Jump to content

beerbeer

UConn moving West Hartford campus to city

Recommended Posts

The space requirements are not that large.  According to their web site.

 

In fact, one year after acquiring Thomas Hooker, the company increased sales almost 100%, and relocated the brewery operations from approximately 2,000 square foot of space in Hartford, to an 8,000 square foot facility in Bloomfield and expanded distribution to included New York City and Eastern Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Maine.

 

I added the bold. Even adding a restaurant and some space to grow, it looks like 10,000 sf would be plenty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


All good ideas, but I think in keeping with the original concept of Front St-- an entertainment district meant to compliment the Convention Center -- it's best place would be at Front St.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They actually are using 18,000 SF now due to subsequent expansions.

 

and based on the articles I have read are looking for at least 50K sf for the new brewery.

 

They need to upgrade to a much larger brewkettle  from 15 BBL to 50 BBL is the plan.

 

they will also need more and bigger fermentors as well as a larger bottling line

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about the Capewell Factory? Gives them a nice historic location and plenty of space.

 

Interesting thought. It's walking distance from Front Street. There is plenty of parking. A lot of space. Has that nice tower that could could be use to hold signage. And it puts it in a neighborhood with decent density.

 

It is a little off the beaten path.  It makes them more of a destination, they would have to draw people.

 

Another thought, the Society Room on Pratt Street, has some very high ceilings to fit a brewery and probably has close to 18,000 square feet. That is a high traffic location in the center of nice mixed use area.

Edited by beerbeer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

both interesting  but both challenging.

 

society room is actually way too fancy to use as industrial brewing space.   it is serving its best use now, so i'd pass.   Also at 18K sf it is no bigger than current space, so no bueno. for expansion

 

Capewell surely would work as would the colt complex but they are not really downtown and they would not really get walking traffic from anywhere.  I mean some few may walk to capewell, but having walked there a bunch it feels desolate, and the walk from front street to capewell is weird and desolate in general.

 

between the housing on your right, and the CIL office building plus the candycane on the left, its just weird.

 

a verry busy road that crosses over a highway and has heavy traffic and long waits for pedestrians... etc...

the offices dont interact with the road at all, and the housing is borderline with low income elements.  it certainly does not interact with the street.

 

once you get over by capewell though, its pretty nice area and nice buildings.   the polish home across the street already does good bar business.

 

 

 

 

I'd reccomend Colt over capewell

 

but over those options, I think Id head a different direction...

 

Option 1:  the govenors footgard building.   way underused and pretty cool.   not sure if its big enough, but it is located near other bars and such so it would enhance the entertainment scene

 

 

Option 2:  the building behind the federal building on Hoadley place and Church.

there is land next to and behind it that can be built on to hold the nevessary tanks while the brick building would hold all of the food and office/lab/marketing  functions

 

 

Option 3

firehouse on Ann and Pearl  might not be big enough though

 

also, back where they stated in Parkville there are lots of options

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

both interesting  but both challenging.

 

society room is actually way too fancy to use as industrial brewing space.   it is serving its best use now, so i'd pass.   Also at 18K sf it is no bigger than current space, so no bueno. for expansion

 

Capewell surely would work as would the colt complex but they are not really downtown and they would not really get walking traffic from anywhere.  I mean some few may walk to capewell, but having walked there a bunch it feels desolate, and the walk from front street to capewell is weird and desolate in general.

 

between the housing on your right, and the CIL office building plus the candycane on the left, its just weird.

 

a verry busy road that crosses over a highway and has heavy traffic and long waits for pedestrians... etc...

the offices dont interact with the road at all, and the housing is borderline with low income elements.  it certainly does not interact with the street.

 

once you get over by capewell though, its pretty nice area and nice buildings.   the polish home across the street already does good bar business.

 

 

 

 

I'd reccomend Colt over capewell

 

but over those options, I think Id head a different direction...

