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ctman987

COMPLETED: Blue Back Square

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The Blue Back square project is slated to be built on and near a vacant car dealership just steps away from the highly successfull West Hartford Center which features 140 shops that all have storefronts and are predominatly family and/ or locally owned and operated. The project calls for more retail space, Class A office space, medical office space, 57 luxury condos for empty nesters, and renovations to the WH's Town Hall and Library.

Currently Crate and Barrel and a movie house have signed on as tenants. The project would fix a West Hartford eyesore and draw more individuals to the area to live, work, shop, and play but the area on the other hand is extremly congested. The West Hartford Center area is just off I-84 and is home to hundreds of single family homes, public and private schools, apartment buildings and shops/

Minutes away is Westfarms mall a major upscale shopping mall with 1, 310, 000 square feet and 160 stores. Westfarms's owner a mall operating company from Michigan is a major OPPONENT of the project.

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Today, Wednesday June 22 the community of West Hartford (population about 60,000) is voting for a second time on Blue Back Square. A yes vote would give the developers the chance to start construction even though the Taubman Corporation which owns Westfarms Mall keeps creating lawsuits to delay and/or block the project through its high profile attorneys.

DISCUSS THIS TOPIC, IT'S HOT RIGHT NOW IN GREATER HARTFORD!

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West Hartford residents voted in favor of the project for a second time in almost a 2:1 ratio.

Yes for Blue Back Square: 11,861

No for Blue Back Square: 5,007

August groundbreaking on the $158million dollar project.

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West Hartford residents voted in favor of the project for a second time in almost a 2:1 ratio.

Yes for Blue Back Square: 11,861

No for Blue Back Square: 5,007

August groundbreaking on the $158million dollar project.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That's great news...for the suburbs. I don't see how Hartford has a chance when it's surrounded by such nice places as West Hartford, Avon, etc. Personally, I'd much rather stroll through downtown West Hartford than Hartford.

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That's great news...for the suburbs.  I don't see how Hartford has a chance when it's surrounded by such nice places as West Hartford, Avon, etc.  Personally, I'd much rather stroll through downtown West Hartford than Hartford.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

How typically pessimistic of Hartford. KRC, the sum is always greater than the parts of the whole...

The Hartford region - in part b/c it's so small (geographically) but more significantly, b/c there's so much also happening around the city itself - has to start valuing itself for the sum of parts.

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How typically pessimistic of Hartford.  KRC, the sum is always greater than the parts of the whole...

The Hartford region - in part b/c it's so small (geographically) but more significantly, b/c there's so much also happening around the city itself - has to start valuing itself for the sum of parts.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I know and my intention was not to offend. I was just being honest with my opinion. I'd much rather see that going on in Hartford not West Hartford.

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I think BBS will be a wonderful addition to an already great West Hartford Center as well as a benefit to Hartford. Keep in mind West Hartford Center is only 3 miles from downtown Hartford. Farmington Avenue is turning into a great destination and I believe an express bus route from WHC to dt Hartford could be established in the future. Who knows, maybe even light rail. BBS won't take anything away from Hartford. There is more than enough people in Hartford and West Hartford to support both a healthy, thriving downtown Hartford as well as a larger WHC.

Interesting sidenote...I was in West Hartford last week and I drove by the BBS site and saw some buildings going up. I was surprised of course because construction hasn't even officially started yet. Turns out what I was seeing was a new "Whole Foods Market" going up right next to the BBS development along Raymond Road. Apparently BBS is already attracting more great stuff to the center.

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I think BBS will be a wonderful addition to an already great West Hartford Center as well as a benefit to Hartford.  Keep in mind West Hartford Center is only 3 miles from downtown Hartford.  Farmington Avenue is turning into a great destination and I believe an express bus route from WHC to dt Hartford could be established in the future.  Who knows, maybe even light rail.  BBS won't take anything away from Hartford.  There is more than enough people in Hartford and West Hartford to support both a healthy, thriving downtown Hartford as well as a larger WHC.

Interesting sidenote...I was in West Hartford last week and I drove by the BBS site and saw some buildings going up.  I was surprised of course because construction hasn't even officially started yet.  Turns out what I was seeing was a new "Whole Foods Market" going up right next to the BBS development along Raymond Road.  Apparently BBS is already attracting more great stuff to the center.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Whole Foods is a great market. We have two of them in Providence. I shop at the one in University Heights all the time.

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I personally have mixed feelings on this project as I think it may deter some businesses (offices and shops) from choosing downtown Hartford as a spot to open up shop. Westfarms Mall will obviously see some competitition and the last thing this area needs in vacant storefronts around the mall. Lastly there will be increased traffic in an area that is already congested. Blue Back will add traffic to the area between Trout Brook Avenue and West Hartford Center.

