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IN PROGRESS: Front Street @ Adriaen's Landing


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I think the Farmington Ave. Corridor should be the target for getting the college kids into the city. The West End and even Asylum Hill really could handle a lot of college students since there are so many apartments. We just need to give them a reason to really want to live in the area which means the entire district from Downtown to WHC needs to be upgraded and updated so to speak. Greater Hartford does terribly when it comes to providing cool places for younger people. We need to reach out to the college crowd by creating inviting places for them, everything shouldn't be turned into a white tablecloth type of place, we need more no frills drinking establishments being aimed at this demographic. I honestly think BBC may provide enough of a catalyst to really help the entire area between DT and WHC but it remains to be seen.

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When I meant bigger cities I meant like NYC....Hartford, Providence, etc. are all great smaller cities that can cash in on this other market for smaller bands. Im sure there are places for smaller music in NYC but it is a lot harder to find cheap space and advertise then it would be to go into Hartford and have everyone at UCONN, UHART, Trinity, etc. know about your music

Isn't NYC one of the cities that unknown bands want to get noticed in? Smaller cities like Hartford have mega concerts, but little going on as far as a local scene.

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Isn't NYC one of the cities that unknown bands want to get noticed in? Smaller cities like Hartford have mega concerts, but little going on as far as a local scene.

Smaller cities like Northampton and New Haven have a strong local scene and they like it. If you are good and have the resources to handle NYC then you should go for it. But NYC is very competitive and expensive. I think we should work to make Harford a bit more like New Haven and Northampton and NYC's Greenwich Village

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Smaller cities like Northampton and New Haven have a strong local scene and they like it. If you are good and have the resources to handle NYC then you should go for it. But NYC is very competitive and expensive. I think we should work to make Harford a bit more like New Haven and Northampton and NYC's Greenwich Village

Hartford doesn't seem to be as progressive as Northampton or Village. I mean there just isn't any lesbian biker chick who wear those funny little axe medallion and have pierced nipples around here. Maybe Hartford should model itself after the theater and the museum district?

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Hartford doesn't seem to be as progressive as Northampton or Village. I mean there just isn't any lesbian biker chick who wear those funny little axe medallion and have pierced nipples around here. Maybe Hartford should model itself after the theater and the museum district?

Actually, there was a HOT punk rock chick that I used to sweat at Pumpkins when it was open. They're around, the city just needs to get something going for people to come out of the woodwork...

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Maybe Hartford should model itself after the theater and the museum district?

Hartford has a lot of theaters and museums which are in my view due in part to the wealth that Hartford had and the strong corporate and business scene it had and still has.

Hartford has the Hartford Stage, Bushnell and TheaterWorks - 3 theaters all downtown

The Webster - minutes from downtown

Meadows & Civic Center - draw big name bands to the city

Old State House, Wadsworth, State Capital, Mark Twain, Harriett Beecher Stowe, etc - history and the arts

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I think the Farmington Ave. Corridor should be the target for getting the college kids into the city. The West End and even Asylum Hill really could handle a lot of college students since there are so many apartments. We just need to give them a reason to really want to live in the area which means the entire district from Downtown to WHC needs to be upgraded and updated so to speak. Greater Hartford does terribly when it comes to providing cool places for younger people. We need to reach out to the college crowd by creating inviting places for them, everything shouldn't be turned into a white tablecloth type of place, we need more no frills drinking establishments being aimed at this demographic. I honestly think BBC may provide enough of a catalyst to really help the entire area between DT and WHC but it remains to be seen.

I really hate that the majority of all cultural activities in the entire metro Htfd. area are consistently focused on West Hartford and the avenues that surround them.....even if half of the establishments aren't even located within the town limits. Blue Back Square does nothing for the city of Hartford except draw whatever people that remain in Hartford with disposable income over the city line and perpetuates a notion that Htfd can't support a viable retail district. :sick:

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I really hate that the majority of all cultural activities in the entire metro Htfd. area are consistently focused on West Hartford and the avenues that surround them.....even if half of the establishments aren't even located within the town limits. Blue Back Square does nothing for the city of Hartford except draw whatever people that remain in Hartford with disposable income over the city line and perpetuates a notion that Htfd can't support a viable retail district. :sick:

West Hartford is nice, but I honestly don't think the town is that big of a deal. BBS will certainly help the region, but will not do much for downtown Hartford. WHC as beautiful as it is, is a very small center. It only takes a minute to drive through. Although all the small shops and stores make it a unique place. If we can ever get Front St jump started, Hartford will provide a much better retail experience in my opinion, than WHC can ever dream of. Just my $0.02.

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Hartford doesn't seem to be as progressive as Northampton or Village. I mean there just isn't any lesbian biker chick who wear those funny little axe medallion and have pierced nipples around here. Maybe Hartford should model itself after the theater and the museum district?

As we all know Hartford is the Insurance City, and the conservative nature of the business permeates all aspects of life around here IMO.

