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About spatulashack

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    Hartford, CT
  1. What exactly are we all complaining about now? The project is basically under construction as we speak. Sure it might not be what we all hoped but contrary to what some of you are implying, it is not on the "backburner" and it is being built as we speak. I know because I walk by the site every day.
  2. A large sign was recently put up on the fence near Arch St. that says, "FRONT STREET DISTRICT - COMING SOON." I can't believe this thing is actually being built. Now we just need some renderings so that we can all complain and moan about them.
  3. The CCEDA is reaching the end of its usefull life anyway. They just don't have any money to play with anymore after Front Street is completed.
  4. I'm surprised no one reported on this already but I walked by Front Street yesterday and there are two LARGE modular buildings set up where the construction managers and offices for the project will be located as well as an enormous hole in the ground on the corner of Columbus and Arch. I walk by the site at least twice a week so I'll keep you all updated.
  5. Groundbreakings are ceremonial but I've never heard of a situation where ground is broken 4-5 months before construction is scheduled to begin. In fact, groundbreakings usually take place AFTER early construction already started. Hartford 21 didn't "break ground" until a month or so after interior demolition already began. All the projects at my school either started work the next week or had already begun work before the ceremony. People who think this is, "normal" are stretching.
  6. Just what I thought. This "groundbreaking" was a way for Rell to get credit for something she had no part in. http://www.courant.com/hc-hta-1026-ht44sco...0,1580846.story
  7. It isn't a matter of what the reporter wants. Besides, the media itself thrives off of reporting news with very little actual information in it. Not to mention the Courant has small articles all the time updating people on projects downtown.
  8. I find it odd that the Courant didn't cover the groundbreaking of Front Street at all! They covered every tiny tidbit of new information on the project for six years and then just dropped the ball on the biggest news of all! It makes no sense.
  9. According to NBC, construction isn't going to start until next Spring with an opening of mid 2008. If construction won't start for another 5 months, why is there a groundbreaking at all? No ground is being broken! It's just to make Rell look like she acually accomplished something much like her "deadlines" for Front Street.
  10. I've used all London airports and while Heathrow is great due to the connection to the tube, I found Gatwick and Stansted pretty much the same. I flew out of Stansted to get to Prague and the Stansted Express train made it pretty easy to get to from Central London. I had no problems at all. I flew into Gatwick to get to London and I really didn't notice that big a difference in terms of travel time to the city. It was a 10 minute max difference.
  11. Front Street's New Hope Compromise On Project's Scope Leads To Deal October 6, 2006 By JEFFREY B. COHEN, Courant Staff Writer http://www.courant.com/hc-front1006.artoct06,0,3824953.story I'm glad to see they are keeping the name of the district but I do hope that if the second phase isn't under construction by the time the first phase opens, that they do something with the land that will sit vacant. The whole point of Front Street was to link the streetscape with the rest of Downtown and the Wadsworth so they better not have a street leading to a dirt pile! Either way, I'm still excited and amazed that they will break ground within 2 weeks! Although I wonder how that is possible seeing as how they still have a lot of details to work out. I hope the front street groundbreaking doesn't turn into another World Trade Center groundbreaking from 2004. Lord knows that was just keeping up appearence. "Costruction beginning" better not mean moving dirt around like the have for the past two years.
  12. Does anyone know what is going on with the top of the building? It looks unfinished and nothing like the renderings. Is the building completely done?
  13. While I agree that the piece of land is valuable, I also understand what Yankee Peddler is saying. If the project went off without a hitch then great but if the city and state has to pour this much money into something that could potentially end up being nothing more than a way for Convention-goers to ignore the rest of Downtown then it isn't worth it! I say use the money to build up the gaping holes (i.e. parking lots) in the historic section of downtown over by Church, Allyn, Pratt, Asylum, Main, and Trumbull. I'd rather see those sections filled in than a half-assed cookie-cutter development with an Olive Garden and another Dunkin Donuts. I loved the original vision of Front Street but I have a feeling it won't end up anything like that. Put a park and build a nice central building where the visitors center could be relocated from it's current location on Pratt. Then use all of this wasted money that would be put into Nitkin's hands and use it slowly on smaller projects that will help fix the basic fabric of downtown. If the historic section is too far away from the Convention Center to be considered worth it then they should use the money to convert Constitution Plaza into a place where street facing retail could prosper.
  14. State Reports Front Street Progress Some Details Remain Before Residential, Retail Plan Ready September 27, 2006 By JEFFREY B. COHEN, Courant Staff Writer The state has closed a $5.5 million funding gap, but several details remain before it can sign a deal with a developer who wants to bring residents and retail to downtown Hartford's Front Street, the state said Tuesday. "We're getting to the point where the [funding] gap is not the issue anymore," said Michael Cicchetti, a spokesman for the Capital City Economic Development Authority. "It's safe to say that it's not a question of a lack of funding, it's a question of how it's structured." Front Street is the roughly 6-acre retail, residential and entertainment district planned for Adriaen's Landing. A key goal of the project is to link the Connecticut Convention Center with the rest of downtown. The state's Office of Policy and Management and the development authority have been negotiating with Greenwich developer Bradley Nitkin since April 2005 in an effort to cut a deal for the still undeveloped acreage. Even though a deadline for a deal - underscored in a stern letter by Gov. M. Jodi Rell - passed earlier this month, negotiations have continued. In February of this year, the authority signed an agreement with Nitkin that allowed for a phased development of the project. As part of that deal, the state pledged $33 million - $5.5 million of which was a loan. The next step after that was for Nitkin to make arrangements with Hartford for tax breaks and funding. But the city didn't like the scope of Nitkin's original proposal - 60 residential units and 43,000 square feet of retail - and told him that if he wanted all of the money he was asking for, he'd have to do the whole project. The original scope was 200 residential units and 100,000 square feet of retail. Last month, in response to Nitkin's comeback offer for 115 units and 60,000 square feet of retail, the city committed $4.2 million in grants and loans and a tax-fixing agreement that could be worth several million dollars. The city has since upped its offer twice - offering a total of $7 million in grants and loans, as well as a sweetened tax-fixing agreement , officials said. But the project still needs money, officials have said. As a result, the state has agreed to convert its $5.5 million loan into a grant, Cicchetti said. "We're looking at a different structure now that would not entail a forgivable loan anymore," he said. I guess this is good news but the fact that there is still no firm news even with this loan being converted into a grant makes me nervous.
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