Gov. Ned Lamont announced on Tuesday the release of $36.5 million in grants to eight cities and towns to fund various revitalization projects, including $5.5 million to develop 57 apartments in Hartford and $2.7 million to Stamford to make infrastructure improvements that will result in 247 units of housing downtown, according to a press release.

This is the second round of grants being distributed under the Lamont administration’s recently launched Connecticut Communities Challenge Grant program. The program was created in 2021 as part of Gov. Lamont’s Economic Action Plan with the hope that the funding will help spur job growth. The governor’s office projects that the Economic Action Plan will result in the creation of 80,000 new jobs.

“We created this grant program as a component of our efforts to spur economic growth and the creation of new jobs as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gov. Lamont said. “Each of these approved state grants are going toward projects that improve the livability and quality of life in communities and will make these neighborhoods even more attractive for private investments and opportunities for residents.”

Naugatuck and Torrington were among the biggest winner of the latest round of grants, receiving $6 million and over $5.2 million, respectively. For Naugatuck and its private partner, Pennrose LLC, the grant money will go towards a $17.3 million project to provide infrastructure and site improvements to a large, underutilized parcel located near the downtown green and the town’s forthcoming train station. The project plans to develop the parcel with 180 housing units, 80 percent of which will be affordable at various income levels, and 7,320 square feet of commercial space.

The City of Torrington is partnering with the YMCA, Water Street Healthcare Group LLC, and the Naugatuck Railroad to complete a $32 million revitalization project within the Water Street Historic District. The project aims to transform a former factory building into a marketplace with offices. Additionally, the project will include repairs to a historic train station platform, a new outdoor recreation facility for the YMCA and brownfield remediation.

“These investments are focused on in-fill opportunities in downtown and main street areas with existing centers of development and activity, Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Deputy Commissioner Alexandra Daum said. “In addition to increasing the livability of our communities, stimulating transit-oriented development is another key goal of this program. Many of the awards under this second round will go to projects located within a quick walk from transit options, helping to get Connecticut residents off the roads and onto our excellent transit system.”

The first round of grants under this program was released in April and included $45 million to support projects in 12 towns and cities. A third round is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2023. The full list of funds released and projects for this round of grants can be found here.

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Tom Hopkins wrote for CII from April 2022 to February 2023. Prior to joining CII, he worked in print, television, and as a freelance journalist.

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