Mayor Nancy R. Rossi led development officials on a pre-construction site tour of the former Edgar C. Stiles Elementary School on May 28.
Rossi was accompanied on the tour, along with a pre-construction site tour of the former Clarence E. Thompson Elementary School, by R.J. Pasquesi, president of KCG Development LLC of Indianapolis; KCG Vice President Joel Silver; Peter Wood, principal of Collaborative Development Consulting of Stamford; Paul B. Bailey, principal of Paul B. Bailey Architect LLC of New Haven; and Susan B. Odell, senior project architect and certified passive house consultant for the Bailey architectural firm.
They were joined by Rossi’s executive assistant, Lou Esposito, and city Corporation Counsel Lee Tiernan.
On May 13, Rossi announced that her team, led by Planning and Development Commissioner Fred A. Messore, negotiated the sale of the long-vacant schools to KCG for $852,000.
The city had issued a request for proposals for both properties, with KCG submitting the highest offer with the best plan for the sites.
“Our entire team is honored to have been chosen to collaborate with the city of West Haven on these important projects,” Silver has said. “We look forward to bringing new life to these schools and adjacent property by creating a vibrant mixed-income and mixed-use community.”
KCG is a nationally respected developer that operates in 21 states and specializes in adaptive reuse projects.
The Stiles building, located at 575 Main St. in the Transit-Oriented Development District around the train station, would be composed of about 50 housing and studio units that would be marketed to millennials because of their proximity to the station and Interstate 95, Messore has said.
According to Messore, the Thompson building, 165 Richards St., would be a mixed-use approach that would include commercial and business incubator spaces and about 21 housing units.
The former schools have been vacant for years with no real plans for development, Rossi has said.
Stiles closed in 2004 and Thompson in 2010.
In 2016, then-Mayor Ed O’Brien’s administration sold the Thompson building to the West Haven Housing Authority for $10, but the financing for senior housing fell through and the property reverted back to the city.
“These buildings have been vacant, quickly deteriorating and off the tax rolls,” Rossi has said. “This agreement would generate needed tax revenue and would be promoted to commuting millennials and others because of their location with easy access to public transportation and I-95. Neither one of these properties includes any tax abatements, which will make them fully taxable on day one.”
Rossi said she will soon submit an informational package to the City Council so members can set up a public hearing and vote on the proposal.
According to city officials, the estimated value of the renovated Stiles building will be about $13 million, with an assessment for taxation of about $9.1 million that will generate an estimated $330,000 in annual tax revenue for West Haven. The renovated Thompson building will be valued around $10 million, with an assessment of $7 million that will produce about $254,000 in annual tax revenue for the city.
“The one-time influx of cash from the sales will further improve the city’s fiscal health, but beyond the short term, these properties will generate about $584,000 in tax revenue a year,” Rossi has said. “With this transaction, we will be growing our grand list, relieving the burden of ownership on the city’s taxpayers, and anticipating the improvements that come with restoration and modernization.”