 

Option 1:  the govenors footgard building.   way underused and pretty cool.   not sure if its big enough, but it is located near other bars and such so it would enhance the entertainment scene

 

 

Option 2:  the building behind the federal building on Hoadley place and Church.

there is land next to and behind it that can be built on to hold the nevessary tanks while the brick building would hold all of the food and office/lab/marketing  functions

 

 

Option 3

firehouse on Ann and Pearl  might not be big enough though

 

also, back where they stated in Parkville there are lots of options

Good call on the Governor's Footguard Building. Is it in use though?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well it looks like the city wants Thomas Hooker Brewery at the Times Building and not UConn. Like others have mentioned here, the city wants Front Street tenants to be entertainment oriented. Can't say I disagree. While I like the idea of adding density to Front St, I think that the Allyn St. Location is much better for UConn. The mayor has written a letter to UConn administrators urging them to reconsider the Main St and Allyn St sites and has made it known he is not happy that the city wasn't part of the decision process.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well it looks like the city wants Thomas Hooker Brewery at the Times Building and not UConn. Like others have mentioned here, the city wants Front Street tenants to be entertainment oriented. Can't say I disagree. While I like the idea of adding density to Front St, I think that the Allyn St. Location is much better for UConn. The mayor has written a letter to UConn administrators urging them to reconsider the Main St and Allyn St sites and has made it known he is not happy that the city wasn't part of the decision process.

 

Compare the track record of UConn and the track record of Hartford. 

 

UConn picked the best site. The city is too stupid to know it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well it looks like the city wants Thomas Hooker Brewery at the Times Building and not UConn. Like others have mentioned here, the city wants Front Street tenants to be entertainment oriented. Can't say I disagree. While I like the idea of adding density to Front St, I think that the Allyn St. Location is much better for UConn. The mayor has written a letter to UConn administrators urging them to reconsider the Main St and Allyn St sites and has made it known he is not happy that the city wasn't part of the decision process.

 

I don’t completely disagree either and don’t blame the city for trying to get them to reconsider. 

 

I also don’t fault UConn and understand why they chose the Front Street location too.  Plenty of existing parking around, nice newer and safer feeling part of the city that is close to the highways.  Growing dining/entertainment options and soon some housing as well. 

 

I think Allyn street is a reasonable site.  I think the NoDo surface lots and the old bank processing building on Windsor St. are complete no-go’s, unless there were some massive complimentary development happening in addition to UConn.  I think the LAZ proposal could work, but you would still be making this development somewhat of a bookend, which UConn understandably appears not to want. 

 

I expect that UConn is pretty convinced that they want to be at Front Street and the decision is final, but it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The city never has understood the benefits of mixed use.  Diversity of uses will keep this neighborhood strong in all types of economies.  The combination of entertainment, dining, a convention center, hotel, UConn, an art museum, government offices, private offices, and shortly, hopefully, housing means a fundamentally strong neighborhood.

 

It produces a place that is active 24-hours a day. It is active 7-days a week. It is like a multi-legged stool. Dependent on no one crutch. I  believe UConn does more for the success of Front Street than a brewery. It gives the neighborhood an anchor, a rock that will never go out of business. It bring 3,000 people to Front Street five days a week and, at least, a few hundred on week ends. 

 

Besides, my guess is that the mayor is only upset that a favored city developer didn't get UConn. That's the only consistent thing that city hall seems to care about. I completely dismiss their concerns and motives.

Edited by beerbeer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do agree with many of the reasons this is not ideal, but again it all comes down to design.  Maybe the Mayor has seen the design plan, I get it

Id be disapointed of it were not out facing enough.

 

Also, Allyn street likely offers the best of all worlds.  there is good highway and mass transit access, there is an entertainment district already in the area, and the location would absolutely spur development on the remaining surface lots.

 

again, it all comes down to HOW the school will design the site.

 

oh and for the record, I dont like Hooker at front street. unless of course the development is alot more than a brewery, it would need to INCLUDE HOUSING.

 

yup, im stuck on that.

 

Phase 2 better damn well start soon either way its absurd that it has not yet, and it is absurd that UConn has any affect on it either way.

they have tens of millions in free state and federal money, so just build it allready

 

the success that will instantly follow this building would actually make phase 3 materialize even faster.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do agree with many of the reasons this is not ideal, but again it all comes down to design. Maybe the Mayor has seen the design plan, I get it

Id be disapointed of it were not out facing enough.

Also, Allyn street likely offers the best of all worlds. there is good highway and mass transit access, there is an entertainment district already in the area, and the location would absolutely spur development on the remaining surface lots.

again, it all comes down to HOW the school will design the site.

oh and for the record, I dont like Hooker at front street. unless of course the development is alot more than a brewery, it would need to INCLUDE HOUSING.

yup, im stuck on that.

Phase 2 better damn well start soon either way its absurd that it has not yet, and it is absurd that UConn has any affect on it either way.

they have tens of millions in free state and federal money, so just build it allready

the success that will instantly follow this building would actually make phase 3 materialize even faster.

Look for Phase 2 to break ground in the fall.

