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HARTFORD, Conn. — The state will release nearly $25 million in funds to investigate and clean up 41 parcels of land in 16 towns with the goal of returning them to productive use.
Brownfields will be made green. Not just environmentally, but economically. The state is working with private developers to put blighted properties back on the tax rolls and to build more affordable housing.
The sites include open lots to old factory buildings across the state. Others include a former hotel and a dry cleaner. See the interactive map here.
The grant and loan funding is from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development’s Brownfield Remediation and Development Program. Officials said the state assistance is expected to leverage approximately $625 million in private funding and will help in the investigation and clean-up of approximately 86 acres of land.
“If we remediate these properties now, we can turn an eyesore into an asset, revitalize neighborhoods, and transform otherwise unusable property into new space for businesses and residents,” said Gov. Ned Lamont.
Meriden is one of the 16 communities where properties will be redeveloped. The Aeolian Organ and Music Factory on Tremont Street will be transformed into mixed-income housing.
“We have a project with 82 mixed-income apartments,” property developer Dan Drazen told FOX61. “It’s going to be a $52 million investment.”
But before the blight becomes beautiful, the brownfields need to be made green again.
“It was subject to numerous solvents and contaminants over the years that we need to clean up,” said Drazen.
The project will also require the relocation of more than a dozen small businesses that currently occupy the old factory.
“We will be working right alongside Trinity Financial to help the businesses that are here right now relocate inside Meriden. We’d like to keep them all within our community,” explained Joseph Feest, the Director of Economic Development for Meriden.
In addition to boosting neighborhood property values, the investment will create more, much-needed affordable housing.
“We need more housing. Not only in Meriden but all over the state,” said State Rep. Hilda Santiago, a Democrat representing Meriden.
The Meriden redevelopment also includes a facelift for the nearby little league ball field.
“This is going to be a catalyst that is going to spearhead development all across the North End of our city,” said Mayor Kevin Scarpati.
In the past 18 months, the state has released $17 million and $19 million for a combined total of 71 properties.
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The grants and loans announced today under this round include:
Additional funding for the Brownfield Remediation Program is available at www.ctbrownfields.gov.
Doug Stewart is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. He can be reached at [email protected].
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