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IN PROGRESS: Front Street @ Adriaen's Landing

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I saw this letter too. I believe they looked at the front Street site for the new Civic Center but it was deemed to small. Jay

The arena study eliminated it because the development was progressing so it was eliminated. since it is clearly not progressing I suppose it would be back on the table.

but it is still not as good as the current site.

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The arena study eliminated it because the development was progressing so it was eliminated. since it is clearly not progressing I suppose it would be back on the table.

but it is still not as good as the current site.

Another advantage to Front Street for arena, current XL center can be open for construction of new arena, as opposed to leaving us without any arena downtown for 3-5 years.

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Not a bad letter.

I think the current location is exceptional, but its current design hurts the area, while a more street friendly design that reconnects Pratt, and Allyn would be an incredible boost to the area. A pro sport would mnake all the difference as well of course.

A connected "Allyn-Pratt Street" if developed properly with similar brick as Pratt Street, proper infill of lots with bars and restaurants, and quirky shops, could truly make "Allyn-Pratt Street" the Bourbon Street of New England, as some city council members are trying to promote Allyn street as.

Edited by zimbu1228

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I think the current plan for a new arena is perfect, connect Pratt and Allyn, it's too bad they couldn't keep Church St as a connector, like put a little tunnel under or something. I was always a fan of the twin tower thing for Front St, maybe they know something we don't but I don't understand how residential there is anything but a home run....

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I really think this is a great idea to relocate the New Arena to Front Street Project.

1) Trumbull street area is getting to be a more residential section of downtown and knocking down the current civic center would free up that area to more development. Further, they could also open up another pedestrian shopping way (from Allyn Street to Pratt Street).

2) it DEFINITELY would be a good idea to take advantage of the parking at the convention center. Currently the "rebuild on top of current Civic center" scenario destroys the current parking garage and forces development of many of those other lots.

3) I think it would be good to locate more development closer to constitution plaza. It really is a neat area for Hartford (and pretty unique in that respect). We should try and build it up.

4) the abandoned Times building would be an AWESOME facade.

5) whitehead highway, Route 2 bridge provide amble traffic alleviation. there's always potention for a CF onto 84 at the current location.

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This is another 'stalled' project, maybe they can pack it up and ship it down to Hartford... would fit nicely at Front St. and over the Whitehead.

Winn, were the people that developed the sage allen building.

They have recently expressed interest in the Capewell Nail factory project. With their project failing in Boston I would not get my hopes up on anything else happening. I do not think these guys are terribly well capitolized. But if things do move, I think they would be a gret firm to give capewell to. they are definately urban savy, and have built quite a few large and successful projects.

http://www.winncompanies.com/main.php?id=wdeve

If the capewell property had the condos as planned, and the two hotels as discussed, it would really be a major step into making charter oak a part of the downtown fabric. mind you this would require something happening at the front street location.

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I did not really see this reply before Hiram, but I have to disagree on a couple of your points. fairly vehemantly even.

1) Trumbull street area is getting to be a more residential section of downtown and knocking down the current civic center would free up that area to more development. Further, they could also open up another pedestrian shopping way (from Allyn Street to Pratt Street).

There is no need to "free up space" We have tons of undeveloped land in that part of town. I might agree with you if it were not for the fact that the arena provides one of the reasons to live downtown, and if residents of the buildings near Trumbull street now had to walk several blocks to a dead part of downtown at night or even in the winter at night, I suspect that they would feel as though ther might be better residential options.

But also, the current arena plan calls for a connection between Allyn and Pratt, so it seems we will get what we want.

2) it DEFINITELY would be a good idea to take advantage of the parking at the convention center. Currently the "rebuild on top of current Civic center" scenario destroys the current parking garage and forces development of many of those other lots.

but dont we want to "force" the development of the flat parking lots? I know I do. sure it would be great to avoid having to build more massive downtown parking garages, but infill is 10 times more important than any of that.

not trying to tear you down or anything, but just pointing out the counter to two of your points.

I think the current site is likely best, but I do ot want the city to be without an arena for 3 years. but if that was the cost of getting a ton of developemtn done around it, and a pro team coming to town, then sign me up for season tickets, and sell me a condo in one of these as yet non existing projects. :)

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I guess I should defend my statements a little more.

1) I do not see the new Civic Center contributing to more residential growth. I think that when people think of what amenities downtown has to offer, certainly a Civic Center within walking distance would be nice (which would be Front Street), but I do not think that they want to be RIGHT near the Civic Center.

2) I do not think the majority of the people going to shows would be downtown residents. Most likely they are going to be driving in and going to be using the highways. The Front street location provides FAR superior Access to I-91 & I-84 west via the whitehead highway.. Further, access to Route 2 and I-84 east is only a block away. At the current location, there's access to I84 but a seeming CF to get onto 91. Further, I think taking out Church street (as the plan goes) would create a CF for traffic.

