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April 8, 2024

CitySeed Inc. to launch new shared-kitchen and incubator space in New Haven

Costar 162 James St., New Haven

A New Haven building that was once home to a laminating company has been sold to a nonprofit food service group that will use the space for the city’s first shared-use commercial kitchen and food business incubator.

The property at 162 James St. was sold for $1.38 million to CitySeed Inc., in a deal recorded March 1. The seller was 162 James Street LLC, and Steven M. Snow of Connecticut Laminating. That company, founded in 1959, is still operational at a new and undisclosed location. 

The new CitySeed building, in the Fair Haven neighborhood, features 16,200 square feet of space over two floors, and was built in 1948. 

Ashley Kremser, CitySeed interim executive director, said CitySeed plans to launch New Haven’s first shared-use commercial kitchen and food business incubator in the former factory building. 

“This will be a groundbreaking food system hub that will simultaneously support economic and workforce development, and job creation,” she said, while also providing kitchen, event, and office space for food entrepreneurs throughout the statewide food system supply chain. 

The building will serve as CitySeed's new headquarters and eventually house the administrative functions of CitySeed's three programs and program activities for Sanctuary Kitchen and CitySeed Incubates, Kresmer said. 

It will feature five shared-use commercial kitchens to provide “much needed low-cost commercial kitchen space by emerging food entrepreneurs.”

Over the next three years, the projected impact of the 162 James St. operations includes 750 jobs in foodservice and food manufacturing, a 66% increase in food vendors and include women, BIPOC, and beginning farmers, and office space for four local nonprofit organizations, she said.

The group’s goal is to be fully up and running by the fall/winter of 2025. 

Kremser did not disclose the total cost for outfitting the building for the new endeavor, but said “This move represents a significant investment in expanding the impact of our portfolio of social enterprises — Farmers Markets, CitySeed Incubates, Sanctuary Kitchen — and generating fresh momentum and innovation around our vision of a thriving and equitable regional food system,” she said.

The building, once gray and industrial looking with large glass-block windows, now has a vibrant purple base color with a mural painted by public art group Site Projects.


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