They keep calling it “Transit-Oriented Development” — but I don’t think they know what it means:
Could the purchase of a 2.2-acre strip transform the city’s downtown into a more commuter- and shopper-friendly place? Mayor Benjamin Blake thinks so, which is why he’s excited about the expected approval soon by the State Bond Commission of nearly $5 million to pay for the first phase of a parking plan that would allow the city to buy the the former A&P Supermarket site, plus two other parcels along the north side of the Metro-North Railroad station.
Although still in its formative stages, the purchase would lead to the creation of about 350 parking spaces, much of which would be in two-level parking structures. City officials said that there are about 750 people on the waiting list for a parking spot near the Metro-North station, with some having been on the list for more than two years. “Fifty spaces will be added immediately, while we wait for funding sources for Phase II,” Blake said.
“Over the last four years, we have worked with municipal partners to advance transit-oriented development projects in order to lay the foundation for long-term sustainable economic growth in towns across the state and ensure these are livable, walkable communities for employees and employers alike,” said Malloy in his news release
They are going to spend $5 million to purchase the land, plus interest costs (because it is a bond), plus the cost of a 2-level parking garage — all for the benefit of a few hundred train commuters!
If they really wanted to “transform” downtown, the city could have put in downtown housing, providing customers for the defunct supermarket. Instead, they will hollow out downtown for a parking lot.