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PROPOSED: 510 Farmington Avenue

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Luca Brasi    1

"Among those who don't like the proposal is Antonia Loconte, an attorney and activist who bought a house on Sherman Street this year. Loconte said increases in West End property values have been pushing up rents and pricing out lower-income Hispanic and black residents. A luxury development that draws in more wealthy, white ex-suburbanites will only hurt the current residents more, she said.

"The people who are living in the community, keeping it going, are the ones being driven out," she said. "It's a way of displacing people with less economic resources, people who give the neighborhood its character. It's creating a suburb in the city. Why would you want to move to a neighborhood full of people who look like the people you moved away from?" "

Yeah! Let's keep Hartford poor and full of lower class residents who rent... hopefully with some kind of government subsidy. Because that's what will keep Hartford a strong city. What a complete, ignorant jackass.

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SOCOM    0

Yeah! Let's keep Hartford poor and full of lower class residents who rent... hopefully with some kind of government subsidy. Because that's what will keep Hartford a strong city. What a complete, ignorant jackass.

Ha! Right on Luca, I had the same reaction. What a nitwit.

"It's creating a suburb in the city. Why would you want to move to a neighborhood full of people who look like the people you moved away from?"

What on earth is she talking about?

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GHartford    0

"Among those who don't like the proposal is Antonia Loconte, an attorney and activist who bought a house on Sherman Street this year. Loconte said increases in West End property values have been pushing up rents and pricing out lower-income Hispanic and black residents. A luxury development that draws in more wealthy, white ex-suburbanites will only hurt the current residents more, she said.

"The people who are living in the community, keeping it going, are the ones being driven out," she said. "It's a way of displacing people with less economic resources, people who give the neighborhood its character. It's creating a suburb in the city. Why would you want to move to a neighborhood full of people who look like the people you moved away from?" "

Yeah! Let's keep Hartford poor and full of lower class residents who rent... hopefully with some kind of government subsidy. Because that's what will keep Hartford a strong city. What a complete, ignorant jackass.

Actually, Luca, you might just be the one who looks like one here. Many of us are quick to shake the hand of any developer looking to build a project in the city. But, our neighborhoods need people like this woman who are keeping the interests of all community members in mind- even "lower class" residents as you call them. We should not be getting so caught up in the excitement of a building boom that we forget not everyone will be able to afford a $500,000 condo. In fact, Hartford needs residents of all incomes to make and keep it a "strong city." One key is in providing economic opportunity for all Hartford residents, something which unfortunately is far from the reality of many Hartford neighborhoods. I don't necessarily agree with this person either. This may or may not be a good project for the west end. But, you certainly can't blame her for looking out for the lower income folks in that neighborhood. Gentrification is absolutely going to cause come problems as Hartford comes along and we need people thinking about how we can maintain a mix of incomes in neighborhoods like the West End. This is far from ignorant. Jeez.

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Luca Brasi    1

Actually, Luca, you might just be the one who looks like one here.

Wrong.

Not everyone HAS to afford a $500,000 condo. Its a specific targeted market. There is plenty of affordable housing across the city right now and thats not going to change anytime soon. In case you've been sleeping, Hartford city proper is one of the poorest cities in the nation. Not everyone can afford a latte from Starbucks or a new condo? Get over it. Sorry if that comes acroiss strongly, but I am so tired of people acting like there is something wrong with gentrification and an influx of people with disposable income - especially in a city that has struggled like Hartford. Its such an ass-backwards way of thinking.

Any successful city has a mix of people from all classes and economic backgrounds. Hartford doesn't have nearly enough middle and upper income residents right now. Do you not understand the purpose of development in the city right now? Its to bring these people and their badly needed dollars BACK into the city. The tax rolls rise... the needs for services rise... new businesses open up and new jobs are created. What has ruined the city of Hartford over the last 50 years is the flight of the middle and upper classes to the suburbs (along with their small businesses and jobs) leaving Hartford a center for poverty and social services. Now that it has become clear that people who have the means to spend $500,000 on a condo (in a development replacing an abandoned gas station no less!!) actually want housing in the city, you have morons like this woman who don't get the whole picture criticizing it:

"It's creating a suburb in the city. Why would you want to move to a neighborhood full of people who look like the people you moved away from?"

"A luxury development that draws in more wealthy, white ex-suburbanites will only hurt the current residents more, she said"

She should be embarrassed of these racially charged comments.

Neighborhoods change. That's life. Like many of the neighborhoods in Hartford have gone downhill over the years, now you are seeing the opposite. The BEST thing that could happen in certain Hartford neighborhoods is to have property values rise because it creates a nice mix of residential income throughout the city and increases homeownership and decreases crime. If property values rise, its because there is a demand and we should all be thankful for that. Its basic economics you think people would understand.

And I didn't coin the lower, middle and upper economic class terminology. If it offends you in some way, I don't know what to tell you.

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SOCOM    0

Don't mean to gang up on you GHartford, but Luca is 100% correct. You even said yourself that "In fact, Hartford needs residents of all incomes to make and keep it a "strong city."

Given that Hartford has plenty of lower and middle income households, we need to attract upper income households and individuals. I think it's also important to keep things in perspective. We're talking about a half dozen condo's being being on an abandoned site, not an entire neighborhood being forced to move out.

