WALLINGFORD -- New train stations have been going into service up and down the Hartford Line, between New Haven and Springfield and that includes Wallingford, where that community is hoping the new train station will spur economic growth.
Tim Ryan, Wallingford’s Economic Development Director, told FOX61 that, thanks to a state grant, the town is working on a plan for a streetscape to connect the train station to the downtown area, which is several blocks away.
But, Wallingford has already begun to toot their horn and business owners are listening.
"These units all have granite countertops," said Carrie Vass, of Calcagni Real Estate, when talking about the features of the new Parker Place apartments, which are being constructed across the railroad tracks from the new train station.
Nearly 200 apartments under construction at Parker Place.
"We have 13 leased," said Vass. "We actually have had quite a few people move in already, which is really exciting and we have a few applications that are being processed."
The apartments range in size from 700 square feet to over 1,100 square feet and rent for between $1,300 and $2,050 per month.
"They (prospective renters) love the fact that they can live here and commute to New Haven or Hartford," Vass added.
The Wallingford train station, located a couple of blocks north of the previous one, features much more parking.
"People are using the parking spaces so that’s helping us a lot," said Henri Juca of Classic Cutz Barber Shop in Wallingford . "I’m sure that it’s helping a lot of businesses around the area too."
Classic Cutz is right next to the train station.
"A lot of people come and they need a quick haircut so they just stop here, come get a haircut and they leave," Juca added.
Ryan said there is a high degree of interest in development, which could motivate owners of property surrounding the train station.
"I think it’s a big necessity and I think businesses really need to study what companies in larger cities are doing and to bring that to Connecticut," said Enrique Baker, of North Haven, who rides the train from Wallingford to Hartford, where he attends UConn.
The Hartford Line, which features seven stops between New Haven's Union Station and Springfield, has been in service since May,
"I think it’s great that the State of Connecticut is making it (train service) accessible for others all over the state to use the rail system," said Colin Meehan of New Haven.