I guess it comes down to :

The profile of the student. Are they commuters like Capital Community? Do they have disposable income? Do they have families? The traffic brought to the G Fox building has put feet on the street but done nothing for retail or restaurants in the area. Nothing. Savin Rock Roasting Company opened in the building with a menu similar to City Steam banking on students and faculty as being their core business. Despite being situated between classes and the parking garage, they never did any business and closed within six months. Same can be said for Global Gourmet a few years ago and their cafeteria style restaurant in the common area at 960 Main. A commuter school would not do much for businesses at Front St, but it would add people.

The design of the Times Building. Will it have ground floor retail? If so, why not just have the brewery/restaurant on the ground floor and the school above? Will there be a housing component? Beerbeer is right... where other cities have embraced mixed use buildings, Hartford has not. This is also the sentiment of the new zoning department as well. Hartford has always embraced the "office park" type structure downtown and we all know that doesn't work and I don't think it works here either.

Edited by Luca Brasi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Id say we should addume the worst regarding the impact of the students.  Lets say they are little more than glorified CCC Students with no time or money to spend downtown.

 

if this is the case, we still have a perception of activity, and many more people becoming familiar with downtown at a young age, so that they are not afraid to spend time there later in life.

 

Id assume the 300 staff, and say a small number of students would frequent local businesses.

 

Will they support Savin Rock Roasting?  nope, not enough to matter.  Would they keep a Duncan Donuts busy, or a Subway a little busier, Absolutely!

 

as far as including the brewery with the school, thats not possible.

 

The brewery is in need of a large ammount of space, and it needs to be undustrial type space with high ceilings.  its is virtually impossible to integrate that kind of space with a school, let alone an entertainment district.

 

Breweries have pitched concrete floors with drainage capable of supporting fermenting tanks that hold thousands of gallons of beer.  and when I say high ceilings, I mean like 40' High  I have been to alot of breweries, and the larger craft breweries like DogFish head use enormous vessels.   This pic below is what I saw when I toured several years ago (not my pic, got it from a google images search)  They now have even larger tanks that dont fit in a building.

 

 

 

 DSC_5389.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The design of the Times Building. Will it have ground floor retail? If so, why not just have the brewery/restaurant on the ground floor and the school above? Will there be a housing component? Beerbeer is right... where other cities have embraced mixed use buildings, Hartford has not. This is also the sentiment of the new zoning department as well. Hartford has always embraced the "office park" type structure downtown and we all know that doesn't work and I don't think it works here either.

 

I dont think a brewery works in this site under any situation and I hope my last post helps to demonstrate this.  But what Id kill to see is some proper mixed use development.

 

How about ground floor retail in Phase 3, with 300K SF of education type office space above that capped with student housing??

seems like an easy win.

 

the ground floor retail would enhance the student experience even.

 

 

Phase 2 should be ground floor retail with 1 floor of service type office space (like doctors dentists, lawyers, chiropractors, accountants...) then above that housing.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will they support Savin Rock Roasting?  nope, not enough to matter.  Would they keep a Duncan Donuts busy, or a Subway a little busier, Absolutely!

 

as far as including the brewery with the school, thats not possible.

 

The brewery is in need of a large ammount of space, and it needs to be undustrial type space with high ceilings.  its is virtually impossible to integrate that kind of space with a school, let alone an entertainment district.

 

Breweries have pitched concrete floors with drainage capable of supporting fermenting tanks that hold thousands of gallons of beer.  and when I say high ceilings, I mean like 40' High  I have been to alot of breweries, and the larger craft breweries like DogFish head use enormous vessels.   This pic below is what I saw when I toured several years ago (not my pic, got it from a google images search)  They now have even larger tanks that dont fit in a building.

Well CCC had a Dunkin' Donuts at their location. It closed a couple years ago. My point is I think everyone overestimates the economic impact of a commuter school to its local area.

While I'm not an expert on the subject, I'm sure the brewery can be integrated into Front St. somehow. The owners of the brewery are the ones who wanted to be there, so I'm sure if it wasn't possible they wouldn't have even looked at it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If Hooker wants to be at Front Street, they should propose something for Phase 4, the surface parking next to Arch Street Tavern. I don't know if the logistics for a brewery would work, but I certainly think there is a chance it could with a brand new building being constructed for that purpose.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well CCC had a Dunkin' Donuts at their location. It closed a couple years ago. My point is I think everyone overestimates the economic impact of a commuter school to its local area.

