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IN PROGRESS: Front Street @ Adriaen's Landing


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Hartford is really at a pivotal point right now where it can add a development similar to the mall in providence, mall in waterbury, times square in NYC and inner harbor in Baltimore and the mall in downtown Stamford that has chain stores and entertainment venues that arent really locally owned and operated.

Front Street would be Hartford's thing

Do people thing Hartford should have such a thing? New Haven doesn't for example.

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I wanted to go Friday but had to pick my daughter up from day care and wanted to get home to catch the UConn game. I'm definitely going to try to see a movie there over the Thanksgiving weekend though

I went today. The theaters themselves are beautiful. We got there too late to eat at the restaurant, but that looked pretty good. It seems like they might be getting some of the kinks out still, but o

Capital Grille is now official as well. http://courantblogs.com/java/capital-grille-makes-it-official-its-coming-to-hartford/

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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.

But other people were interested, they just weren't chosen. The article the other day about the Trenton development had the guy creaming his pants about Front St., and he wasn't given the chance. The problem is, they keep whittling down the residential, which is really what is needed the most. All the retail can be fit on the first and second floors, that isn't the problem. Everyone wants to scale this down. but I don't feel this is the project to scale down. After all this time, this needs to be a premiere project in Hartford, and scaling it back will make it look more and more like a Constitution Plaza type project...

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But other people were interested, they just weren't chosen. The article the other day about the Trenton development had the guy creaming his pants about Front St., and he wasn't given the chance. The problem is, they keep whittling down the residential, which is really what is needed the most. All the retail can be fit on the first and second floors, that isn't the problem. Everyone wants to scale this down. but I don't feel this is the project to scale down. After all this time, this needs to be a premiere project in Hartford, and scaling it back will make it look more and more like a Constitution Plaza type project...

Were there others interested? When the project was taken away from Cohen, I thought Nitkin was the only one who was genuinely interested.

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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.

Unfortunately where the Convention Center is located, it will never has the kind of economic impact that Providence's Convention Center brought to Providence.

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The Convention Center in Providence has been much less of an economic impact than Providence Place.

The CT Convention Center can draw people all across downtown because of the location of the Hilton. Most conventioneers can't stay at the Marriott and stay at other hotels in the city.

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Were there others interested? When the project was taken away from Cohen, I thought Nitkin was the only one who was genuinely interested.

Yep, there were others interested. We had a thread here that referenced Trenton, I can't seem to find it in the 2 minutes that I looked, but the article spoke to the guy that bid on it and was now involved with Toad's Place putting a new spot in Trenton instead of Hartford...

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The worst thing that happened to Front Street was that John Rowland went to jail. He was the impetus behind everything that happened, the CCC, the Marriott, the Science Center. When he went to jail, the driving force behind these projects was removed and Front Street floundered.

Yes, he was found guilty and deserved to go to jail. Fine.

My point is that his loss was a big one for Front Street. This project would be done by now if he was still in office. If Perez had made this a prioity instead of helping unions boycott the Marriott, it would probably be done by now.

The Front Street problem is not the market, the,location, the economics or the developer, it is the political will to get the job done.

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The worst thing that happened to Front Street was that John Rowland went to jail. He was the impetus behind everything that happened, the CCC, the Marriott, the Science Center. When he went to jail, the driving force behind these projects was removed and Front Street floundered.

Yes, he was found guilty and deserved to go to jail. Fine.

My point is that his loss was a big one for Front Street. This project would be done by now if he was still in office. If Perez had made this a prioity instead of helping unions boycott the Marriott, it would probably be done by now.

The Front Street problem is not the market, the,location, the economics or the developer, it is the political will to get the job done.

Rowland had some great ideas for Hartford. It is a shame that he did what he did. This just proves that we need to elect people that are doers and not talkers.

Edited by drc72
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Yep, there were others interested. We had a thread here that referenced Trenton, I can't seem to find it in the 2 minutes that I looked, but the article spoke to the guy that bid on it and was now involved with Toad's Place putting a new spot in Trenton instead of Hartford...

You are referring to John Elkington who was working with the Waterford Group before the money for Adriaen's Landing was ever approved by the legislature. He was in the picture when Adriaen's Landing was first conceptualized in the late 90's. Elkington was the master planner who was accused of throwing around tenant names whom he had never contacted. He was passed over in favor of Casden Properties (there was never a bid process, the state just liked Casden better) who was replaced by Richard Cohen who was replaced by Nitkin. When Nitkin was named the preferred developer, I don't think there was anyone else in the picture.

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You are referring to John Elkington who was working with the Waterford Group before the money for Adriaen's Landing was ever approved by the legislature. He was in the picture when Adriaen's Landing was first conceptualized in the late 90's. Elkington was the master planner who was accused of throwing around tenant names whom he had never contacted. He was passed over in favor of Casden Properties (there was never a bid process, the state just liked Casden better) who was replaced by Richard Cohen who was replaced by Nitkin. When Nitkin was named the preferred developer, I don't think there was anyone else in the picture.
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Some good news... Editorial from the Courant.

Front Street Clears Big Hurdle

September 29, 2006

The Courant calls for "expeditious conclusion to the Front Street saga" yet calls for more "public review and input into the project's design." This sounds a bit contradictory to me.

I still register my objections to the way this project is being financed. I would hardly call this final deal a victory in the revitalization of Hartford. Nitkin will have to unveil truly mind-blowing development plans before I ever believe that Front Street will serve as a landmark destination or provide a positive return on all of the public dollars invested (I came very close to using the word "wasted" instead of "invested").

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I've heard that Rell has put out a press release saying a deal with Nitkin regarding Front Street has finally been reached. The project's first phase ($22 million) will include 115 residences and 60,000 square feet of retail.

The $22 million price tag includes $12 million in public funds. Of that $12 million, $9.75 million is grant money.

I imagine the plans from Nitkin will be forthcoming...

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I've heard that Rell has put out a press release saying a deal with Nitkin regarding Front Street has finally been reached. The project's first phase ($22 million) will include 115 residences and 60,000 square feet of retail.

The $22 million price tag includes $12 million in public funds. Of that $12 million, $9.75 million is grant money.

I imagine the plans from Nitkin will be forthcoming...

Good news. I thought the whole revised project was suppose to be 115 units and 60,000 SF of retail? Wasn't the agreement for Nitkin to build the whole thing at once and not in phases? If this is only the first phase numbers than I think with the second phase the whole project will be great. I could be wrong with the numbers though?

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