NEW BRITAIN - A ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the official opening of the Raphael Building Apartments Thursday on West Main Street.
“It’s a momentous day for all of us,” said President of Jasko Development Avner Krohn.
Sixteen “above-market” apartments will be available at 99 W. Main St. One lease has already been signed.
The apartments will be a mix of one- and two-bedroom units with rent prices ranging from $1,075 to $1,500 a month.
All units come with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops in the kitchen, heating and central air conditioning and tiled baths featuring jetted tubs.
“It’s all high end finishing, everything down to the door hardware,” Krohn said.
The building – built in 1925 by New Britain businessman Louis R. Raphael – has an interior with a modern flair and a touch of historical elements, part of the original building’s façade.
The project was privately funded with 25 percent coming in the form of state historic tax credits, said Krohn.
In 2015, New Britain received a grant from the Connecticut Main Street Center Program to determine the project’s feasibility to turn the underutilized downtown building into residential housing above commercial space.
The Connecticut Main Street Center Program is an economic initiative that aims to bring the state’s commercial districts back to life socially and economically.
The project was selected for the grant because of its easy access to the CTfastrack bus station – just five minutes away by foot – and because of the Bike Connectivity Plan at the time, a city initiative to make its streets more bicycle-friendly.
“(This project) is a lesson for urban cities in the United States with a manageable downtown to make the investment to create urban housing and mix-use housing will change downtowns,” Krohn said.
Coincidently, the ribbon-cutting was scheduled the same day that founding President and CEO of Connecticut Main Street Center, John Simone, served his last day in the role prior to retirement.
“I can’t think of a better way to spend my last day,” said Simone.
He said these type of smaller, mix-use projects are the hardest to do, but Krohn is “unique” and always does a “beautiful job and keeps the cost low.”
Jasko Development has completed similar mixed-used projects with the refurbishing of the nearby Andrews Building and Rao Building on Main Street. The firm has projects on two East Main Street sites and one on South Main Street.
“If (Krohn) was not part of downtown, where would we be?” asked Business and Economic Development Director Bill Carroll.
Apartment showings can be scheduled by emailing Kevin@jaskogroup.com.