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PROPOSED: North Downtown/Baseball Stadium Development


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I was looking at the concerns that their is not enough parking in Hartford for the stadium and found this.

 

Dr. Norman Garrick of the University of Connecticut’s Center for Transportation and Livable Systems found that Hartford’s downtown parking supply has tripled since 1960, and since then Hartford’s fortunes have fallen. According to Dr. Garrick, “Over the period that parking was being increased by more than 300 percent, downtown was losing more than 60 percent of its residential population, and the city as a whole lost 40,000 people and 7,000 jobs.”

 

The "there's-not-enough-parking" argument borders on the insane.

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I first heard about this late last year when the proposed site was on Market St and the whole thing had been kept quiet. I was unaware the site had been moved to Main and Trumbull. I think it's a grea

I honestly think it will be a huge psycological boost to have a brand new ballpark in this part of the city. 

Renderings of the proposed ball park and neighborhood.  (Apparently they want to please VOR).  Each rendering in the gallery is followed by a photo of what exists in the same spot today. The Park is u

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http://www.hartfordbusiness.com/article/20140926/NEWS01/140929952

 

(The) baseball stadium and related office buildings, retail and housing in Downtown North could create 592 Hartford jobs during construction, and ultimately sustain 380 jobs, ....(according to) UConn economists...

 

...the three-phase development — with an overall construction cost of nearly $351 million — could create more than 1,600 jobs in Hartford County during construction, ultimately sustaining 1,106 jobs.

Statewide, the ultimate impact could be 1,271 jobs or more, the report said.

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the parking thing is silly, especially since there is something like 5000 spaces within a quarter mile

 

Also, the Jobs thing is good news and its nice that its an independent thing. 

 

I understand that folks can argue about the numbers because it seems to have some issues with it not being bonded and the increased cost. 

 

I think the project makes pretty good sense all through and through, but It is still lacking some details.

 

Lets see the phased plan, the breakdown on the individual buildings etc...

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  • 2 weeks later...

The big vote is today I guess.

 

Lots of articles, over the last few weeks but very little actual details about the project.

 

I did however see one tiny tidbit in Dan Haars piece

 

http://touch.courant.com/#section/2224/article/p2p-81670738/

 

Hartford's DoNo project works financially and economically only if it all gets built, and then only if it's fully rented and leased. A stadium, by itself, surrounded by surface parking lots, would cost city taxpayers millions of dollars a year with scant spinoff benefits. Likewise, the 673 apartments, the Thomas Hooker brewery, the supermarket and other storefronts and the 216,000 square feet of office and commercial space all need to play off one another.

 

 

673 Apartments is the most specific number I have seen to date compare to 600+ and 650

 

Also 216K SF of office and Commercial space is more specific than 220K I had read before

 

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Looks like the unions are in.

 

http://wnpr.org/post/unions-will-build-hartford-baseball-stadium-and-could-increase-its-cost

 

That should seal the deal for Democrat votes. 

 

Hartford's city council will likely approve a deal to build a new minor league baseball stadium on Tuesday, and there’s one new change to the deal: union laborers will do the work. The developer has said that tweak could easily add ten percent to the stadium's cost. The council has also decided to put a hard cap on the cost of the stadium at $56 million. Taken together, that means the council has fixed the cost of the project while potentially making it more expensive.

Edited by beerbeer
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This is great news. I'm glad the city was able to increase the percentage of non-baseball event revenue it would collect to 30% from the 5% originally proposed by the Rock Cats. I also think the hiring guidelines for Hartford residents will be good for the city overall. There are also apparently penalties that can be assessed against the developers if they don't build the entire project within the agreed upon schedule. I think the city has done a reasonably good job trying to protect itself while not scuttling the entire thing. Hopefully the union stuff doesn't push up the cost too much. One Hartford resident commented recently that most guys in Hartford in the trades are non-union and that they want guarantees that the unions are going to work to let them in.

 

http://wnpr.org/post/hartford-city-council-approves-baseball-stadium-deal

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the permit will need some looking it but should pass.

