by Charles A. Monagan
Mar 14, 2011
02:04 PM
On Connecticut

Garage Sale


I saw that New Haven's effort to help close its budget deficit by selling the Temple Street Garage isn't exactly going the way the city had hoped it would. It has gotten only a single bid for the facility, and it was not anywhere near the $7 million for which the city was hoping.

Maybe the problem isn't the amount of money Mayor DeStefano and his administration are being offered for the garage—maybe the issue is the piece of property they chose to put up for sale. Sure, a parking garage can be a good, solid investment that offers an excellent long-term return, but where's the prestige and fun in owning that? If they really wanted to generate interest in selling off some of New Haven, they should've picked a more exciting asset.

For example:

  • Ninth Square - With the down economy, urban areas are poised to make a comeback, so this may be a good time to sell. Plus, New Haven has eight other squares, so it's technically overstock anyway.
  • Wooster Square - Okay, if you want to keep the original Nine Squares together, this square offers a nice park and is within easy walking distance of the world's best pizza. Also has a home-grown tourist draw in The Jesus Tree, a thus-far untapped revenue stream.
  • East Rock - "Get a piece of the rock." Also offers great views in multiple directions and has its own rose garden.
  • Long Wharf - Waterfront property is always popular, plus there's plenty of fine eateries and entertainment nearby. On any given afternoon, can be considered a "high traffic" area, which is always of interest to retailers.
  • Grove Street Cemetery - One of the more peaceful plots in town. If pressed for space, buyers can take inspiration from Center Church and build structures over the existing cemetery.
  • The Q Bridge - Would follow in the long tradition of attempting to sell bridges for a quick (if not savory) profit.

Hopefully, New Haven can work out its fiscal issues without having to resort to such drastic, stop-gap measures. Although having your own city square or highway bridge might be nice.

Garage Sale

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