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I really hate that the majority of all cultural activities in the entire metro Htfd. area are consistently focused on West Hartford and the avenues that surround them.....even if half of the establishments aren't even located within the town limits. Blue Back Square does nothing for the city of Hartford except draw whatever people that remain in Hartford with disposable income over the city line and perpetuates a notion that Htfd can't support a viable retail district. :sick:

Jerry, here is my take on this. I am personally thankful that they are building new attractive housing and retail on this side of the river and in close proximity to Hartford, literally a few blocks from the West End of the City and 5 minutes from DT. Throughout the last 10 years or so new development in Greater Hartford has pretty much been focused in 2 areas, Manchester and the Berlin Tpke in Newington, Wethersfield, Plainville, etc. All of these areas are more isolated from Hartford and it's CBD than WHC. I honestly don't think the majority of cultural events happen in WHC either, I think far more are in Hartford and Hartford draws far larger crowds to events. Farmington Ave. has a ton of potential, in order for it to be realized both ends must be developed. WHC and DT are both in the middle of a construction phase so the results have not even really begun to materialize. At the end of the day, it will result in a stronger and more vibrant corridor along Farmington Ave. The WHC side will be very expensive and so will DT. The area in the middle will remain reasonable and will become somewhat gentrified (not completely, I doubt that would ever happen) and improvements will be made and the area will become very livable for a diverse community economically and socially.

I don't blame WH for Htfd's problems. Hartford created it's own problems and it's truthfully a good thing to have a very sucessful neighbor. I enjoy West Hartford and many of the things it has to offer and Hartford. Hartford doesn't exist in a vacuum and I would never wish for our neighbors to become stagnant economically because it hurts the region. When Hartford get's it's act together along with East Hartford, Greater Hartford will be undoubtedly a national class region.

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drc72:

Nothing's wrong with a Giulani type mayor! I think Perez is doing good -- especially trying to bring NHL hockey back -- but Perez doesn't have personna of 'Mayor Mike'. Mayor Perez, no offense, but I wish you had 'Mayor Mike's' personna.

JimS

Mayor Mike was really popular with the locals. I don't agree with Mayor Perez on a lot of things, but I am glad he is working on getting the NHL back.

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State Reports Front Street Progress

Some Details Remain Before Residential, Retail Plan Ready

September 27, 2006

By JEFFREY B. COHEN, Courant Staff Writer

The state has closed a $5.5 million funding gap, but several details remain before it can sign a deal with a developer who wants to bring residents and retail to downtown Hartford's Front Street, the state said Tuesday.

"We're getting to the point where the [funding] gap is not the issue anymore," said Michael Cicchetti, a spokesman for the Capital City Economic Development Authority. "It's safe to say that it's not a question of a lack of funding, it's a question of how it's structured."

Front Street is the roughly 6-acre retail, residential and entertainment district planned for Adriaen's Landing. A key goal of the project is to link the Connecticut Convention Center with the rest of downtown.

The state's Office of Policy and Management and the development authority have been negotiating with Greenwich developer Bradley Nitkin since April 2005 in an effort to cut a deal for the still undeveloped acreage. Even though a deadline for a deal - underscored in a stern letter by Gov. M. Jodi Rell - passed earlier this month, negotiations have continued.

In February of this year, the authority signed an agreement with Nitkin that allowed for a phased development of the project. As part of that deal, the state pledged $33 million - $5.5 million of which was a loan.

The next step after that was for Nitkin to make arrangements with Hartford for tax breaks and funding.

But the city didn't like the scope of Nitkin's original proposal - 60 residential units and 43,000 square feet of retail - and told him that if he wanted all of the money he was asking for, he'd have to do the whole project. The original scope was 200 residential units and 100,000 square feet of retail.

Last month, in response to Nitkin's comeback offer for 115 units and 60,000 square feet of retail, the city committed $4.2 million in grants and loans and a tax-fixing agreement that could be worth several million dollars. The city has since upped its offer twice - offering a total of $7 million in grants and loans, as well as a sweetened tax-fixing agreement , officials said.

But the project still needs money, officials have said.

As a result, the state has agreed to convert its $5.5 million loan into a grant, Cicchetti said.

"We're looking at a different structure now that would not entail a forgivable loan anymore," he said.

I guess this is good news but the fact that there is still no firm news even with this loan being converted into a grant makes me nervous.

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State Reports Front Street Progress

Some Details Remain Before Residential, Retail Plan Ready

September 27, 2006

By JEFFREY B. COHEN, Courant Staff Writer

The state has closed a $5.5 million funding gap, but several details remain before it can sign a deal with a developer who wants to bring residents and retail to downtown Hartford's Front Street, the state said Tuesday.

"We're getting to the point where the [funding] gap is not the issue anymore," said Michael Cicchetti, a spokesman for the Capital City Economic Development Authority. "It's safe to say that it's not a question of a lack of funding, it's a question of how it's structured."

Front Street is the roughly 6-acre retail, residential and entertainment district planned for Adriaen's Landing. A key goal of the project is to link the Connecticut Convention Center with the rest of downtown.

