When Adam King ’88 looks at Atwater Street, he sees wealth. He sees it in the overgrown backyards that could become gardens, in the rundown houses whose extra rooms could become common spaces, and in the out-of-work residents whose skills could transform the neighborhood.
Atwater is in Fair Haven, one of the poorest areas of New Haven, Connecticut. King was originally attracted to this neighborhood, which lies to the east of the city center, across the Mill River from more affluent areas, because it is inexpensive, and he purchased two houses here in foreclosure sales last spring. As he describes it, he drove by a for-sale sign on the street and made a spur-of-the-moment decision. “I just said on a whim, ‘I’m going to do this!’ he said. “ ‘I’m going to start the process, start moving my life toward where I want it to head.’ ”
Since then, things have happened quickly, King said. King, 45, and his roommates Adam Waschall and Bill Richo, both in their late twenties, moved into one of the houses and encouraged a few friends to invest in neighboring properties. Recently, acquaintances have also taken both of the unoccupied apartments in King’s second house. All the members of the group met through a shared interest in alternative, sustainable lifestyles. They currently own four houses on the street and are looking to expand. King, Waschall, and Richo have dubbed the venture the Atwater Resource Cooperative, or ARC, and they have a long list of plans for improving their own lives and those of the people around them.
For more on this story, visit: Imagining Atwater Street | The New Journal.