 

the thing is that they just cant build walls against the sidewalk and stuff.  the actual design needs to be conforming even with a variance to build a non conforming structure.

 

or if its way outta line they need extra permits and variances.

 

so as long as the developer "plays ball"  and respects the city requirements they should be fine. 

 

 

the stadium is not in the plan as you know and was already voted down by planning but this is difference... this is a change to the plan that essentially forced the planners to vote against it therefore allowing them to vote in favor.   more accurately if they approve the change they dont actually have to approve because it would be in complience

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This is great news. I'm glad the city was able to increase the percentage of non-baseball event revenue it would collect to 30% from the 5% originally proposed by the Rock Cats. I also think the hiring guidelines for Hartford residents will be good for the city overall. There are also apparently penalties that can be assessed against the developers if they don't build the entire project within the agreed upon schedule. I think the city has done a reasonably good job trying to protect itself while not scuttling the entire thing. Hopefully the union stuff doesn't push up the cost too much. One Hartford resident commented recently that most guys in Hartford in the trades are non-union and that they want guarantees that the unions are going to work to let them in.

 

http://wnpr.org/post/hartford-city-council-approves-baseball-stadium-deal

 

 

that 30% thing is actually HUGE for the city.

 

Im not sure how much stuff earns event wise, but there is huge potential revenues here.  the tiny Wilmington DE team earned 211K a year on non tenent events.  Im thinking this location would allow many more concerts and such, so that number is likely larger due to our larger market.

 

either way earning 60K for the city is alot better than earning 10K

 

 

 

 

High Other

College School Sports Other

Baseball Baseball Events Concerts Events Total

Total Events 4 10 2 1 45 62

Average Turnstile Attendance 750 500 1,500 4,500 500 38,000

Ticket Revenue, net $2,700 $2,250 $2,250 $15,750 $16,875 $39,825

Concession Per Cap (1) $3.50 $2.50 $3.50 $10.00 $8.00 $3.44

Concession Revenue, net $5,313 $6,325 $5,313 $22,771 $91,082 $130,805

Merchandise Per Cap (1) $0.50 $0.50 $0.50 $5.00 $0.50 $0.02

Merchandise Revenue, net $75 $125 $75 $0 $563 $838

Parking Revenue, net $2,125 $5,313 $1,063 $0 $31,875 $40,375

Total Net Revenue $10,213 $14,013 $8,701 $38,521 $140,395 $211,842

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http://touch.courant.com/#section/2224/article/p2p-81691049/

 

A nice article written from more of a sports angle and kind of mocking the p[olitical process.

 

I have to say I generally agree with it all, and its now really what the community needs to do.  Look at the new reality and see how we can make it succeed.

 

 

for most of us this means we just check out the team when they arrive and continue to support the team if its at all interesting to you.

 

another thing we can do is to not talk crap about Hartford in terms of safety etc, when we dont need to or its not valid.

We are all guilty of this.  Just the other night I had 3 friends over that all work downtown in hospitality.  and 1 friend completely new to the region who is really just a sponge at this time.

 

So we were joking about the neighbourhoods including Frog Hollow where one of these people lives.  she considers it safe and stuff, but its a city to you always need to be aware...

and we spoke of the actually bad areas like Barbour street.

 

not realizing how our conversation sounded, I later had to assure my friend new to the area that hartford is a great place and its really quite safe downtown and all that kind of stuff.

I had to assure him that the city is even on the rise and outlined every project underway including this baseball park as the only "planned" project I mentioned

 

I caused damage and I need to be more aware even when joking around about late night gunshots on Barbour street and sharing stories based on the early 1990s

 

I am downtown at least once per week for social purposes and that will likely continue to increase as there are more things to do.  I guarantee Ill hit 5-10 baseball games a year downtown and likely with this friend new to the area (we have been close friends for 20+ years) and his family.

 

I know I have a goal of making this slightly nrevous guy learn to love hartford just as much as I do.

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true story.

 

and Downtown is even safer than the rest of the city

 

Something funny I hear and occasionally agree with is comments like this.

