City, business leaders meet on Long Wharf makeover

BY Natalie Missakian

Elm City officials are pushing ahead with a long-term plan to reinvent the city's Long Wharf business district.

Mayor Toni N. Harp was scheduled to meet today with Long Wharf business leaders and representatives from international architectural and planning firm Perkins Eastman to brainstorm about future plans for the area – being dubbed the "New Long Wharf."

Officials said the firm will help the city develop a "big picture" vision and implement strategies to advance responsible growth for Long Wharf, which fronts New Haven Harbor and is visible to scores of passing motorists on Interstate 95.

Businesses include destination retailers Ikea and Jordan's Furniture, located in the former New Haven Register building, as well as the Long Wharf Theatre.

In addition to developing a strategic economic plan for the area, officials said they would be discussing streetscape improvements, a transportation plan with more specific design work along Sargent Drive and landscape improvements around Long Wharf Park.

The makeover is part of a nearly $1 million state grant the city received in 2016 to revitalize the Long Wharf District. The grant has already funded the state's first two-way cycle track and improvements to Long Wharf Drive's 30-truck "Food Truck Paradise" area, city officials said.

Other recent improvements include coastal resiliency work at Long Wharf Park and September's reopening of the Long Wharf Info Center after more than a decade. The kiosk includes a new "snack shack" featuring local fare.

Meanwhile, officials said the district's signature project, a $30 million Canal Dock Boathouse, is expected to be completed in 2018.

Natalie Missakian can be reached at