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ctman987

ING To leave city

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This past week ING Insurance announced that they most likely would be moving to neighboring East Hartford. Currently they lease a building that is on the site of AETNA Insurance Company on Farmington Avenue which is a few minutes from downtown.

The insurance company claims they could not find a suitbale spot. Problematic ideas:

- The company does not want to move into a downtown skyscraper because they would like a more low rise building like they are in now. That eliminates downtown buildings like City Place 1 and 2, Goodwin Square, etc.

- A piece of land near Coltsville which currently is being transformed into retail space, apartments, and office space. The problem is that part of the land that would be built on would be part of Colt Park which legally cannot be done as a document from Sammuel Colt states that.

- The city of Hartford's 12B parcel was a very good idea. The parcel is just on the other side of I-84 on the northern edge of downtown near Rensselaer Technical Institute, Crowne Plaza Hotel, I-84, and the new public safety complex. A plan was drawn up that would include 4 and 5 story buildings in almost an enclosed complex with a 2500 space public parking garage that would mostly be used by ING emoloyees. The proposal included that fact that the city would put in 20million dollars to the costs of building the garage and the state would put in 25million dollars to the cost of the garage. The state though said that would not be able to put in this money. Instead they will give money to help ING move out of the city.

ING would like to construct a new building by Rentschler Field in East Hartford. Democratic Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez and Republican Goveneor M. Jodi Rell were on differant edges of the table on this insurance deal. Eddie Perez feels he was left out of the deal and cannot beleive the state would encourage such a move when at the same time so much money is being pumped into Hartford.

One of the problems as you can see that the State of Connecticut has is that the state gives money to private corporations to help them with there finances. This in the end results in higher taxes for CT taxpayers and a higher cost of living.

What do you think about the ING problem/dilemma?

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I think this just points to a bigger problem with downtown hartford: the transportation. I believe ING cited lack of transportation infrastructure as one of the reasons they would rather move to east hartford. Hartford cannot keep building up unless it regentrifies (which it is working on) or gets better transportation in and out of the city (like making Farmington Ave more of a parkway, with more limited access perhaps). While ING says they are leaving, at Aetna we aren't exactly 100% sure that lease will not be re-evaluated and renewed later.

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IObviously it is a little easier getting in and out of East Hartford then downtown Hartford but that may not be the case in 20 years if everything that is planned for Rentschler Field is built so I feel that there must be more underlying ADDITIONAL reasons that maybe they are not making public, altough if it were public the city could try to fix these problems so that it is more attractable to new businesses.

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I fail to see how transportation can be an issue. Getting in and out of Hartford during rush hours is not that bad. Once in Hartford, there are plenty of parking, but if walking for 1 minute is a big deal, how are they going to construct the parking lot in E Hartford so that all cars are at equal distant to their new building?

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Looks like ING announced yesterday they are scrapping plans for East Hartford and are now going to build in South Windsor.

If they are that uncommitted, I hope Perez is on the phone with them every day...

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ING has scrapped there plans for East Hartford to move to Day Hill Road in Windsor. There are 4 sites they are looking at. The city did make another effort to ING to let them know that if they want they will continue to work with them for a new Hartford site.

It's not all bad though. I read in the Hartford Courant Business Section this week that Aetna may be trying to move some of its workers to Hartford from its two other CT locations (Windsor- I think and Middletown). There is not enough room in the ING Building at the main Aetna building for all of the workers from Windsor and Middletown but the company would still like to consolidate...If they do its great getting more workers back into the city

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I think the city should have made every effort, and continued to make every effort to retain those jobs in the city.

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