cumin Restaurant

 2.   Sakura Gardens

 3.   Sushi Palace

 4.   Ibiza

 5.   Thai Terrace

 6.   Awesome Thai

 7.   Moes Southwest Grill

 8.   FroYo Frozen Yogurt

 9.   Chipotle Grill

 

 

 

  

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