 

(while hanging in Citysteam or some other downtown place)

an out of towner asks about safety and so many people say, yeah you are reletively safe in hartford, just dont walk North bla bla bla

 

 

I'd think a tourist would need to be a complete bafoon to walk north of 84 at 11 at night simply based on the fact that there is a huge empty sea of parking and darkness, so whats the point? 

when people who are staying at the Raddison say, but hey my hotel is there, usually people say, well that is ok just dont wander north or whatever

 

 

I think this stadium will change the definition of what is North :)

 

That area near the new police station should also start to transform into a further extention of this development.  adding some realness to the kind of fake neighborhood being developed.

 

the biq question will soon become what happens North of the tracks and how it will be perceived?

Id love for a bar like redrock to be up there where the neighborhood blends with the daytime visitors.

redrock is a true melting pot type place with State workers, police.fire folks, and neighborhood regulars

(kind of a dive bar so honestly its what makes a neighborhood a neighborhood)

 

in 5 years visitors will walk in this ballpark area and at some point find themselves at the corner of Main and High Streets

What will they do?

What will be there?

What will be across those train tracks?

What will their experience be?

How will they tell these stories?

 

Albany Ave has a dead spot due to Hartford Lumber and the parking lots across from it..

Then you got that shopping center and its really got nothing for visitors other than Duncan and Subway.

but I gotta imagine there will be one of each in the new development or a visitor could walk into downtown proper to get those services

 

So, Albany Ave doesnt get interesting till you get to Chestnut street.

An aweful lot more development will need to happen before the North end truly ties into downtown

 

Edited by The Voice of Reason
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So, Albany Ave doesnt get interesting till you get to Chestnut street.

An aweful lot more development will need to happen before the North end truly ties into downtown.

 

While that is undoubtedly true, if the only thing this development does is fill the empty lots north of downtown with street life and activity, that would be huge. The important thing for the city right now is to demonstrate its competence and have the ball park ready in time for 2016. I have looked at minor league parks that have moved downtown in L'ville, Fort Wayne and Charlotte. All of them are thriving and have served as catalyst's for real estate development.

 

This was a very smart move. Frankly, I'm surprised it came from the mayor.  He definitely punched above his weight on this. But this needs to be the focus of the city. Make it work. Make it succeed. 

 

After that, I think the focus should be from Trumbull Street to the train station, filling in the the parking lots and tending to the health or replacement of the XL Center.

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votes are all set, the only risks now come down to a petitin that could get this on a refurendum or something

this would delay the project making it harder to get done.  might scare developer away   who knows..  it only takes 1000 signatures.

 

 

 

 

Not sure about Trumbull to the train station..

This is my thought... the intermodal triangle and reallocation of bus stops SHOUD, HOPEFULLY make the area around the old state house "look better"

 

I think a huge win for the city would be to have the core of downtown cemented.

 

thinking of this ballpark district being a 3-5 year plan, and Front Street has another 3 years of work in it...

 

so in say 3 years, its safe to assume that 777 Main will be complete, and maybe even 101-111 Pearl.

after those.... its really all about the dead center... Main and Asylim

 

lets see if the city can get an impressive enough proposal lined up for that parcel along 3 of downtown most important streets.   Pratt, Main and Asylum.

 

this lot with the other mentioned developments could really cement the city as "healthy"   This also includes 1000 Main I guess too.  so those 2 lots would really help if the other stuff happens

 

 

with this gaping hole removed, all the scars would be on the edges..

Development West of Trumbul is inevitable due to the I-84 redo, and the mass transit projects, but I think we need to make the center of the city complete before we expand more.... Unless another developer comes along with another 4-500 Million in projects for the Allyn Street blocks

 

 

what is most likely though????

Id say the Capitol districe around the Bushnell.

 

remember the state is gonna re-do the office building across from the Bushnell

 

and they are looking into plans for the parking lot up there

Bushnell is acquiring land and wants to build 2 condo towers... so something will start to move at some point and trust me... people will want to live there

thats gonna be a great mid rise neighborhood some day.

