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Luca Brasi

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Everything posted by Luca Brasi

  1. They don't have a retail tenant signed yet and the tower will open in September.
  2. Well thats good news. The whole Front Street thing was starting to make me nervous. With Hartford 21's inability to sign any leases, I was starting to wonder if that was hurting Front Street. Socom - are saying that there will only be 4 buildings? Or are you just talking about the 4 major buildings of the project. There is a lot of acreage to be filled up down there. I wonder how tall the high rise will be? Hopefully it will be significant. Regardless, soon after the plans are released, expect the people from the Sheldon Charter Oak neighborhood to start protesting the heights of the buildings like they always do. The Front St. development should eventually work its way all the way down to Charter Oak Avenue. That area of aborted streets, parking lots and those awful suburban-style apartments between the Whitehead Highway and Charter Oak Ave. is the most disjointed, out of place area in Hartford. Downtown deserves better. Anyway, enough rantiing... looking forward to the announcemnet and renderings!
  3. ^ I know. But my point is that there is still the "perception" (from what I've read at least) that these are still busses... and busses have a certain stigma attached to them. Hopefully, it will be successful. But I'll admit I'm one of the bigger skeptics regarding this project. If the DOT had only taken the money they have spent in the Hartford area in the last 10 years on HOV lane building, highway widening and this busway, we could probably have a decent light rail commuter system instead.
  4. The idea is people west of the city will walk to or drive to these busway stops and take the bus into Hartford to avoid traffic and the hassle of parking. It doesn't have the perception of being THAT different from the existing bus system - I just don't see it happening
  5. The DOT unveiled its first concept for this busway and even the people who backed it in the past are now skeptical of its design. Among some of the screw ups are completely closing Flower St (between ING and The Courant) in Hartford so the buses can run unimpeded and raising New Park Ave. above the train tracks where they are now. As you can imagine, this cuts off New Park Ave merchants from vehicular traffic and completely reduces their visibility. No one likes what they see so far. Here's a novel idea... instead of PAVING OVER the existing rail lines for this assinine busway, buy trains and use the rail lines. As one person stated in the Courant: "I just don't see people driving to New Britain in order to park their car and take the bus to Hartford."
  6. True. But my point was based more on a "total package" concept more than betting everything on a casino (pardon the pun). Wynn's presentation was based on this. I think something like 10% of the entire proposed entertainment/retail/residential complex was actual casino space. In the context of downtown, it is a very small number.
  7. I think Hartford is a very different city than AC, New Orleans or Las Vegas. Two are tourist spots and one exists solely for gambling. These cities aren't the business centers that Hartford is. And if anyone thinks that the people Weiker "protected" from gambling in Hartford back in 1990 aren't jumping in their cars and taking a 45 min. ride to Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun, they're sadly mistaken. I remember Steve Wynn's presentation to the city. Hotels, high rise apartments, retail, movie theaters, ice skating and of course... casinos. The proposed spot was the entire area north of I-84 downtown. The design was less stand alone Vegas-style and more integrated into a downtown environment. If you want people from the Boston and Manhattan areas to visit Hartford, this was the chance. I think if done right, it could have worked.
  8. Bradley just reported its busiest year ever in 2005: http://www.courant.com/news/local/hc-18163...headlines-local
  9. While its great that the Science Center has broken ground, I noticed that the northwest parcel at Front Street has been paved, lined, landscaped, fenced in and lit and is now being used as a surface parking lot. Thats a little troubling...
  10. ^ That's good to hear. I always thought the top looked somewhat awkward, but it would look very cool if it glowed at night. Maybe they could even change colors like they do at the Empire State Building...
  11. What is causing the complications is the fact that Nitkin wants to include condos - not rentals - in his plan. The problem is that the land is already owned by Travelers. How do you sell condos to someone when someone else already owns the land? Another problem is Nitkin has to use the infrastructure already in place and design around existing garages, streets, utilities, etc. The story stresses that Nitkin is the "preferred developer" - nothing is a done deal yet. In order to increase his chances, Nitkin has had Robert Stern design multiple plans for Front Street. I hope we get to see them all.
  12. Exactly right. Bradley is infinitely easier to get to and in and out of than any of the major airports in NYC and Boston. Even travelers from Fairfield County would rather use Bradley than JFK, LaGuardia or Newark.
  13. ^ That is actually the plan for that neighborhood. Developer Phil Schonberger controls that property and I remember a couple years ago the Courant doing a story on his vision for a townhouse filled neighborhood. West St was going to be flanked by two high rises on Bushnell Park creating a kind of gateway to the neighborhood. Capitol Ave was going to be the main thoroughfare with retail at ground level. The architecture was going to tie in with the existing brownstones and Victorian buildings on the east end of Capitol and Buckingham Streets. The story even included a rendering by Smith Edwards Architects. Unfortunately, I haven't heard anything about this project since.
  14. Another thing I don't like is the fact that the streets, sidewalks and even streetlamps are all in place BEFORE there is a final design for the entire project. Its backwards and limits the creativity of the designers.
  15. I really liked the density of the original plans with the high rise hotels and residential lining Columbus Blvd. I also like the 30+ condo towers in the third or 4th phase. What I hated was the "we are bringing it down to a human scale" BS which is just another way of saying we are not prepared to spend the money necessary to fulfill the original vision. I also dislike the surface lot that fronts the CC on Columbus. I know it's for "planned future expansion, " but I'm not holding my breath. Fiondella's original concepts were by far the most hospitable to an active streetscape. SOCOM - I agree wholeheartedly... that view out of Vivo is very disappointing. If anyone was thinking, they would have shifted Columbus Blvd 20 ft or so east so there would have been room for new construction between St Paul's Travelers and Phoenix and the new realigned Columbus. It would be perfect for street level retail and or office/residential one floor above. It wouldn't interfere with the plaza level and its views and would have created a much better streetscape along Columbus.
  16. There are numerous unused rail lines running out of Hartford (including one that runs under Adriaen's Landing). These can be used with new rails laid on those stupid HOV highway lanes to begin creating somekind of rail commuter system.
  17. I never understood why the city didn't take action against Mass Mutual for that stunt. They demanded that historical homes on Fraser be torn down for a parking lot, or else they would consider leaving the city. The city gave in, the homes were torn down, an ugly surface lot was built and then Mass Mutual announced they were leaving anyway. Either the city doesn't care or just has some really incompetent lawyers. Mass Mutual should be forced to rebuild before they leave town.
  18. "poor taste??" "skyscraper wars??" Wow. Are you kidding me?? No worries... the offensive post is now gone....
  19. ??? Thats funny??? I'm actually very new to this forum. I saw some misinformation regarding Hartford and offered a simple correction.
  20. I took a walk at lunch down to Front Street and was a little disappionted in two things I noticed. 1. The "Grand Staircase" that was supposedly influenced by the Spanish Steps in Rome looks like it was left in the final design. This was the grand staircase that would be a public gathering space that would lead from St Paul's Travelers Plaza down to the Front St. neighborhood. The problem is that they are anything but "grand." Very small, very ordinary and very unimpressive. 2. The whole south side of Arch St next to The Arch St Tavern is now a surface parking lot. Last I knew, this was supoosed to be some kind of "restaurant row." At least it seems Adrian's Landing has been successful in building surface parking lots so far...
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