Theophrastus Bombastus

PROPOSED: North Downtown/Baseball Stadium Development

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Potential wrinkle to the Rock Cats deal. I'm surprised a city like Hartford would actually have a referendum provision in their charter. 

 

http://wnpr.org/post/city-council-may-not-have-final-vote-hartford-ballpark

 

A couple of points:

 

1. 1,400 signatures isn't a high threshold, so if they are motivated to get this on a ballot, they will probably pull it off. 

2. Time is of the essence in this deal and it looks like the earliest this vote could come is November, about 3 months after the mayor wants to wrap the deal up. They haven't even started designing the ballpark yet, so this would seriously call 2016 into question. 

3. Given these two points above, this would in all likelihood be an instance where opponents can defeat a project or proposal just by getting it on the ballot.

 

Seventy-percent of voters could love the project and vote in favor, but if the city can't meet its deadline, the game could be over.I'm certain the opponents know that, though I don't think that's how representative government should work. 

 

Thoughts?

Edited by jdrinboston

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I think that one of the reasons they kept this so quiet was to try to keep the opponents from having time to build momentum. However, if they want to get it on the ballot they will. 1,400 signatures in Hartford is nothing. Honestly, I think the city is going to have to try to get voters to support this if they want it to happen.

 

I saw a report the other day with merchants who own retail shops in the set of buildings on main across from Capital Prep, they are all understandably supportive of this. Being a native of the north end, I've actually shopped at those stores and a barber I sometimes go to has a shop there as well. The buildings could definitely use a sprucing up and a new streetscape, which seem to be in the works.

 

If those businesses can be brought on board along with Capital Prep and other neighborhood groups to show that the immediate neighborhood really supports the ballpark and the improvements that will come along with it, it could go a long way towards defeating any ballot measure that the opponents use in an attempt to scuttle it.

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I think that one of the reasons they kept this so quiet was to try to keep the opponents from having time to build momentum. However, if they want to get it on the ballot they will. 1,400 signatures in Hartford is nothing. Honestly, I think the city is going to have to try to get voters to support this if they want it to happen.

 

I saw a report the other day with merchants who own retail shops in the set of buildings on main across from Capital Prep, they are all understandably supportive of this. Being a native of the north end, I've actually shopped at those stores and a barber I sometimes go to has a shop there as well. The buildings could definitely use a sprucing up and a new streetscape, which seem to be in the works.

 

If those businesses can be brought on board along with Capital Prep and other neighborhood groups to show that the immediate neighborhood really supports the ballpark and the improvements that will come along with it, it could go a long way towards defeating any ballot measure that the opponents use in an attempt to scuttle it.

 

The problem with the referendum though is that the earliest it could happen would be Nov. 4. At that point - assuming it gets approved - a big if - you basically have 17 months to hire an architect, design a ballpark, secure state and utility approvals on road realignment, bid out construction, and get the ballpark constructed.  That's an extremely ambitious - if not logistically infeasible - schedule. 

 

And if you are the Rock Cats and you have a lease that expires in New Britain at the end of 2015, do you sit tight and hope that voters approve a $60 million ballpark that may not even be built in time, or do you just say to Hartford "This isn't going to work out," and move onto another city, or maybe even angle for a renovation of New Britain Stadium.

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This Kevin Rennie kills me. Why would he possibly care enough to write piece on this stadium deal? I mean Malloy is not involved and CRDA isn't funding it. I think he should stick to his hometown South Windsor business. I mean he doesn't work or live here so WTF man? My mother in law is paying 74 mills to keep her house in this city and more tax revenue has got to lower that somehow. and I would love to be able to walk from my office to a ball game. He should really focus on something he has a stake in.

http://touch.courant.com/#section/2225/article/p2p-80485087/

Edited by Hollin.Tolland

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When people pooh pooh the ball park, I use Rentschler Field as an example.  We build the Rent. Then, to partially take advantage of the football crowds Cabela's put in a large store (all new construction). And because that store has proven profitable, there is huge outlet mall going in, which will be followed by housing. It took the $90 million dollar stadium to jump start all the development.  It would be an empty field if we never built the Rent.

 

Site 12B has sat empty for 30 years. No development, providing no taxes or benefits to the city. Build the ball park. And the same process will play out.  In fact, it should be easier because they will be at least 70 events a year probably many more. Retail or entertainment will come first. Housing will follow. The ball park will turn empty lots into developed property that pays taxes and pays back the investment.

 

How can people watch it happen before their eyes in East Hartford and not believe its possible for Trumbull Street? It defies logic.

