New Haven alders endorse Fusco’s Long Wharf residential plan

By Liese Klein

Dec 1, 2021

“This is a great start to the revitalization of Long Wharf,” Fusco said. “I'm confident that the Fusco Corp. will come in and build a safe infrastructure, that they will do whatever needs to be done to build a safe environment.”


Marchand and 22 other alders on Monday night unanimously approved zoning changes that would allow for two new residential towers totaling 500 apartments to be sited feet from New Haven Harbor. Veteran developer Fusco Corp. proposed the complex for the 3-acre parcel formerly home to the defunct Lenny & Joe’s Fish Tale, at 501-585 Long Wharf Drive.

The Long Wharf project, first put forward earlier this year, cleared the city’s planning commission in October and is now set for more detailed planning and review. Zoning changes were needed to allow for residential uses in the area and move the project forward.

The Alders who spoke at Monday’s meeting expressed confidence that Fusco and the city had taken appropriate precautions to protect residents in case of coastal flooding, while voicing concern about the growing risk of extreme weather due to climate change.

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection issued an advisory report shortly before the planning commission vote recommending against the project due to risk of storm surges and related flooding at the site. Fusco has pledged to work with the state to reduce risks.

“Due to climate change, sea levels will continue to rise,” said Alder Charles Decker. But he added that the benefit of well-designed housing close to transit offsets the risks. “Short of making a decision to abandon the waterfront altogether, the best we can do is development that prepares for our new reality the best that we can.”

Alder Anna Fusco said she trusted the reputation of Fusco and the evacuation and emergency planning undertaken so far by the developer, the city and the state. The promise of additional housing and tax revenue also offset risks, she said.

“This is a great start to the revitalization of Long Wharf,” Fusco said. “I'm confident that the Fusco Corp. will come in and build a safe infrastructure, that they will do whatever needs to be done to build a safe environment.”