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GregV

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  1. It is simply incredible that this is what we're left with, but I agree that it is better than what was there (nothing). Any city focused on mega-projects as its source of urban development will inevitably over-pay and under-deliver. As someone stated earlier in this thread, site contamination complicating excavation is the only excuse for this sort of outcome. Hartford never needed this project, or the civic center, or the science center, or even (forgive me) the Whale. What it has needed for some time, however, is organic growth encouraged by a favorable business climate a higher standard of living. What it needs is a middle class tax base that has a stake in the community.
  2. I wouldn't worry about the 262 units. Though that level of interest isn't outstanding for such a high profile building, the news on the penthouses is phenomenal. Those properties more than any others are testing the waters for downtown. If people with that kind of money are interested in moving (and renting) downtown, the future of residential in the area may be more secure than even this group of optimists imagined. Now let's hope they sign leases...
  3. It should be 500-1,000 units of residential IMO, but I'll take what I can get at this point...
  4. I never heard of this program, and I would have liked to be there. Are there any reports on progress coming from this event?
  5. I agree, I grew up in Hartford and Windsor, so driving past the dump was nearly a daily ritual. It used to stink to high heaven, but in the last 5-10 years since they started to extract methane and kill the smell I've barely even noticed it. I'm sure it will be turned into a park eventually.
  6. Really? That doesn't sound very good, but they must have a reason for it.
  7. For furniture, has anyone been to the new design center in Parkville? Do they have reasonably-priced pieces? My best friend growing up just signed a lease in 55 on the Park, so I'll be taking the dime tour soon. Until then, I'm curious as to what the downtown pioneers in those buildings are going through feeling the place out.
  8. Exactly Cotuit, I wasn't referring to minorities. But this $75k/year is exactly what I'm talking about. It's earned through the suffering of others. Even from a purely economic standpoint, it's disposible income going to unproductive use. Think of all the people who will spend what little money they have in the casino, praying to win big...
  9. The "tribal leader" is 1/16th Pequot and he and his buddies conned CT into giving into their bogus vision that they justified through the same entitlement mentality that keeps our urban poor, well, poor. Saying that their lives and those of their children have improved is like saying that Pablo Escobar was a hero for doing the exact same thing: he upheld his community, bring wealth, education, protection and opportunity to hundreds of Cali locals. Does that justify poisoning people he didn't know with his cocaine? Anyone who gambles knows, it's a drug like all the rest that have destroyed our communities. Go to Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun any day of the week, and you'll soon find their TV ads depicting sexy 30-somethings winning big are complete fallacies. The slot machines are filled with our grandparents spending their pensions away or addicts trying to make money for their next score. Casinos do so much more damage than good, IMO, that if Hartford finally turns to them it will signal the end of our hope to save it. We shouldn't want jobs at any cost in Hartford, we should want GOOD jobs. And improving the lives of SOME residents in our fair city is not worth destroying the lives of ANY resident. It's better to be on welfare.
  10. Off the reservation CT gambling is illegal, so that probably won't fly. The idea of adding a lot of retail before the downtown population picks up is a bit worrisome to me. Do we honestly feel the public will travel into the city to shop? I'm not so sure. And as far as a residential component, I think the project should be above all else residential, with towers and a retail plaza. Downtown has about 1,600 residents, with about 3,000 more coming (hopefully), and this area is very attractive to multi-family development as it is near the riverfront. Now if only we could redirect I-91...
  11. I've read a lot of negative press recently in Manchester, that crime is on the rise and the schools are getting worse (the latter of which is similar in Windsor). With all of those jobs and tax revenues, what is going wrong with Manchester? Or is it just bad PR?
  12. Point taken. I only know the commercial area where my father works, which is unsightly. That's the area most passers-by pass through. I'd love to see the other side. And you're right, I've never heard those stories. I don't think many have. But it's your story to tell.
  13. I used to go through the North End (North East/Clay Arsenal) every day growing up, and I know that it's a whole different world, not even comparable to Blue Hills. It's more like Beirut. My father used to work in the worst part of it and I remember the murders and gang warfare which is not yet a thing of the past. (In fact, it's coming back as the 10 year sentences of the 90s come due.) As for Blue Hills, I apologize for the offense, but crime is still a big problem there. Like I said, my father works right on Blue Hills Ave a few days a week, and his stories are frightening. And from my time there this weekend, be it only a half hour, the properties I saw did not appear well-maintained, a fact that prompted a familial discussion on the neighborhood. Pardon me, but given Hartford's reputation for absentee landlordism and the vigorous attempts of the mayor's office to reverse this trend it's hard to believe that anywhere in the North End is predominantly owner-occupied, which multi-family housing tends not to be. There may be a new trend in home ownership, but it certainly isn't predominant. As a resident of the area you probably see the improvements and how far the area has come, which I can't, so I understand your defensivenss (I can't have a conversation about Hartford without getting that way). I live in East Harlem now which has recently become livable, though most people wouldn't even consider it. If Hartford wants to move up it needs to attract new blood into its neighborhoods. It won't do that by ignoring that there's still a long way to go, or by pretending the problems in the North End don't exist. You may live there, but I left, so my perspective, though indirect, is just as relevant.
  14. I'm sure New Haven can support the demand for a conference center, but I hope there is a large residential component. Property values have risen more sharply in New Haven than in Hartford, and demand for downtown living is high. IMO, any progress for New Haven is a good thing for CT and Hartford, though the state should take more care in planning large scale projects that compete with eachother. On another note, I was in Hartford for the Thanksgiving holiday and witnessed the good, the bad and the ugly of the city. On Wednesday night the bars we absolutely packed and some parking lots were full, despite freezing weather. It was a great time, and I'm sure that if I were to take a poll of who would like to live in Hartford, there would be a great response. I had to work on Saturday in New York and forfeit my ticket to the UCONN football game, but my friends tell me the stadium was packed. Once a skeptic of putting the field in East Hartford, I don't think it could have worked out better in the city. As for the bad/ugly, I drove through Blue Hills with my father who works there occassionally. He recounted stories of shootings outside where he works, and driving through the area you can see the problem. Dozens of streets of once single-family houses have been converted into ugly vinyl-siding covered multi-family apartments that are not well maintained. Also, the local schools appear more like huge factories. IMO, many of the problems in Blue Hills are a result of a lack of owner-occupancy, and the city should encourage and incentivize more home ownership if the neighboorhoods and create smaller schools to become vibrant communities once again.
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