 

Same with the Convention Center.  People went negative, said no one would hold a convention in Hartford. Said it was a waste of money.  But it holds hundreds of events a year.  Then when Front street was started. People went negative. Said it would never work. It had years of false starts but now the place is booming and housing is being built. It full of restaurants and a theater and music venue that all will be returning what was spent back into the city coffers as taxes and the city is much better off for it.  It just took the Convention Center (which draws lots of people like a ball park) to jump start it.

 

It happens in front of people's eyes and they still whine that it can't work.  Amazing.

Edited by beerbeer

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When people pooh pooh the ball park, I use Rentschler Field as an example.  We build the Rent. Then, to partially take advantage of the football crowds Cabela's put in a large store (all new construction). And because that store has proven profitable, there is huge outlet mall going in, which will be followed by housing. It took the $90 million dollar stadium to jump start all the development.  It would be an empty field if we never built the Rent.

 

Site 12B has sat empty for 30 years. No development, providing no taxes or benefits to the city. Build the ball park. And the same process will play out.  In fact, it should be easier because they will be at least 70 events a year probably many more. Retail or entertainment will come first. Housing will follow. The ball park will turn empty lots into developed property that pays taxes and pays back the investment.

 

How can people watch it happen before their eyes in East Hartford and not believe its possible for Trumbull Street? It defies logic.

 

Same with the Convention Center.  People went negative, said no one would hold a convention in Hartford. Said it was a waste of money.  But it holds hundreds of events a year.  Then when Front street was started. People went negative. Said it would never work. It had years of false starts but now the place is booming and housing is being built. It full of restaurants and a theater and music venue that all will be returning what was spent back into the city coffers as taxes and the city is much better off for it.  It just took the Convention Center (which draws lots of people like a ball park) to jump start it.

 

It happens in front of people's eyes and they still whine that it can't work.  Amazing.

 

I couldn't possibly agree more, Beerbeer.

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Here comes Rennie again. Debbie downer. My thoughts on the promo suite for the city was that I imagined being used as honey to lure new businesses to DoNo. I'm sure UConn football and basketball tickets magically find there way into prospective businesses already. If leases get signed and empty lots get built on, then I see it as a positive.

http://touch.courant.com/#section/2225/article/p2p-80553691/

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Here comes Rennie again. Debbie downer. My thoughts on the promo suite for the city was that I imagined being used as honey to lure new businesses to DoNo. I'm sure UConn football and basketball tickets magically find there way into prospective businesses already. If leases get signed and empty lots get built on, then I see it as a positive.

http://touch.courant.com/#section/2225/article/p2p-80553691/

 

 

The city of New Britain has had a suite at New Britain Stadium since the park opened in 1996. To my knowledge, every city/state-owned sports facility contains at least one suite owned by the government that owns or finances the facility. This is a non-issue. 

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So because a baseball stadium was announced for the lot across the street, plans for a badly needed supermarket are withdrawn?? This makes no sense..

http://touch.courant.com/#section/2224/article/p2p-80552808/

These lots have been vacant for decades. What makes the people developing the supermarket believe that will change without the stadium?? Plans for a supermarket with 4-5 floors of apartments above and ground floor retail in addition to the grocery store sound like a perfect fit to bring activity to this wasteland of parking. These two plans fill a huge void on the 12b site and the adjacent lot on Main. I don't get why it has to be one or the other. If the supermarket feels the stadium is displacing more apartments, there are plenty of lots in the immediate area to build on instead. Foot traffic and activity is never a bad thing. Hopefully there is still a way to get this done.

Edited by Luca Brasi

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I lived two blocks from Wrigley Field in Chicago. There was a Jewell Supermarket across the street from my apartment. That article is complete bull. 

 

BTW, the architectural drawing for the supermarket looks like it was done by a second grader. There is no way this project was ever real.

Edited by beerbeer

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good point X2

 

I read that article and it seemed as though it was a political piece designed to torpedo the stadium and not actually about a real supermarket that would ever happen

 

 

one funny detail that my wife laughed at was the bit about game day traffic detering customers.

 

it seems, based on that part of the article that the developer expects people to drive to this grocery store as if it were in Glastonbury

 

the operator, shoprite, has a location on the Gbury/EHartford line

 

and Id agree that game day traffic might deter peoplw from shopping in that scenerio, but an urgan grocery store is NOT designed for people to drive to from the burbs and load up a car with food stuffs every week or 2

 

in cities, people walk or ride to stores and occasionally drive.   they typically go several times a week and buy smaller quantities.... they do this because apartments have small fridges and because its convenient to go more frequently when you dont need to mess with cars and parking...

 

 

stupid stupid stupid "article"

 

 

one thing I saw in there through was that while they may have lost this long shot deal (which might have cost the city and state more than 60 million)    they now have 7-10 developers calling about the site NEXT TO THE STADIUM

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the suite is a stupid talking point because like you guys say... its standard for the city to have one.  I mean people are really looking for anything.  