3) I am a proponent of taking advantage of the Civic center's garages from the "minimum build" perspective. The city would only have to construct the new center instead of a new center and garage. Further, if we put two large venue spaces together, perhaps they can have a synergetic effect (along with the new Science center) to spur businesses friendly to visitor-growth.

4) It would also be nice to put it closer to constitution plaza. A significant portion of concert-goers are under-21 year olds. This would give them something to enjoy before a show. Also, for those who want to walk around, it's something to impress non-locals with.

5) now what to do with the current stadium. I say sell it. The area is a lot more attractive for potential downtown residents because it is closer to the park and many other places of employment. Front street development would only be close to Travellers. After all, the pedestrian-proximity attracts people who do it daily, not those who do it once in a while going to a show.

Thanks for the comments though. It's good to have a dialogue.

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5) now what to do with the current stadium. I say sell it. The area is a lot more attractive for potential downtown residents because it is closer to the park and many other places of employment. Front street development would only be close to Travellers. After all, the pedestrian-proximity attracts people who do it daily, not those who do it once in a while going to a show.

Untrue, there are PLENTY of places that are within walking distance of Front Street. To name a few: Travelers, Phoenix, United Healthcare, anything in Statehouse Square, anything in Constitution Plaza, Wadsworth, City Hall, Federal Building, Hotel/Convention Center. And that's just naming within a 3 block area. Really, the only stuff not within walking distance is Aetna and the Hartford because they are on the other end of downtown, though I could definitely see someone walking to the Hartford anyways.

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All things being equal,

Come 2015 I would rather see a bigger better brand new arena in its current location. But only if the vacant lots around it and Allyn street are developed. Also only if Front street is a migh density mixed use district with a significant residential component.

That being said, if front street continues to falter and an arena is held up because no one wants to have no arena for 3 years, and there are no concrete plans for additional arena based development, I say switch em.

I am fairly sure however, that we will get our new arena and SOME additional development near by. I am also fairly sure that Front street will eventually be taken over by someone who can build it. and build it right. but since I am not Lary G, I cant tell you for sure.

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Found this on the Global St.com web site. took them long enough to start looking for tenants. With this economy though it will be a tough sell. JMHO Jay

GlobeSt.com Commercial Real Estate News and Property ResourceLast updated: September 19, 2008 04:04pmGVA to Rep Front Street DistrictBy Ryan Clark.HARTFORD-The Stamford, CT-based GVA Williams of Connecticut is being selected as the exclusive leasing agent for the Front Street District development. The project boasts 150,000 sf of which roughly 60,000 sf is designated for retail, with the rest being residential.

Greenwich, CT-based HB Nitkin Group--the developer--is in the first phase of building, which is planned to finish in the fall of 2009. The first phase will complete the 60,000 sf of retail space, which can be opened before the second phase--a reported 115-unit residential portion--is complete, according to GVA. There are no tenants yet, but according to GVA the facility can "accommodate someone as large as a 15,000-sf to 20,000-sf anchor."

The downtown Hartford area has had a dearth of retail space comparable to this project, so despite a rough economy, this property should attract more interest than a property developed in a more common retail corridor, GVA explains. "This is an exciting project for Hartford that further emphasizes development in the downtown area," says Cory Gubner, president and CEO of GVA Williams, in a statement. The project was put together as a complement to the Adriaen

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Why can't someone pin down ESPN and get them to commit to SOMETHING, I'm sure that would help out the leasing process.

They were committed to Front St... through 3 developers and about 7-8 years. It always seems that things progress at a snail's pace in this city and a lot changes in 10 YEARS.

If they indeed aren't committed to it anymore (I haven't heard their name mentioned with this project in a couple years now), its a shame because it would be a huge first step and a great tourist draw to Front St.

Edited by Luca Brasi

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Oh well, baby steps - best we can hope for in this market I guess...

http://www.courant.com/community/news/hfd/...0,5995085.story

Despite Slumping Economy, Hartford's Front Street Project Advances

By JEFFREY B. COHEN

October 2, 2008

Front Street could have been Hartford's Blue Back Square, a retail and residential hub just west of the Connecticut Convention Center anchoring downtown Hartford's state-funded rebirth. Nothing close to that has happened yet. But come early next month, Front Street will quietly become a construction site for a much less ambitious goal

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Oh well, baby steps - best we can hope for in this market I guess...

http://www.courant.com/community/news/hfd/...0,5995085.story

Despite Slumping Economy, Hartford's Front Street Project Advances

By JEFFREY B. COHEN

October 2, 2008

Front Street could have been Hartford's Blue Back Square, a retail and residential hub just west of the Connecticut Convention Center anchoring downtown Hartford's state-funded rebirth. Nothing close to that has happened yet. But come early next month, Front Street will quietly become a construction site for a much less ambitious goal

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The state should just pull-out. Build the 15 million dollar garage closer to already existing entertainment district,where it is needed... Take that 20 million and use it to improve that area. Hold off on this project until the timing is better, make it a temporary park, farmers market, something until the conditions warrant... I don't want a state funded dollar store...