 

also mlarge poarts of the area are converting from section 8 to market rate already... the demographiocs have shifted largely in the northern bits of Frog Hollow.

this area is gaining some steam and if the Hartford office supply building happens and something with the bushnell, I can easily see this area really improving.

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  • 1 month later...

Renderings of the proposed ball park and neighborhood.  (Apparently they want to please VOR).  Each rendering in the gallery is followed by a photo of what exists in the same spot today. The Park is unlikely to be named Hartford Ballpark, the naming rights will be sold to someone.

 

http://www.courant.com/real-estate/property-line/hc-downtown-north-before-and-after-20141124-photogallery.html

Edited by beerbeer
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I'm very happy with those renderings. The fact that they are pushing this up against the Public Safety Complex is really going to reconnect this area and extend Downtown northward. This is a huge step forward for the city. Probably one of the most tranformative proposals in the last half century, given its location.

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Its about time someone tried to please me. 

Success!

 

It is all nice stuff but ya know most of it does seem pretty low density. 

Its OK I am OK with that but i do much prefer 5+ story busilding this close to a city center.

 

 

HT its transformative, thats for sure, but It wont connect much.  that section of Albany is really dead ... DEAD DEAD DEAD from the train tracks North for a decent while.

 

Im not sure how it will really play out along other roads such as Walnut either.  thats kind of a wasteland

 

the big win though is that residents in the near North will be able to walk here to shop work and play.  So to that extent surely there is a huge improvement

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Its about time someone tried to please me. 

Success!

 

It is all nice stuff but ya know most of it does seem pretty low density. 

Its OK I am OK with that but i do much prefer 5+ story busilding this close to a city center.

 

 

HT its transformative, thats for sure, but It wont connect much.  that section of Albany is really dead ... DEAD DEAD DEAD from the train tracks North for a decent while.

 

Im not sure how it will really play out along other roads such as Walnut either.  thats kind of a wasteland

 

the big win though is that residents in the near North will be able to walk here to shop work and play.  So to that extent surely there is a huge improvement

 

 

well  dont forget its hartford every big project (look at front street) gets downsized. that being said i really hope the plans work out. nice renderings and good for the neiighborhood!

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

no real difference

 

I think that ultimately there will be bonding from the state to help this along.

 

I like the idea of a stadium authority though.  its one I have expressed here a few times as well as in communication with the CRDA  or the preceding authority anyways.

 

Ideally the region should have a stadium authority which governs the XL center, the ball p[ark Dillon Stadium and the Rent

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The one  common thread through the entire process has been the unwavering commitment from the mayor. Segarra wants this ball park to happen. He has plowed though the opposition without losing a step.  The opposition has been astroturf.  There is no real grass roots opposition to the proposal and NoDo seems to have enough momentum to make this happen. 

 

That said.  If the ball park is to meet the time frame established by the city and the Rock Cats, shovels need to go into the ground in February. That's a month away. If they start the project by Valentine's Day's it will happen. If not.....

 

From the HBJ --"The proposal does not appear to alter the retail, housing and restaurant elements of the Downtown North project, which has a total estimated price tag of $350 million.

 

The proposed arrangement, if approved, would shave between $10 million and $15 million off the project's price tag, because an authority could borrow at lower interest rates than DoNo Hartford could, Segarra said in a statement.

The change echoes of Segarra's original plan, first unveiled in June, for the city to borrow the money itself.

 

That plan drew criticism that the city couldn't afford to borrow so much money, which led to officials structuring the public-private arrangement and selecting DoNo Hartford — led by Middletown's Centerplan Development — as the city's partner.

The council is expected to set a public hearing on the proposed ordinance for Jan. 20."

Edited by beerbeer
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Is this a maneuver aimed at bypassing the PZC approval. My understanding was that this proposal came before the commission last month and the applicants (the private developer) ended up withdrawing the application because it appeared they wouldn't have the votes?  By having this project developped by a city-backed authority, is PZC approval now moot?

 

If they do need commission approval, I have no idea how they would get the green light by February.  Frankly, I haven't even heard about a construction manager or architect being lined up for the project so I have no idea how they think a February groundbreaking is feasible. 

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