Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Luca Brasi

New Condo Towers for downtown?

77 posts in this topic

.....and I'm not talking about Front Street. I heard from a reliable source in city government that the sale of that eyesore of a building on Main St. just north of I-84 is pending. The plan is twin 25 story luxury condo towers. Look for an announcement in the next few months - if the deal goes through.

In other condo news, expect Robert Stern's condos at Front Street to be nothing close to what the Hartford area has ever seen before. These condos will push the $600 sq ft price and will have luxuries and amenities found in NYC housing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Sounds interesting. Where exactly is this site? Any info would be great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, this is great news! I'm a little surprised that any site north of I-84 is being considered for luxury housing, considering the real dangers as well as the perceptions of the north end.

I'm speechless about the Stern condo's...I can't wait to see the renderings. Thanks for all this wonderful news, I'm so excited for Hartford. :w00t:

Uconn99 - the eyesore Luca is reffering to is that boarded up 5 story building that is visable from many angles, especially coming from I-84 east or I-91 North. It sits in stark contrast to the development going on south of I-84.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All these luxury projects are nice, but what about the rest of us?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

There are plenty of places to live in Hartford for low and middle income familes and individuals. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There are plenty of places to live in Hartford for low and middle income familes and individuals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not if you are in the market for a modern and up to date apartment that wasn't built at the turn of the century there isn't. In my opinion it is a real problem. You have to go to the suburbs to find that type of housing in the Hartford area at a decent price. Some of the housing stock is historic, but alot of it is just plain old and dilapidated and no one would miss it if it were torn down. We desperately need more modern housing outside of Downtown if we want to compete with cheaper metro areas in the south.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Fair enough. However, I submit that building housing for upper middle class/upper class is the best way to start. The more wealth we bring into Hartford, the better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, 410 Asylum will cater to lower and middle income individuals. The idea is to market the building to younger professionals who want to live downtown who are not making broker and lawyer type salaries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Fair enough.  However, I submit that building housing for upper middle class/upper class is the best way to start.  The more wealth we bring into Hartford, the better.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You're correct. While its nice to have a balance of new housing prices, the whole reason developers are building these new luxury units is because people are paying the high prices for them. Its where the money is. Unfortunately, if there were only demand for moderate or low income housing, the lower profits and higher risk for developers probably means we wouldn't be seeing much of anything getting built. Its the high end housing demand that is driving this boom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're correct. While its nice to have a balance of new housing prices, the whole reason developers are building these new luxury units is because people are paying the high prices for them. Its where the money is. Unfortunately, if there were only demand for moderate or low income housing, the lower profits and higher risk for developers probably means we wouldn't be seeing much of anything getting built. Its the high end housing demand that is driving this boom.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I totally agree, especially when it comes to bringing higher income people downtown. My only point is that alot of the housing stock in Hartford is sub standard for anyone to be living in. There are alot of new houses being constructed on vacant lots throughout the city, which is a great sight to see, I just feel that there are structures that will not be missed, especially in the North End. Housing projects do not serve a useful purpose in the 21st century, time for them to go completely. Large, rundown apt. buildings, time for them to go too. People forget but lower and middle income neighborhoods are always full, theres no problem getting the people to live there who can't afford to live somewhere else. In Atlanta there are very modern communities in low income areas that have actually began to attract a mix of residents due to their affordability,quality, and proximity to amenities like Downtown and Colleges.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

.....and I'm not talking about Front Street. I heard from a reliable source in city government that the sale of that eyesore of a building on Main St. just north of I-84 is pending. The plan is twin 25 story luxury condo towers. Look for an announcement in the next few months - if the deal goes through.

Is there anything else you heard about this project? I am a vacant lot porperty owner in the area (by the future public safety complex) and am trying to sell the property. That area will be safe with the public safety complex and maybe that will draw future development.