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well all I can say is I lived in West Hartford for 23 years, and this is the best thing to happen to the town since West Hartford Center was revamped in the mid 90's. That land is prime for development, and it's in the center of town. I can't think of one good reason why WH shouldn't build up the vacant property...it's an eyesore in an otherwise beautiful WHC.

Traffic? Come to Long Island...I'll show you traffic. Seriously, it's remarkably easy to get around WHC, and this development won't change that. Believe it or not, this development will actually help ease traffic in and around WHC because of the two new garages that will be built.

As seen in this site plan, Blue Back Square only covers a couple blocks, so the traffic concern is essntially a non issue. It's a false claim from NIMBY's and people who are employed by Westfarms Mall IMO.

retail_graphic.jpg

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model_resident.jpg

The scale of development is perfect for West Hartford Center. I don't see this as detracting from Hartford as much as it enhances the MetroHartford.

In most cities, this development would lie well inside the footprint of the city proper. However, with Connecticut's tiny towns, it is in a different political entitiy. Still, BBS is less than four miles from downtown and will be a nice ammenity for city residents.

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I agree that this is a great project for Hartford. Yes, you read right, for Hartford. The more we have going on as an area the better. I would much rather see this happening in West Hartford in conjuction with Downtown Hartford, and now the mega developments at Rentschler Field in E Hartford than what I have been witnessing for 24 yrs of life, which is nothing. I've never seen anything big happen in our area, other than Buckland Hills coming to life. This to me is proof that our area is thriving and growing and IMO we will easily support of this development as I feel we are actually a bit deprived compared to other metros of similar size and affluence.

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That article is highly biased.....

For those of us who don't know the area, in what way is it biased?

- Garris

Providence, RI

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For those of us who don't know the area, in what way is it biased?

- Garris

Providence, RI

I don't know if it is highly biased but the issue is that some people just don't like development. Alot of residents in West Hartford are in denial that they even live in an urban area. They like to say is a metropolitan village or something when the fact is that West Hartford is a large town, pretty much the same as a small city with about 65,000 residents and is very urban. The town center is lively and walkable, but there is some blight, even in this highly affluent town. The Blue Back plan will address the very real issue of urban decay in a town that has been around for as long as Hartford as it was once part of Hartford. I think the plan will help improve the overall center and also bring some much needed NEW housing stock to the area which is vital to attract some people who just don't see older, historic housing as an option for them.

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That article is biased because the woman who wrote it is from West Hartford and is a big part of the effort to stop Blue Back Square. She is one of three resident puppets filing a lawsuit supported by Westfarms Mall to block the development.

Although it is an opinion piece, in the interest of fair journalism, the Providence Journal should have made mention of this.

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Although it is an opinion piece, in the interest of fair journalism, the Providence Journal should have made mention of this.

Well, they did mention that she is president of the West Hartford Initiative to Save Historic Property and a little Googling finds you their position on Blue Back. To be fair, the Journal really can't say, "she's a raving nut hell bent on stopping Blue Back." Unfortunately she's not President of a group called, "I'll Light Myself on Fire to Stop Blue Back Square," that would have made things clearer. :lol:

She may have some points, not knowing personally what the situation is like on the ground there, it does nonetheless seem like West Hartford may be ripping out it's heart for what, in effect is a mall. There's probably a middle ground between what has actually been proposed (is being built) and the build-nothing mentality that the author seems to have. Hopefully things will work out for West Hartford.

I moved the Blue Back discuission to this thread

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I can't take anyone seriously who claims street oriented development in the center of an affluent, bustling town center is bad, while at the same time aligns themselves with a huge mall on the outskirts of town.

She may have some points, not knowing personally what the situation is like on the ground there, it does nonetheless seem like West Hartford may be ripping out it's heart for what, in effect is a mall.

Isn't Providence Place an indoor mall? That doesn't seem to be such a bad thing for Providence. ^_^ If we were to characterize BBS as a "mall", it would hardly be typical considering the buildings all stand alone and there are streets running through the site.

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Cotuit - The whole Blue Back Development has gone to a town vote, not once, but twice and both times was approved by West Hartford residents by a landslide - but the NIBYs still won't let go, LOL.

Westfarms mall which views this development as a threat is backing the effort of 3 NIMBYs by footing the legal bills to file a lawsuit to stop Blue Back Square. A judge has dismissed their lawsuit as frivolous and allowed development to start.

I wouldn't exactly call Blue Back Square a conventional mall. Its more of a small development that will expand West Hartford Center. It incorporates roads, residential, retail and a streetscape. You can view siteplans and models here:

www.bluebacksquare.com

HartfordTycoon - I agree. This development for all intents and puposes is about Hartford as much as West Hartford. West Hartford Center is only a couple miles from downtown Hartford. It is a development that will enrich the entire region.

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