 

This may become another thread some day but Ill put it here for now

 

http://www.hartfordbusiness.com/article/20140618/NEWS01/140619900

the garage behind 1000 Main Street is closing while LAZ talks with the city about plans to "redevelop the entire block"

 

this was announced the same day that the grocery store article joke came out

 

I am thinking that 1000 Main is the best spot for the Grocery store, a redeveloped garage and a but load of apartments

the parking would serve the downtown office workers, the baseball fans, the meadows and excel too i suppose, but more importantly serve the grocery store.

 

additionally the store would be closer to the 2500 downtown residents

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FYI

 

New Richmond downtown ball park to include supermarket as part of development.

 

http://www.richmondbizsense.com/2013/11/12/ballpark-plans-roster-heavy-on-developers/

 

Mayor Dwight Jones has made his ceremonial first pitch for a baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom, and local developers have more than $100 million in nearby projects on deck.

Jones on Monday unveiled plans for a more than $200 million ballpark village development slated to include 750 apartments, a hotel, a Kroger grocery store and a slavery museum site, all centered around a new baseball stadium for the Richmond Flying Squirrels.

Edited by beerbeer

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FYI

 

New Richmond downtown ball park to include supermarket as part of development.

 

http://www.richmondb...-on-developers/

 

Mayor Dwight Jones has made his ceremonial first pitch for a baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom, and local developers have more than $100 million in nearby projects on deck.

Jones on Monday unveiled plans for a more than $200 million ballpark village development slated to include 750 apartments, a hotel, a Kroger grocery store and a slavery museum site, all centered around a new baseball stadium for the Richmond Flying Squirrels.

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I wanted to start a topic called "Connect-the-dots A-la-La-la"

 

but thats just dumb... anyways This topic may well come the holder for all the rumors, but some need addressing.

 

We have the article about the Downtown North Grocery store being canceled that included a wonky rendering

 

We also had the city study a new City Hall

 

more so, LAZ has closed 1000 Main street to study redevelopment with the city

 

and now today an article about a buyer for the old BOA Data Center next to the stadium....

http://courantblogs.com/ct-real-estate/long-vacant-building-near-planned-hartford-ballpark-has-a-buyer/

 

 

So here is the scuttlebutt that is readable in the paper, and in some of those articles, there was mention of up to 10 suiters for the site next to the stadium (Butt Ugly)

 

So let me just lay this out in my connect the dots way....

 

The city needs economic development to get this Baseball stadium built.... its just a fact

they also need to invest to make changes after 30 years of NOTHING!

 

so I dont think they would announce the stadium without some more hidden cards... and I think some are showing

 

1:  LAZ can redevelop 1000 main street into a large parking deck with a significant housing component and some sweet man street retail... the state, through CRDA can help make it happen

this helps the stadium and takes 0 dollars from the city

 

this very much helps the area connect over the highway by making the first step towards the North

The state has plenty of reasons to work with LAZ on this one

 

2: New buyer at data center rennovates that building to be literally anything and its a win for the park and it will get funding from every authority.  partly because its old and ugly and hard to develop location

 

3: a buyer/developer is announced for Butt ugly site

    development connects the North to Trumbull, the state helps a bunch

   the site is mostly housing but contains one office b uilding that strangely looks alot like a city hall

 

4: The state buys city hall and donates it to the Wadsworth on condition they invest $XXX and use it as museum space

 

I kiinda sorta feel like this could almost entirely be announced as one massive package

 

I also think that Malloy would likely need to be re-elected to make this possible, or for the state to get financially involved as much as they would like.

 

 

*edit:  I think that this may or may not include a grocery store but I also dont care because I dont like forcing it... if there is demand it will happen

Edited by The Voice of Reason

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Sorry, I seem to have left this bit out...

 

The lot attached to the hotel there will also be part of a larger announcement I would think.  this I think would be housing and parking but mist likely be the grocery site.

 

 

regarding the scale, these are HUGE lots

 

Talcott, I think would be a booring 4-5 story wrapped garage.  Basically 1-200 units of housing wrapped around a large parking garage because lets face it, LAZ is a parking guy. 

 

The Raddison surface lot would in all likelyhood be a bit taller and again contain the grocery store or at least a large retail component because it would be very visible and I think do well as retail space.  again, im thinking 150 housing units and of course more parking than I normally would like.

 

The city hall site with the residential component on the butt ugly block...

This is a tough one.  Imagine 300K SF  12 story city Hall/Office

then parking behind it and mid rise housing wrapping it.

 

these last 2 developments would be on city owned land and Id think announced together as the carrot for the stadium voters etc...

