Bushnell Park South
The demolition of a state health department laboratory and major renovations to the State Office Building opened a window of opportunity to transform an area of the city that is currently filled with a number of parking lots into housing and significant economic development. CRDA is partnering with the city, the neighborhood, and the Bushnell Center for Performing Arts for its revitalization.
The development will be mixed-use retail and commercial, apartment rental, and new home ownership. The Bushnell Park South project includes Elm, Clinton, West, Washington, Hudson, and Buckingham streets and Capitol Avenue, which are within a couple of blocks of Main Street and about Bushnell Park. Redevelopment of this area would form a connection with downtown and repurpose 12 acres of under-utilized real estate.
While the Department of Administrative Services was responsible for the $205 million renovations to the historic State Office Building (SOB), the Capital Region Development Authority oversaw the construction of the $16 million garage to provide parking for the employees working in the area. The 350-space garage services as the first facility of a “district parking” plan that will be shared by businesses and residents around the redevelopment.
In April 2022, CRDA issued an RFQ seeking statements of qualifications from entities interested in developing a three-acre site owned by the Authority within the Bushnell South Development area. Four firms bid for the opportunity and in November 2022, the Michaels Organization was selected as the preferred developer. A preliminary proposal submitted by the New Jersey-based firm included 360 units of housing split between two buildings and 15 townhouses, along with 2,500 square feet of retail space. That program may change, however, as the developer meets with local officials and City residents as part of its formal design process. Before that design process can begin, CRDA will need to negotiate a development agreement with Michaels and present it to the CRDA Board for approval.
Concurrently, CRDA is working with Spinnaker development to convert the historic 55 Elm into 161 new units of housing as Phase I of the Bushnell Park South plan.