New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper


Columbus Commons Project Funding Gains Approval


The New Britain legislative delegation, welcomed approval of funds for the Columbus Commons project to assist with the first phase of its development last Friday.

The Connecticut State Bond Commission approved a $6 million loan to the project stakeholders that will help with the construction of 80 new units of rental housing with 64 income-restricted affordable units.

Last year lawmakers announced the start of the project’s construction that in addition will include commercial space for retail, office space and restaurants.

“I am pleased to see this development, located in my district, moving forward at a steady pace,” said State Rep. Robert Sanchez. “Without a doubt, once completed, Columbus Commons will bring great benefits not just to residents, but an overall economic boost to the entire city. I am thankful to our delegation for our continued collective work in making things happen for New Britain and ensuring that all our districts are taken care of.”

In 2016, the City of New Britain designated Xenolith Partners and Dakota Partners as the developer of 125 Columbus Boulevard, the former site of the New Britain Police Department. The developer plans to create Columbus Commons, a two-phased, mixed-use development that will include two, five story L-shaped mixed used buildings with approximately 160 residential units, an interior courtyard, and retail and/or office space on the first floor. The expected total cost for both phases of the project is $58 million.

The location of the development is steps from New Britain’s downtown CTFastrak station and is one of the City’s first major Transit Oriented Development projects.

The first phase of Columbus Commons was awarded a $1.6 million Low Income Tax Credit allocation by the Connecticut Housing Finance Agency (CHFA) in June 2017. Bank of America will provide the construction loan, permanent loan, and also invest in the tax credits, generating approximately $16 million in equity for the project. Furthermore, the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) has already invested $2.7 million in Brownfield funds to assist with the demolition and environmental cleanup of the site in preparation for the project.

In October of 2017 when Columbus Commons broke ground, Mayor Erin Stewart said, “Back in January, we launched a new City branding campaign—the first in more than 30 years—with the slogan “Experience the New” in recognition of the extraordinary changes that have come to our community over the last several years. There is none bigger than the one we are about to break ground on today: Columbus Commons. The individuals who will come to occupy these homes will bring a new wave of energy to our downtown area and contribute to the continued transit oriented development growth we are seeing thanks to the opening of CTfastrak, which is just steps away from this site.”

“I am grateful to the Governor and members of the Bond Commission for approving a loan to create affordable housing for hardworking families in New Britain,” said Rep. Peter Tercyak. “I expect the mixed-use Columbus Commons project with its residential, commercial and retail facilities to be an economic engine for the city thanks to its prime location on the edge of downtown and close proximity to CTfastrak.”

“As we move forward with efforts to revitalize our downtown, it is important that we continue to invest in quality housing. The State Bond Commission’s approval of this funding is a critical piece in allowing this project to become the centerpiece of our city’s renaissance,” said State Rep. Rick Lopes.