The state's Office of Policy and Management and the development authority have been negotiating with Greenwich developer Bradley Nitkin since April 2005 in an effort to cut a deal for the still undeveloped acreage. Even though a deadline for a deal - underscored in a stern letter by Gov. M. Jodi Rell - passed earlier this month, negotiations have continued.

In February of this year, the authority signed an agreement with Nitkin that allowed for a phased development of the project. As part of that deal, the state pledged $33 million - $5.5 million of which was a loan.

The next step after that was for Nitkin to make arrangements with Hartford for tax breaks and funding.

But the city didn't like the scope of Nitkin's original proposal - 60 residential units and 43,000 square feet of retail - and told him that if he wanted all of the money he was asking for, he'd have to do the whole project. The original scope was 200 residential units and 100,000 square feet of retail.

Last month, in response to Nitkin's comeback offer for 115 units and 60,000 square feet of retail, the city committed $4.2 million in grants and loans and a tax-fixing agreement that could be worth several million dollars. The city has since upped its offer twice - offering a total of $7 million in grants and loans, as well as a sweetened tax-fixing agreement , officials said.

But the project still needs money, officials have said.

As a result, the state has agreed to convert its $5.5 million loan into a grant, Cicchetti said.

"We're looking at a different structure now that would not entail a forgivable loan anymore," he said.

I guess this is good news but the fact that there is still no firm news even with this loan being converted into a grant makes me nervous.

This is obscene. CCEDA has lost all of its credibility in my view. The amount of state and municipal money going into this project now is unacceptable. If I was still a Connecticut taxpayer (either permanently living in or out of Hartford) I'd be incensed. Hartford has a poverty rate above 30% and millions of free dollars are flowing into this 6-acre piece of land that will -- in my view -- never become a landmark destination.

At this point, the money being flushed down Front Street's toilet into Nitkin's coffers could be used much more effectively in scores of other revitalization efforts across the city.

Turn the land into a park and forget about it.

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Great news that Front Street is moving forward. Front Street is critical to the city's redevelopment. All these conventioneers need places to eat and shop.

ESPN will open some sort of attraction, and sources close to the talks say there are some good retailers on board.

The apartments will be similar to something that opened in Stamford last year. http://www.highgrovestamford.com/

Same architect has already been hired.

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Great news that Front Street is moving forward. Front Street is critical to the city's redevelopment. All these conventioneers need places to eat and shop.

ESPN will open some sort of attraction, and sources close to the talks say there are some good retailers on board.

The apartments will be similar to something that opened in Stamford last year. http://www.highgrovestamford.com/

Same architect has already been hired.

Not to burst your bubble, but I drove past the Highgrove site in Stamford last week. It's basically a hole in the ground. It looks like construction work has completely stopped. I realize we're talking different developers here, but I just wanted to point that out.

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This is obscene. CCEDA has lost all of its credibility in my view. The amount of state and municipal money going into this project now is unacceptable. If I was still a Connecticut taxpayer (either permanently living in or out of Hartford) I'd be incensed. Hartford has a poverty rate above 30% and millions of free dollars are flowing into this 6-acre piece of land that will -- in my view -- never become a landmark destination.

At this point, the money being flushed down Front Street's toilet into Nitkin's coffers could be used much more effectively in scores of other revitalization efforts across the city.

Turn the land into a park and forget about it.

Are you nuts????? Front street is a prime peice of real estate, that cannot be ignored. Although I do agree the process is taking to long and to much money is being squandered. But once developed, the state should see a return on their investment. We just got to get the project going full steam ahead.

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Are you nuts????? Front street is a prime peice of real estate, that cannot be ignored. Although I do agree the process is taking to long and to much money is being squandered. But once developed, the state should see a return on their investment. We just got to get the project going full steam ahead.

While I agree that the piece of land is valuable, I also understand what Yankee Peddler is saying. If the project went off without a hitch then great but if the city and state has to pour this much money into something that could potentially end up being nothing more than a way for Convention-goers to ignore the rest of Downtown then it isn't worth it! I say use the money to build up the gaping holes (i.e. parking lots) in the historic section of downtown over by Church, Allyn, Pratt, Asylum, Main, and Trumbull. I'd rather see those sections filled in than a half-assed cookie-cutter development with an Olive Garden and another Dunkin Donuts. I loved the original vision of Front Street but I have a feeling it won't end up anything like that. Put a park and build a nice central building where the visitors center could be relocated from it's current location on Pratt. Then use all of this wasted money that would be put into Nitkin's hands and use it slowly on smaller projects that will help fix the basic fabric of downtown. If the historic section is too far away from the Convention Center to be considered worth it then they should use the money to convert Constitution Plaza into a place where street facing retail could prosper.

Edited by spatulashack
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I tend to see Yankee Peddler's POV also. Lets not forget that the original driving force behind all of this was Rowland's 5 pillars which in effect subsidized the housing part of this development to the tune of $60,000 per unit. The state is getting hosed here. Like everyone else, Nitkin held out for more cash and it looks like he's going to get it. I would love to know exectly how much in total the state is subsidizing this project.

I guess when there is no one else interested in developing the site, Nitkin can basically call the shots or pick up his ball and go home.

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