Implementation of a Transit Oriented Development Master-plan on historic Colony Street in Meriden, CT

In 2013, following a two-year Transit Oriented Development [TOD] Master-planning effort in downtown Meriden, CT, Form + Place authored a new TOD Zoning District regulation for the neighborhoods adjacent to the proposed Intermodal Transportation Center, scheduled to open in 2016. One of the key findings of the TOD master-plan was that Meriden should position its downtown as an “origin,” as opposed to a “destination” and, therefore, it was recommended that a first step to the implementation process should be to facilitate mixed-income multi-family residential development in the core. The new zoning regulation incentivized this type of development by creating a new use category called “TOD Mixed-Income Dwelling,” specifically designed to eliminate or minimize existing segregate housing patterns.

Integral to building community consensus and testing the new zoning criteria [ie. height, density, shared parking, etc.], Form + Place produced a series of feasibility studies for key sites in the downtown core proximate to the new Amtrak station.These sites, identified during the TOD Master-plan process, were initially studied through a series of preliminary visioning drawings, looking at issues of massing, public realm interface and connectivity, through the use of both aerial and streetscape level renderings.

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Subsequently, after numerous discussions with key boards and community stakeholders, Form + Place produced more detailed plan and sketch-up model studies for various sites, including for the City-owned parcel at 24/38/44 Colony Street, which was identified as a catalyzing project for the downtown. Designed to accommodate mixed-use development, with residential over ground floor retail, and a new parking garage, this site is currently under construction and scheduled for completion in the fall of 2016.

24/38/44 Colony Street will be home to a 71,000 square foot building with 63 residential units and over 11,000sf of retail space. In addition, at the back of the site, a 275 car garage is being constructed, designed to accommodate 225 commuter parking spaces for the new ITC across the street. This project, a public-private partnership involving the Meriden Housing authority, a private developer and the State DOT, will accommodate the relocation of public housing residents from the Mills Apartments, unlocking additional development parcels on Meriden’s new public park – an example of the effective implementation of Meriden’s TOD Master-plan vision and zoning regulation.

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