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The state should just pull-out. Build the 15 million dollar garage closer to already existing entertainment district,where it is needed... Take that 20 million and use it to improve that area. Hold off on this project until the timing is better, make it a temporary park, farmers market, something until the conditions warrant... I don't want a state funded dollar store...

The complete lack of details is what bothers me most.

are they building this retail section in a way that will allow residential to be built over top of it in a few years?

If it is in fact like that I would be fine with it. but this project is poop.

now that being said are we kind of happy to see something new? some actual construction?

at this point in the financial crisis getting anything underway is a coup.

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this was disappointing news. I don't think downtown needs more retail space. it needs more residents and tenants first then the retail space will fill in. They should just scrap the project. Finally, I agree that I don't want another dollar store there.

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I see a half filled strip mall and awful press should this come to pass. Scrap the project, split the land into a dozen parcels, and give the properties away to any developer(s) willing to build a structure occupying the entire lot. Maybe, for a change, the city could actually actively promote the creation of urban fabric.

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This may be a very simple view, but to me it makes a lot of sense. I propose that two things happen in downtown:

  • Build Front Street and give it to the Italians
  • Take the area west of the XL Center and convert it into a mixed use lifestyle center with outlet stores at the street level and apartments/condos and office space above

Little Italy is fading fast. It's too secluded from downtown and many of Italians are fleeing Franklin for the burbs. Every great city has a little Italy. Build Front Street and entice the Italians to move back. After all, Front Street used to be belong to them.

As for the outlets, you can't get those in Canton, Farmington, Glastonbury, or Manchester. The closest we are to outlet shopping is Clinton about 40 minutes down route 9. Every time I've ever visited an outlet, the place has been packed. A developer wanted to build them in the Meadows. Why not in downtown Hartford? West of the XL would be a perfect site. Many of the existing buildings are vacant and of the 4-5 story varieties, not too mention the many surface parking lots that could be built upon. That place would be a draw. Does any other city have outlet stores in their downtown area? I think it would create a great atmosphere, especially with the train station, Bushnell Park, and some restaurants already in place. Get the New Haven to Springfield rain line up and running and it would be a quick train ride for many to head to Hartford, get off the train and have outlets a half block away.

Add an Italian "neighborhood" and an outlet shopping district to downtown and we've got a city!

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This may be a very simple view, but to me it makes a lot of sense. I propose that two things happen in downtown:

  • Build Front Street and give it to the Italians
  • Take the area west of the XL Center and convert it into a mixed use lifestyle center with outlet stores at the street level and apartments/condos and office space above

Little Italy is fading fast. It's too secluded from downtown and many of Italians are fleeing Franklin for the burbs. Every great city has a little Italy. Build Front Street and entice the Italians to move back. After all, Front Street used to be belong to them.

As for the outlets, you can't get those in Canton, Farmington, Glastonbury, or Manchester. The closest we are to outlet shopping is Clinton about 40 minutes down route 9. Every time I've ever visited an outlet, the place has been packed. A developer wanted to build them in the Meadows. Why not in downtown Hartford? West of the XL would be a perfect site. Many of the existing buildings are vacant and of the 4-5 story varieties, not too mention the many surface parking lots that could be built upon. That place would be a draw. Does any other city have outlet stores in their downtown area? I think it would create a great atmosphere, especially with the train station, Bushnell Park, and some restaurants already in place. Get the New Haven to Springfield rain line up and running and it would be a quick train ride for many to head to Hartford, get off the train and have outlets a half block away.

Add an Italian "neighborhood" and an outlet shopping district to downtown and we've got a city!

The idea of recreating Front St's Little Italy was floated a couple of years ago by Nitkin. I don't know that its still being talked about. I can only imagine that the businesses on Franklin Ave. all own their own property and weren't interested in moving or opening another location a few miles away that would compete with their existing business.

Regardless, I thought it was a great idea.

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The tourist trap known as Little Italy in Manhattan is bad enough. This would be worse, a Disneyfied recreation of something that has to happen organically.

The solution for the organic, urban development people crave is to shrink the parcel sizes and sell them to different developers. Thinning the streets would work also work toward the feel. Think Beacon Hill or The North End in Boston: thin streets, tiny lots, wall to wall development. Two of the greatest urban places in the country, but it won't happen here as long as we keep handing acres to a single developer.

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Like I said, give it to the Italians...

So where is ESPN?

Officials of the Bristol-based sports media giant say they continue to review their options at Front Street, the housing, retail and entertainment district of Adriaen

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