While I'm not an expert on the subject, I'm sure the brewery can be integrated into Front St. somehow. The owners of the brewery are the ones who wanted to be there, so I'm sure if it wasn't possible they wouldn't have even looked at it.

 

 

That duncan donuts didnt really close as much as the owner, who owned several others in the city kinda did some rearrainging of locations.  I remember when that happened, but I did get your point, and I kind of agree.  I think the students are likely to have slightly more impact that the CCC Students, but not a whole lot more.   they mainly provide additional faces on the street and all that.

the 300 staff members would provide more a decent economic impact, but mainly the school brings a great visual impact to whereever it ends up.

 

regarding the brewery, Hooker never said they wanted to share the location.  I have no doubt they could run a brewery there and a resturant would be up in the old facade part, but brewing beer as such is an industrial use.  its not like they can put retail on front street, then build a brewery above it and then apartments avove that.   I mean its possible I guess but would be very very costly.   Brewing is amessy business, and some would argue that its a smelly business (a smell I personally enjoy)  but it is not easy to share space with a brewery.

 

it would be Just Hooker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, there are now several articles about the conflict...

 

Im assuming LAZ leaked his rendering of the location he owns... of course, its kinda cool looking.   so, now what?

 

 

Id argue that the rendered building could be put at all 3 locations, so the argument is silly.

 

but Id LOVE to see the ideas for other sites.   this cant just be about location it should be about design first and foremost!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is what the "stink" is all about. The LAZ guy wants the deal.  The politicians who are his buddies want UConn to give LAZ the money. Some of that cash will make its way to city officials. Two dirty hands wash each other.

 

It doesn't have jack to do with the location. It is crony capitalism. It is the Abe Gilis model of city business.

 

Im assuming LAZ leaked his rendering of the location he owns... of course, its kinda cool looking.   so, now what?
Edited by beerbeer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The worst case scenario is that UConn moves to the Times Building and the brewery/restaurant goes elsewhere outside of Hartford. I don't think the Main St location is the best because it doesn't incorporate UConn into the fabric of downtown the way it would at Allyn St. If UConn and Thomas Hooker both want in at Front St, isn't there a way to accommodate both? Then its a home run.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still think that the brewery should move to Union Station.  It's a big historic building. The great hall is perfect for the huge cylinders and the brewing operation.  There is also the north wing for offices and an outdoor patio. With a little imagination, the brewery could sponsor beer train dinners or use the train connection is some other way.

 

Plus the area has many other restaurants and clubs and a zillion parking lots.

Edited by beerbeer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Laz's rendering is kinda cool looking, but UConn alone will not be enough to spur development in North Dowtown.  It would certainly help as part of a larger plan but I wouldn't want UConn to go there and be the last decent building in downtown until you reach the wasteland.  The city needs to be patient about Downtown North.  Focus on getting Downtown proper prospering, then a much better economic case can be made for developing the peripheries.  Maybe they are forgetting that the Front St. area was once on the periphery of Dowtown as well.  It seems so much better connected now than it used to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The last three posts are all actually Awesome!

 

so agree on the worse case scenerio.  we have 2 unique and completely different interested parties.  While they both want 1 space, Id love to figure out a way that we keep both options downtown, the Brewery and the school.  Loosing one or both would be terrible!

 

Union station would be a great spot for so many reasons.  I am not sure it is actually big enough.  I would hope so, but there is no way to know unless you are Curt Cameron(owner of Hooker), The City(owns the building), and the state (who will surely help in the relocation)

 

I like the idea of a patio over there as you mention and beer trains, thats fun.

 

lastly, The city needs to be patient is right!!!

I feel as though they are pussing WAY TOO HARD for development up there.

If the city were to focus on its core development and life will spread into Asylum Hill, Charteroak.Coltsville and maybe even Frog Hollow.  But lets be realistic, those parking lots up north are a huge barier.  It probably wont develop until an arena is built up there, or a minor league baseball stadium, or some other large project buch like Front Street.

 

Lets finish out front street, lets fill in Allyn Street, lets make the core of the city more whole and then the reality is, that people will look to the endges.  heck they already are to some degree, but those edges are more established and so it will take less work to incorporate Asylum Hill, Charter Oak, Coltsville, even Frog Hollow. 

The north downtown needs to wait, and honestly, it needs to be in a way saved for future major opportunities.  In many ways, this area is an assett to Hartford especially as the center city becomes healtier.   where wlse would be build the stadium and area I mention?  what about

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.