In other condo news, expect Robert Stern's condos at Front Street to be nothing close to what the Hartford area has ever seen before. These condos will push the $600 sq ft price and will have luxuries and amenities found in NYC housing.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

There was just an article about this in the Hartford Business Journal and how a new 17 story Stern condo tower is to start construction soon in Stamford and more then 1/2 of the condos are sold (at 3-4million dollars a condo) and many people are saying that this great building is similiar to what Stern hopes to bring to Hartford.

Not if you are in the market for a modern and up to date apartment that wasn't built at the turn of the century there isn't. In my opinion it is a real problem. You have to go to the suburbs to find that type of housing in the Hartford area at a decent price. Some of the housing stock is historic, but alot of it is just plain old and dilapidated and no one would miss it if it were torn down. We desperately need more modern housing outside of Downtown if we want to compete with cheaper metro areas in the south.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

One Answer: Clemens Place: 41 historically renovated buildings, 17 acres, 583 apartments

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I work for SBC, so I get the luxury of driving around every day, in and out of Hartford itself, and I get to see the full gamut of residential/business' in the area, from the North End, Park St, Coltsville, the West End, Downtown, Glastonbury, Simsbury, Newington, Bloomfield, etc. Here's the problem I see with Hartford. In Hartford proper, there aren't a lot of choices for someone to live, especially if they grew up in a suburb. Many people don't even feel safe in the all-too-safe suburb, never mind an urban setting like Hartford. Sure, you can get a $500-$900 apartment almost anywhere in the city, but there would be no incentive for a suburban family to move to Hartford.

Now, I can tell you that most of it is perception. The city is nowhere near as bad as it is portrayed, or thought of. Someone from Farmington (as an example), what incentive would there be to move their family to the city? Or even someone more moderate like Newington or Manchester. Most people look at those Hartford Courant school reports and see the grades that the Hartford kids get as opposed to almost anywhere else in the state, and ask themselves "why the hell would I want my kid to go to that kind of school"? And it's a valid question. They also drive around some of the neighborhoods, see people hanging around, or cars drive by with music blaring or people yelling, and ask "why the hell do I want my kids to end up being a nuisance"?

Now, let's be honest, all that obviously happens everywhere. I knew kids in suburban school that dropped out, and hear music blaring wherever I go, but the perception, right or wrong, is that the city is the Nth degree of all that. So, with all that being said, either the reality (if it is realistic) or the perception needs to change. Until then, you won't see a nice melting pot of neighborhoods (all over the city, not just in pockets) like we'd all love to see....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I work for SBC, so I get the luxury of driving around every day, in and out of Hartford itself, and I get to see the full gamut of residential/business' in the area, from the North End, Park St, Coltsville, the West End, Downtown, Glastonbury, Simsbury, Newington, Bloomfield, etc.  Here's the problem I see with Hartford.  In Hartford proper, there aren't a lot of choices for someone to live, especially if they grew up in a suburb.  Many people don't even feel safe in the all-too-safe suburb, never mind an urban setting like Hartford.  Sure, you can get a $500-$900 apartment almost anywhere in the city, but there would be no incentive for a suburban family to move to Hartford.

  Now, I can tell you that most of it is perception.  The city is nowhere near as bad as it is portrayed, or thought of.  Someone from Farmington (as an example), what incentive would there be to move their family to the city?  Or even someone more moderate like Newington or Manchester.  Most people look at those Hartford Courant school reports and see the grades that the Hartford kids get as opposed to almost anywhere else in the state, and ask themselves "why the hell would I want my kid to go to that kind of school"?  And it's a valid question.  They also drive around some of the neighborhoods, see people hanging around, or cars drive by with music blaring or people yelling, and ask "why the hell do I want my kids to end up being a nuisance"?

