MERIDEN —The $31 million development at 11 Crown St. will house 81 individuals and families — 17 of which are among central Connecticut’s homeless population.
The affordable housing community built on the former Record-Journal building site features 81 total units in a 63-unit multifamily building and 18 townhouses. About 50 percent of the units are already leased, with 17 formerly homeless individuals and families guaranteed apartments, according to representatives from developer The Michaels Organization.
A ribbon-cutting is set for Thursday.
The Record-Journal relocated to the second floor of the former International Silver building, 500 S. Broad St., in 2015, after selling the Crown Street property to the city in May 2014 for development as part of the transit-oriented district.
Construction began last year, but the project experienced some delays due to the pandemic, representatives said. There are a mix of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units.
Chrysalis Center Inc. and Chrysalis Center Real Estate Corp., both of Hartford, will provide support services for the formerly homeless residents. Chrysalis Center is not affiliated with the Meriden-Wallingford Chrysalis, a nonprofit that offers services to victims of domestic violence.
The homeless candidates are selected through Community Access Network, a consortium of homeless services providers that prioritize clients with the greatest need for housing, typically those with high-risk medical and other needs, said Sharon Castelli, executive director of Chrysalis. Once selected, Chrysalis helps move them in and provides case management and social services.
“We were involved in the project when it went in for funding,” Castelli said. “During the winter, they reached out to us and we were able to fundraise to provide support services to the project.”
The community supports on site at 11 Crown St. help ensure the residents remain healthy and in their new homes, Castelli said. Other community models with similar supports have shown less than two percent leave.
“It’s a great model and we’re happy to be part of the project,” Castelli said “They’re beautiful.”
Other services like financial literacy, health screenings and children’s programs will also be available. Residents will also have access to on-site management, a community room and other amenities.
Andrew Davenport, vice president of The Michaels Organization, said an additional 17 units will be market rate and the balance will be low-income. Haynes Construction, the general contractor, began building the two energy efficient garden-style, low-rise buildings and one mid-rise building in February 2019. Michaels has built similar projects in New Jersey and New Haven.
"We've had a fair amount of interest,” Davenport said about leasing. “This is a super development. It kind of covers so many aspects, not only the mix of income, but the transit oriented development and being right there on the Green is wonderful for not only this development but for others in the community.”
According to the leasing office for the complex, the rents for market-rate units are $1,207 for a one-bedroom, $1,415 for a two-bedroom, and $1,946 for a three-bedroom. Price ranges for affordable units are $803 to $930 for a one-bedroom, $956 to $1,169 for a two-bedroom, and $1,087 to $1,333 for a three-bedroom unit.
Eligibility for affordable units is based on a certain percentage of the median income locally.
The development represents the last of the low-income units the city needed to build to replace 144 units at the Mills Memorial Apartments, a federally subsidized housing project that was torn down two years ago.