WHAT: Mayor Erin Stewart, principals from Xenolith and Dakota Partners, along with state officials from the Department of Housing, Department of Economic and Community Development, and the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority will hold a “topping out” ceremony to mark the topping out of Phase 1, the six-story building at Columbus Commons.
WHEN: Tuesday, July 23, 2019 – 11 a.m.
WHERE: Columbus Commons - 145 Columbus Boulevard – New Britain, Conn.
Mayor Erin Stewart
Roberto Arista, Principal, Dakota Partners
Seila Mosquera-Bruno, Commissioner, DOH
Nancy O’Brien, Managing Director, CHFA
David Kooris, Deputy Commissioner, DECD
Andrea Kretchmer, Principal, Xenolith Partners
BACKGROUND: Columbus Commons is a joint venture between Xenolith Partners and Dakota Partners. The site is located at 145 Columbus Blvd in New Britain and was formerly the site of the New Britain Police Station. The City solicited development proposals through an RFP in December 2015 and awarded the project in mid-2016. The team is now in construction on the first phase of this sustainable, transit-oriented two-phase, mixed-use development. The first phase is expected to be completed by January 2020.
“Columbus Commons is a development that comes along once in a generation,” said Mayor Erin Stewart. “As the project has taken shape, numerous residents and business owners have inquired about relocating to this transit oriented development that will certainly play a role in reshaping our downtown.”
“We are proud to be part of this wonderful mixed-use development in the heart of New Britain,” said Roberto Arista, principal of Dakota Partners. “Its creation was the result of a true private-public partnership between the city, the state, and our joint venture partner, Xenolith Partners. Without each party’s dedication and commitment, this project would not have become a reality.”
Columbus Commons has been designed to Passive House standards, the most rigorous of the current voluntary standards for energy efficiency in a building, which reduces the building's ecological footprint. The site plan consists of two complementary L-shaped buildings framing an interior courtyard. The courtyard comprises ample open space for active and passive recreation, community events, artisan retail pop-ups, food fairs, even musical performances. The buildings feature elements of active design, encouraging residents to move around the commons: to live, work and play in this revitalized corner of downtown New Britain.
The development will consist of 160 mixed-income units distributed evenly between the two buildings. Of the 80 units currently under construction, 20 percent will be market rate and 80% will be affordable to households earning up to 60 percent AMI, with 10,000 SF of retail on the ground floor. The total development cost of Phase I is $27.6 million and is being financed with 9 percent Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, DT DOH Flex Fund, DECD Urban Act funds, and a conventional construction loan. Entitlements were secured from the City
of New Britain and construction began in September 2018.
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