  Now, let's be honest, all that obviously happens everywhere.  I knew kids in suburban school that dropped out, and hear music blaring wherever I go, but the perception, right or wrong, is that the city is the Nth degree of all that.  So, with all that being said, either the reality (if it is realistic) or the perception needs to change.  Until then, you won't see a nice melting pot of neighborhoods (all over the city, not just in pockets) like we'd all love to see....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The main reason why the city of Hartford is trying to get empty nesters to move into Hartford is because empty nesters dont have children and right now there is no way that a suburban family is going to move to Hartford with intentions of sending their kids to Hartford Public Schools. I am a senior at Watkinson School and know of a few students who are from the middle and uppler class who live in Hartford (mostly the West End) instead of say West Hartford and so that angle may work of attracting families. The Hartford Public School system is not perfect but it is no way horrendous either. It has imrpoved and there still is work to be done but the city needs more of a mix of middle and upper class families of whatever race or ethnicitiy they may be to balance out the school systems because right now for one thing Hartford's public schools are largely full of black and hispanic students (especially Hartfords high schools) making this a big reason a surburban family would not move to the city.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

.....and I'm not talking about Front Street. I heard from a reliable source in city government that the sale of that eyesore of a building on Main St. just north of I-84 is pending. The plan is twin 25 story luxury condo towers. Look for an announcement in the next few months - if the deal goes through.

In other condo news, expect Robert Stern's condos at Front Street to be nothing close to what the Hartford area has ever seen before. These condos will push the $600 sq ft price and will have luxuries and amenities found in NYC housing.

Any news about the planned twin 25 story towers? And if they're planning twin towers....why not just mkae one big 50 story tower instead?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any news about the planned twin 25 story towers? And if they're planning twin towers....why not just mkae one big 50 story tower instead?

Two 25 story towers are less costly than one 50 story tower, and would offer more rentable / saleable square footage and less area dedicated to "core" space -- structure and mechanicals. If you got the chance to see Hartford 21 going up, remember how large the steel was at the base? The higher you go, you need bigger steel and bigger mechanical systems, which takes away from the usable SF on every floor. Maybe you can charge more for the views at the upper stories, but it's a case of diminishing returns and I doubt the financial case can be made for really tall towers in Hartford (at this point in time).

From an street-level point of view, I would prefer two 25-story towers to one 50-story anyway -- more street frontage and opportunity for ground floor retail.

I work for SBC, so I get the luxury of driving around every day, in and out of Hartford itself, and I get to see the full gamut of residential/business' in the area, from the North End, Park St, Coltsville, the West End, Downtown, Glastonbury, Simsbury, Newington, Bloomfield, etc. Here's the problem I see with Hartford. In Hartford proper, there aren't a lot of choices for someone to live, especially if they grew up in a suburb. Many people don't even feel safe in the all-too-safe suburb, never mind an urban setting like Hartford. Sure, you can get a $500-$900 apartment almost anywhere in the city, but there would be no incentive for a suburban family to move to Hartford.

Now, I can tell you that most of it is perception. The city is nowhere near as bad as it is portrayed, or thought of. Someone from Farmington (as an example), what incentive would there be to move their family to the city? Or even someone more moderate like Newington or Manchester. Most people look at those Hartford Courant school reports and see the grades that the Hartford kids get as opposed to almost anywhere else in the state, and ask themselves "why the hell would I want my kid to go to that kind of school"? And it's a valid question. They also drive around some of the neighborhoods, see people hanging around, or cars drive by with music blaring or people yelling, and ask "why the hell do I want my kids to end up being a nuisance"?

Now, let's be honest, all that obviously happens everywhere. I knew kids in suburban school that dropped out, and hear music blaring wherever I go, but the perception, right or wrong, is that the city is the Nth degree of all that. So, with all that being said, either the reality (if it is realistic) or the perception needs to change. Until then, you won't see a nice melting pot of neighborhoods (all over the city, not just in pockets) like we'd all love to see....

