University expansion story from New Haven

New Haven Register - Yale has done its homework with latest expansion plans

"Three decades after a plan for two additional residential colleges at Yale University was scrapped because of costs and city officials hostile to the loss of taxable property, the university is about to revisit the issue.

This time however, the potential site is already tax-exempt, the city has been kept abreast of the university’s thinking and an agreement has been reached on closing off stubs of streets that intersect the property to allow for development.

Three city streets that dead end on the large parcel will also be turned over to the university in exchange for $10.25 million in public improvements along Prospect and Sachem streets, as well as completion of the Farmington Canal Greenway to the Audubon Arts District and an upgrade of Scantlebury Park.

Under President Levin there has been a sea change in town-gown relations, with cooperation on attracting retail and biotech businesses to New Haven and an agreement to send a voluntary yearly payment to the city of $4.2 million.

This is in addition to the $3.5 million it pays on commercial properties, while in 2006-07 alone, the $200 million in university construction brought $3 million in building fees to the city.

As for future building, Levin said the university makes a point of keeping the city in the loop early in the process.

"We have been in close consultation with the mayor and with city planners for years. I think everyone understands growing the university can be a big asset to the city. The question is where and how and in that we have always involved the city," Levin said.

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