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Transformative Projects on the Horizon for New Britain in 2024

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February 9, 2024


The beginning of each year is one of my favorite times because it is always a chance to take stock of all we have accomplished together while looking forward to the future with hope and excitement for all the positive changes that are still ahead for our great City. Since I took office I have worked tirelessly to transform New Britain block-by-block in order to restore the vibrancy so many of us remember from decades ago, and this year is no exception. I am extremely proud of the progress we have made together, but I cannot wait to share the successes that are still to come with all of you.

Creating a diverse housing stock to meet the ever present need for quality living options here in New Britain remains a top priority to help retain and attract residents. This coming year we will see the beginning, continuation of, and completion of so many transformative housing projects in neighborhoods throughout the City. Downtown New Britain will see the completion of both The Brit and The Highrailer, two sister buildings that will provide the unique options that people of all ages look for these days when choosing a place to live. Also this year we will be seeing the construction of The Strand, another attractive development project right in Downtown New Britain that will transform an empty parking lot into a beautiful new apartment building that pays tribute to the historic Strand Theater that once stood in that exact same spot. These projects will add to the vibrancy of Downtown New Britain by bringing foot traffic to the heart of our City unlike anything that we have seen in decades, enhancing our community and bringing an influx of customers to our businesses.

New Britain has always been a blue collar City, and we take pride in that, so I believe it is critical to provide housing options that are affordable for residents of all different income levels. To that end I am extremely excited about the complete renovation of Mount Pleasant, a multi-phase project kicking off this year that will bring approximately 251 brand new affordable housing units for those who currently live there. This year we will also see the continuation of the complete redevelopment of 321 Ellis Street, the old old Landers, Frary & Clark factory. This project will transform this building that has been underutilized for many years into 154 units geared towards senior and affordable housing. This will help fill a major need for this type of housing in our City, and should be completed by early 2025.

About two years ago we demolished the old St. Thomas Aquinas High School building and remediated the entire site in order to make space for 11 brand new single family homes. This year we will see the construction of those beautiful homes, representing a unique opportunity for first time home buyers to put down roots here in our City. What was once the site of a dangerous eyesore will now be a site of growth and opportunity for the residents of New Britain.

Throughout my time as Mayor I have held steadfast in the belief that our students need modern, safe school buildings that are able to meet the needs of 21st century education in order to have the best chance at academic success. My administration has overseen the renovation of multiple schools over the years like Gaffney, Chamberlain, and Smalley, and 2024 will be no different! This summer we plan to break ground on the extensive renovation of Holmes Elementary School. This $70 million project will provide the students and staff of that school with the learning facility they deserve, equipped with all the necessities for success inside the classroom and beyond.

2024 will bring continued improvements to our infrastructure, which has such an impact on our residents’ day-to-day quality of life. Our Public Works Department will continue working on $1.5M worth of streetscape improvements to the heart of our “Barrio Latino” neighborhood which will make Arch Street look better with street trees, sidewalk improvements for pedestrians, slow down traffic, and help support the local businesses. Construction will also begin on streetscape improvements to John Downey Drive, which is arguably one of the most important business corridors in the City. The road itself is over 50 years old and in major need of repairs so we are using a $3.2M grant from the State for improvements that will improve the look, functionality and safety of this major road. The road will be narrowed and repaved to reduce speeding, new sidewalks and a paved multi-use trail will be added, and street trees will also be planted down the entire length of the road.

Our dedicated Public Works Staff will be able to execute these projects and meet the day-to-day needs of our residents from the brand new Public Works Yard that we will celebrate the opening of this year in the Pinnacle Heights Business Park. This $20 million investment will result in a facility capable of housing all public works operations and maintenance. It will also include storage buildings for equipment and vehicles so we will be able to store our vehicles in shelters, prolonging the life of these very expensive trucks.

The buzz of activity never stops here in New Britain, and I am always focused on making this City the absolute best it can be for all who live, work, and visit here. I hope you are just as excited as I am for all the great things to come this year, and share in my vision for leading New Britain towards the bright future that we all deserve. Here’s to a great year!

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