Can anyone name any city, anywhere in the US, where the school system has rebounded from white flight and gone from being a low-performing minority-dominated system to a higher-performing, integrated system? The problem is that regardless of the investment made into such a school system, who is going to take a chance on a poor (possibly improving) school system with their own kids? If they have a choice, they won't. I mean, even the cities that have seen the most dramatic turnarounds in the last couple of decades -- NYC, Boston, Chicago -- they all have horrible school systems and the middle and upper class don't send their kids to those schools. Urban residents in these places either send their kids to private schools or move out of the city to better public school districts.

In the case of Hartford, I'll use myself as an example. I'm a did-hard urbanist, and lived and worked in DT Hartford for about five years now (prior to that, I have lived in Portland, ME and Boston). I have a two year old son so I found myself in just this position. After agonizing over the decision for months and months, my wife and I finally decided to move out of the city and now live in Westerly, Rhode Island. Now, I strongly believe that the Hartford's problems are overhyped by the media, and I am well aware that Hartford is making tremendous physical investments in both the magnet schools and their public schools, but am I going to take a chance with MY kids? No, hell no, and I have to believe most parents fortunate enough to have a choice in where to live feel the same as I do.

I'm not quite sure where I'm going with all this, other than to say that I support Hartford's focus on high-end, empty-nester-targeted development. It's the only realistic strategy. To try to attract middle-class parents with kids, no matter how altruistic that intention is, and how much it needs to happen to have a truly integrated society, it just ain't going to happen. So we are left with a two-tier city of wealthy downtown urban dwellers and poor families living in the neighborhoods. Not ideal, but I don't see it changing anytime soon.

BJE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Boston and New York actually have quite good school systems, more so NYC than Boston.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Boston and New York actually have quite good school systems, more so NYC than Boston.

I took a quick look at MCAS performance numbers on the Mass DOE site, and Boston is one of the worst performing districts, along with Springfield, Fall River, Lowrence, and Worcester. In other words, the urban areas. I am well aware that testing doesn't present the full picture, but are there any objective measures by which you could support the argument that Boston has good public schools?

I'm not trying to put down Boston or NYC or any other city, by the way, I am just genuinely curious if any urban school system, anywhere, has successfully and demonstrably improved to the point where a middle class family with a choice of where to live wocould consider living in the city and sending their kids to the public school system there. So far, I don't think so.

BJE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I took a quick look at MCAS performance numbers on the Mass DOE site, and Boston is one of the worst performing districts, along with Springfield, Fall River, Lowrence, and Worcester. In other words, the urban areas. I am well aware that testing doesn't present the full picture, but are there any objective measures by which you could support the argument that Boston has good public schools?

I'm not trying to put down Boston or NYC or any other city, by the way, I am just genuinely curious if any urban school system, anywhere, has successfully and demonstrably improved to the point where a middle class family with a choice of where to live wocould consider living in the city and sending their kids to the public school system there. So far, I don't think so.

BJE

I grew up middle class. I stated before that my parents combined income was over $150,000 a year all of my life. My parents had a choice of where to live, and chose the North End and the Hartford Public School System. I feel that I have a much broader perspective on life due to my life's experiences. But I do see your point that not many middle class families make that decision. But beleive me, I was not the only one. There were plenty of wealthy west-enders sending their kids to Hartford Public High School, even if only so they could graduate in the top 10% of the class and get scholarships intended for "urban" students.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's actually an advantage that I had never thought of....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's actually an advantage that I had never thought of....

Yeah, it was always common knowledge when we were in school to everyone else. I mean I was kind of doing the same thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I grew up middle class. I stated before that my parents combined income was over $150,000 a year all of my life. My parents had a choice of where to live, and chose the North End and the Hartford Public School System. I feel that I have a much broader perspective on life due to my life's experiences. But I do see your point that not many middle class families make that decision. But beleive me, I was not the only one. There were plenty of wealthy west-enders sending their kids to Hartford Public High School, even if only so they could graduate in the top 10% of the class and get scholarships intended for "urban" students.

