Along The Branford River, A New Chapter For An Industrial Site

January 8, 2016

When it was constructed in 1906, The Atlantic Wire Company's Branford mill was a modern, well-equipped facility designed to transform milling steel rods into a variety of specialty wires in varying thicknesses and coatings. Through two World Wars and multiple stock market crashes, the mill continued operations, supporting several hundred local families.

 

But with the decline of American manufacturing, the facility began to encounter difficulties, both economic and environmental. The Atlantic Wire Company formally declared bankruptcy in 2008 after being charged with polluting the Branford River. Following bankruptcy, the property was sold and has undergone partial remediation


Current plans for development call for complete demolition of the old mill complex. 205 units of residential housing will be constructed on the site as well as across the street in the vacant lot. Several restaurants and retail shops will occupy the ground floor frontage along Meadow Street as well along a new proposed road connecting Montowese and Church Street. An underground parking structure for 196 vehicles eliminates the need for substantial street and surface parking.

A variety of pedestrian amenities help foster an attractive, unified aesthetic that promotes walkability to the recently upgraded Branford train station as well as Downtown. Traffic bumpouts throughout the site promote safe pedestrian crossings and reduced traffic speeds. A lush landscape of native trees and shrubs adds beauty and wildlife habitat to a site bereft of both elements for most of its history. The introduction of a shared bike path along the southern perimeter of the site connects the Shoreline Greenway Trail with the train station, providing intermodal access to New Haven and beyond.

 

The site has already been approved to shed its industrial designation and become a Planned Development District. Site plans by TPA Design Group and Gregg Wies & Gardner Architects, LLC have been submitted for review. A final decision on the application is expected within the next month now that public hearings have been closed.

 

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