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September 12, 2018

Ikea eyes hotel for long-vacant Pirelli building

Photograph | New Haven Biz

At the very gateway to New Haven sits an iconic modernist structure created by renowned architect Marcel Breuer. And it’s sat there for nearly two decades gathering dust.

Now its owner, Swedish furniture retailer Ikea, wants to convert the former Pirelli office building at 100 Sargent Drive into a much-needed 165-room hotel. The potential hotel operator is not named in the site plan.

The news was revealed earlier this week at a meeting of the New HavenDevelopment Commission. The City Plan Commission will hear the retailer’s petition to repurpose the structure next week.

The concrete Breuer tower is commonly referred to as the Pirelli Building after Pirelli S.p.A., an Italian tire company, bought it from the Armstrong Rubber Co., which had commissioned it as its headquarters. The structure, beloved by preservationists, dates from 1969.

It was listed on the State Register of Historic Places in 2000. Two years later, in 2002, the city’s Board of Aldermen approved the site as a Planned Development District (PDD), which allowed for the construction of the Ikea store.

Reach Michael C. Bingham at

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