See I find that very interesting. I attend Watkinson and live in Wethersfield mostly because my parents would never consider moving to Hartford because of the negative experiences they encountered as Hartford took a turn for the worse. My mother's parents came over from Italy back in the 1930's. They bought a rooming house on Albany Avenue and soon had three children. They later bought another rooming house on Ann Street by the proposed public safety complex and the Isham Terry House. Next move was to Farmington Avenue by Clemens Place where they bought an apartment building before finally moving to Wethersfield. Through this whole time my mother and her sibling always went to catholic/private schools. They went to st patricks school (I think thats what it WAS called) across the street from St Patricks St Anthonys School in downtown Hartford and then went to Northwest Catholic while still living in Hartford and taking the bus to school. For some reason they never felt safe sending their kids to Hartford public schools. I for one am a supporter of everything that is going on in Hartford but the increase in violence, arson my grandparents faced at their farmington avenue apartment building, robberies they faced on albany ave and ann st and gunshots may have done it for them

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See I find that very interesting. I attend Watkinson and live in Wethersfield mostly because my parents would never consider moving to Hartford because of the negative experiences they encountered as Hartford took a turn for the worse. My mother's parents came over from Italy back in the 1930's. They bought a rooming house on Albany Avenue and soon had three children. They later bought another rooming house on Ann Street by the proposed public safety complex and the Isham Terry House. Next move was to Farmington Avenue by Clemens Place where they bought an apartment building before finally moving to Wethersfield. Through this whole time my mother and her sibling always went to catholic/private schools. They went to st patricks school (I think thats what it WAS called) across the street from St Patricks St Anthonys School in downtown Hartford and then went to Northwest Catholic while still living in Hartford and taking the bus to school. For some reason they never felt safe sending their kids to Hartford public schools. I for one am a supporter of everything that is going on in Hartford but the increase in violence, arson my grandparents faced at their farmington avenue apartment building, robberies they faced on albany ave and ann st and gunshots may have done it for them

You would be surprised by how many middle class people there are in Hartford and going to public schools here. Everyone you see is not poor, despite the perception. I mean if you saw me walking home in HS you would've had no way of knowing that I wasn't in the same boat as most of my peers that you would see me with. Race is a factor though. I know for a fact I wouldn't live where I live if I was white. But, I'm not. I'm Black and really quite comfortable in my environment. Violence is not on my mind usaually, and I have only witnessed it on rare occassions. Sounds like your folks had some close run in's that scared them off. I know that bad things can happen all to often, but they don't happen to me and I don't have an overwhelming fear that they ever will.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I currently live in New York, and many of my friends work in the public school system, including my twin brother (my roommate). Let me tell you, the system here is completely broken. There are certain public schools that you have to apply to get into that are very good (i.e., Sty, Hunter, Bronx Science, etc.), but they are overwhelmingly white/asian and if you are middle class and don't get it, you find a private school that you can afford.

That said, I think the magnet schools can be a good alternative. I also think that Hartford should put some money into performance based schools, where an entry exam is needed (SSATs?). That way there's a chance of keeping the new class of young proffessionals moving into Hartford once they have kids.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I currently live in New York, and many of my friends work in the public school system, including my twin brother (my roommate). Let me tell you, the system here is completely broken. There are certain public schools that you have to apply to get into that are very good (i.e., Sty, Hunter, Bronx Science, etc.), but they are overwhelmingly white/asian and if you are middle class and don't get it, you find a private school that you can afford.

That said, I think the magnet schools can be a good alternative. I also think that Hartford should put some money into performance based schools, where an entry exam is needed (SSATs?). That way there's a chance of keeping the new class of young proffessionals moving into Hartford once they have kids.

Hartford cold trump the rest of the Northeast if it - and its suburbs - could agree to merge school systems into one county-wide system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hartford cold trump the rest of the Northeast if it - and its suburbs - could agree to merge school systems into one county-wide system.

I think pigs will fly before that ever happens, Hartford county doesn't even exist for all intents and purposes politically. Never seen anything like it myself but I guess you New Englanders are used to having town and state gov't only...i can see advantages and disadvantages to that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.