 

the 1000 Main location might be secondary but a little more likely a CRDA project

 

no idea how that data center will be redeveloped but it seems as though it could easily become 100+ apartments and there is room for additional if townhomes are considered

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I got some additional info on this supermarket proposal yesterday that might dissapoint some of you...

 

The project was indeed real.

 

there are some hurt feelings now because, again the city was kinda sneeky and too quiet, and ultimately derailed the grocery plan which they were aware of in favor of the sexier baseball stadium.

 

 

The project had financing, and real financing.  so, the issue here was that one of the lenders is an organization that supports projects like this which help fix food deserts.  This project would have gone a long way to solve the food desert that is Hartford, and the northers part of Hartford more specifically.  So they were backing this big time.

part of their policy is a hard and fast rule about loaning money in an entertainment district.   with the baseball stadium, this area became an entertainment district therefore making them unable to make the loan.

 

the store was going to be 50,000 SF   -I dont care about the size personally because honestly it doesnt take too much space to serve the community if used correctly (not like the Hartford 21 grocer)

 

The apartments.... very much real

this is the sad part.... I asked directly to again a person very very much involved...   How many apartments?  and was it real?

the answer... an exasperated "hundreds"

"literally hundreds"

 

this made me sad.

 

the developer was a large successful urban developer and was going to bring hundreds of apartments to a long vacant parcel.

 

Now the other issue was that the operator, shoprite had apparently also done urban grocerys and successfully, so it seems thay had a great team.

 

the grocery store though, in my opinion sounded more like it would be a suburban store in an urban setting.   that worried me before and still worries me now.

 

The rendering is nice, but do we want a 5 story building covering a huge block in the center (North center) of the city in the long term?  I know, 5 stories is not bad, and something is better than nothing, but we do end up really shooting ourselves in the foot when we try and force things to happen rather than just supporting things that are already underway

 

as an example... AI came to town to build a building and the state supported him to a degreee, but they didnt support his grander plan.  the 185 unit apartment.  so instead he is left struggling with a 40 unit motel.

 

this grocery store was designed and cobbled together will almost entirely public or charitable monies.  it was artificially created to a degree.

 

who knows...

 

 

 

 

For me, I will be glad to see a baseball stadium

but I expect to get a 30,000 SF grocery store too, located at 1000 Main Street with a large parking garage and 120 or so apartments

 

to me this works.  it works especially well if the other lots around the stadium see some development as well  Ideally more dense than 5 stories and ideally containing a mix of residential of rent and sale

 

 

 

 

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http://www.courant.com/business/real-estate/hc-development-proposals-hartford-conn-ballpark-20140627,0,6666828.story

\

 

now this.... I repeat THIS is exactly what I was talking about

 

 

total development might exceed 500,000,000

 

that seems high, but that fact that they decided to go to an RFP is proof that they have too many interested parties to deal with it directly.  this will in all likely hood force some partnerships that will leed to more successful and cohesive developments.  This is more likely to resemble what Richmond has proposed  and possibly be more impressive

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This a pretty good read on the situation.

 

http://www.courant.com/business/hc-haar-rock-cats-malloy-0627-20140626,0,6516709.column?track=rss

 

The Hartford move makes all the sense in the world. Having the team in a parking lot next to New Britain High School, nowhere near anything, makes for a lovely and convenient night out for families but doesn't help the region very much at all. If we want Hartford to grow into the standing of low-second-tier cities — places like Milwaukee; Sacramento, Calif.; and Columbus, Ohio — then we need this stadium plan.

 

Much has been said about the 660 jobs that the stadium plan would create, directly and indirectly. We all know that despite rosy studies, stadiums often don't spur an economy as promised. But first of all, in a metro area with 600,000 jobs, the added positions are far less important than the possibility of attracting people to the city. And second, because the stadium is planned for a redevelopment zone, the figure of 660 jobs is not far-fetched.

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There has been several differend good and bad reads on this subject.

 

 

the thing thats crazy is that you would think the city was trying to build an 800 Million NFL stadium with the kind of media attention there has been.   This is really about changing an already public plan to redevelop the area north of 84

 

22 million or so is for highway realignment and stuff like sidewalks utilities and screet scaping.

 

If instead we look at this as 38 Million for a stadium and XYZ to support a housing/parking development I think the community might have reacted differently

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80703171-02114222.pdf

 

Sounds a little more promising......

 

"...creation of "a new neighborhood that connects the vibrancy of our urban core and surrounding neighborhoods" with a mixed-use development of at least 300 housing units and townhomes, more than 100,000 gross square feet of ground-floor retail and commercial space - including a supermarket, public open spaces, parking structures, and a 9,000 fan capacity minor league stadium."

 

 

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