Meriden CT— The demolition of the Mills public housing complex continued this month with Bestech Inc. substantially completing demolition of one high rise and two low rise structures.
The demolition project formally commenced on Thursday, August 2, 2018 when the City of Meriden celebrated the start of the demolition of the Mills Memorial Housing Complex (Mills) with local stakeholders. Located at 40 Mill Street in downtown Meriden, the Mills is a former 140-unit, 1960’s-era distressed public housing complex that was acquired by the City of Meriden from the Meriden Housing Authority in 2018 for the purposes of demolition and construction of the Harbor Brook Flood Control Plan at the site.
The demolition project is the culmination of over eight years of planning and community engagement that resulted in a consensus plan to demolish the Mills. Instrumental to the planning process were the Meriden City Council, the Meriden Housing Authority, members of the City/Meriden Housing Authority Joint Planning Group, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and over 200 stakeholders who have worked cooperatively to develop a Transformation Plan for downtown Meriden and the Mills. That plan, the Choice Neighborhoods Transformation Plan, calls for the demolition of the Mills and the construction of new mixed use, mixed income, private development in the surrounding neighborhood.
Following HUD demolition/disposition approval and resident relocation in 2017, the City acquired the Mills from the Meriden Housing Authority as part of a land exchange agreement. The City took title to the Mills in May 2018 and transferred 62 Cedar Street to the Meriden Housing Authority for the Meriden Commons Phase 2 development, a 76-unit mixed use, mixed income private development adjacent to the Mills site. The City also transferred 177 State Street to the Meriden Housing Authority for the Meriden Commons Phase 1 development under the land transfer agreement in 2017.
The Mills sits in the 100-year floodplain and atop Harbor Brook, which flows in a concrete culvert beneath the site. Demolition of the Mills is a prerequisite to implementing the Harbor Brook Flood Control Plan at the site. The Harbor Brook Flood Control plan is a comprehensive flood control infrastructure plan that will remove 150 properties citywide from the FEMA-designated 100-year floodplain and allow private development, including Meriden Commons, to occur downtown without the risk from significant storm events.
The City of Meriden retained AECOM Technical Services Inc. to perform Phase I/II/III Environmental Site Assessments, a hazardous building materials survey, and demolition bid specifications for the Mills site. In March 2018, the City selected Bestech Inc. of CT as its demolition contractor after conducting a competitive bid process. Bestech submitted a low bid of $1.947 million for building abatement and demolition. Funds for the demolition project were provided by a 2014 Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Municipal Brownfields Assessment grant ($180,000) and a 2016 DECD Municipal Brownfields cleanup grant ($2 million). Building demolition will commence in August 2018 and will be completed by March 2019. Each of the five buildings at the site will be abated prior to demolition.
Demolition of all five structures is scheduled to be completed in February 2019. For more information, please contact the City of Meriden Department of Economic Development at: (203) 630-4151 or visit http://www.meriden2020.com/Downtown-Redevelopment