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October 21, 2021

City advances major Long Wharf, Wooster Square residential projects 

PHOTOS | CONTRIBUTED A view from New Haven Harbor of a new development proposed by Fusco Corp. on Long Wharf.

New Haven’s planning commission approved plans for major residential projects at Long Wharf and Wooster Square on Wednesday night, setting the stage for hundreds more luxury apartments to come online in the city in the next few years. 

After a two-hour public hearing, Fusco Corp.’s striking residential towers planned for Long Wharf Drive earned an initial endorsement, with the planning body approving a zoning change to allow for the project. 

Matthew Ranelli, the Shipman & Goodwin attorney who represents Fusco, attempted to alleviate concerns about potential flooding at the project due to storms and climate-change-fueled sea level rise.

“We accounted for sea level rise in the design,” Ranelli said. 

Architect Brian O’Connor of Boston-based Cube 3 highlighted the success of similar residential towers built in recent years on waterfront land in places like Quincy, Mass., which have withstood storms and spurred economic growth. Residential development can revitalize underused coastlines, he added.

“There’s a path here to allow cities to take derelict waterfronts and breathe life into that area,” O’Connor said.  

Prior to the planning commission’s vote, only commercial and industrial uses were explicitly allowed on the 501-585 Long Wharf Drive property, now home to the defunct Lenny & Joe’s Fish Tale restaurant and its parking lot. The commission also approved sending the project’s coastal site plan on to the Board of Alders with a positive endorsement. 

“We are very pleased with the commission’s consideration and favorable recommendations and are looking forward to the chance to present our proposal to the Board of Alders,” Ranelli said after the vote. 

Wooster Square building boom continues

Image | Contributed
A rendering of the new apartment building planned for Fair Street in New Haven's Wooster Square neighborhood.

Detailed plans for another upscale apartment complex in Wooster Square on Fair Street were also approved by the planning commission on Wednesday.

Developer Darren Seid has proposed a 186-unit complex at 20 & 34 Fair St., across a tree-lined “greenway” from his company’s Olive and Wooster complex, which is nearing completion. 

The commission approved a detailed site plan for the project, a seven-story building with ground-floor retail and parking.

“We are excited to move this project into the next phase of the development timeline,” Seid said.  “I am so grateful for Alder Carmen Rodriguez’s dedication to growth in our ward, and the continued partnership with the city of New Haven, particularly the Office of Economic Development.”

With extensive balconies and green space, the new complex will top out a building boom in the Wooster Square area launched by the renovation of the old Strouse Adler corset factory into apartments in the early 2000s.

Much of the discussion on Wednesday centered on the greenway, a pedestrian strip designed to be open to the public and to help connect Wooster Square to downtown. 

“We really want it to be a neighborhood amenity,” Seid said.
Contact Liese Klein at

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