In the long run, some people may be priced out of certain areas, and while thats obviously not an ideal situation, the alternative is to keep Hartford poor, depressed, and stagnant.

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GHartford    0

I have no problem with people with disposable income coming to Hartford. I think it's great and you are right, I did say that myself. This project may or may not be a good idea and, as SOCOM points out, it is a small project. My real problem is with calling people expressing concerns about their neighborhoods "ignorant jackasses," and "morons." Gentrification will indeed cause displacement and we can argue forever as to the costs and benefits of that. I personally think we need to start thinking about how all of the wealth soon to be brought into our city can benefit all of Hartford's residents, not just the wealthy. If all of this high-end development leads to higher per-capita incomes in the city, but the public schools still stink, people don't feel safe and communities remain stricken with poverty, we will have failed. I don't agree with all of what this woman says either, but she is looking out for the current residents of the West End. Give her a break.

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Gentrification will cause problems, but it is neccessary. The comments made by Ms. Loconte are actually racist in my mind to assert that upper income blacks and hispanics would not like a nice place to live on Farmington Ave. Greater Hartford is one of the wealthiest communities in the country not just for whites but for large numbers of minorities living in decent neighborhoods in and around Hartford. I think we must keep that in mind and keep the debate on income versus skin color. Hartford NEEDS more high earners plain and simple and I for one couldn't care less what color these new Hartfordites come in.

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Cotuit    0

I agree there are issues to be faced with gentrification, and people will be hurt, but the city overall will be better for it. I don't like people who cry foul of gentrification and make the people who can afford to live in the higher end housing out to be a souless lot of money grubers. I mean people who make 6 or 7 figures are still human beings, we should all be able to get along.

"It's creating a suburb in the city. Why would you want to move to a neighborhood full of people who look like the people you moved away from?"

"A luxury development that draws in more wealthy, white ex-suburbanites will only hurt the current residents more, she said"

Whoa, imagine if this was being said in reverse, if a white person said 'we don't want no poor colored people living in our neighbourhood.' Exactly how would that play out in the press?

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blackstone    0
Actually, Luca, you might just be the one who looks like one here. Many of us are quick to shake the hand of any developer looking to build a project in the city. But, our neighborhoods need people like this woman who are keeping the interests of all community members in mind- even "lower class" residents as you call them. We should not be getting so caught up in the excitement of a building boom that we forget not everyone will be able to afford a $500,000 condo. In fact, Hartford needs residents of all incomes to make and keep it a "strong city." One key is in providing economic opportunity for all Hartford residents, something which unfortunately is far from the reality of many Hartford neighborhoods. I don't necessarily agree with this person either. This may or may not be a good project for the west end. But, you certainly can't blame her for looking out for the lower income folks in that neighborhood. Gentrification is absolutely going to cause come problems as Hartford comes along and we need people thinking about how we can maintain a mix of incomes in neighborhoods like the West End. This is far from ignorant. Jeez.
people doing well financially are not going to move into a very "modest" apartment on sherman and plunge tens of thousands of dollars into a rent that still looks like a semi-condemed proerty on the outside, i know someone that moved out of a sherman rent and spent enough time there to see whats up in the neighborhood. if you want people with ways and means to come back to the city, they have to have a few reasons to do it. you can't have them coming in without someone moving out. if anyone here has ever rented cheap, you know it is a tenuous existance because it is just a matter of time before the owner is going to do something that affects you.

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Luca Brasi    1

I personally think we need to start thinking about how all of the wealth soon to be brought into our city can benefit all of Hartford's residents, not just the wealthy. If all of this high-end development leads to higher per-capita incomes in the city, but the public schools still stink, people don't feel safe and communities remain stricken with poverty, we will have failed.

How does an influx of wealth into the city NOT help?? It is no secret that the middle and upper classes of this country fuel the economy and the same would be true in Hartford. If 1000 new condos are built for the wealthy in Hartford, that is 1000 new property taxes being collected for the city which in turn would be able to improve services. It is 1000 more people who have disposable income who will most likely spend it in their immediate neighborhoods. The need for services will cause retailers to open up shop who in turn will hire locals as workers. New restaurants will open who will need to hire. Its a ripple effect that benefits everyone.

Ask yourself why people don't feel safe in certain neighborhoods in Hartford or why certain neighborhoods remain stricken with poverty and you see how foolish this woman's comments really are. How are neighborhoods to improve if there isn't an infux of investment?

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^^ I just do not understand why she even brings race into the debate. It's like she is ignorant to the fact that middle and upper class Blacks and Hispanics are moving into the suburbs just as rapidly as the middle class Whites whom they replaced. We need to get wealthier people back into the city period.

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Cotuit    0

you can't have them coming in without someone moving out.

Are people living at this gas station?

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SOCOM    0

^You missed the point. With that said, people should not be complaining about neighborhoods trying to attract people with higher incomes. Rich people spend money and bring in more business, which benefits everyone in the neighborhood.

Hartford needs rich people. Black, white, whatever.

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Luca Brasi    1

^^ I just do not understand why she even brings race into the debate. It's like she is ignorant to the fact that middle and upper class Blacks and Hispanics are moving into the suburbs just as rapidly as the middle class Whites whom they replaced. We need to get wealthier people back into the city period.

I couldn't agree more. Hartford has many minorities living in its suburbs (most notably Bloomfield, Windsor, West Hartford, etc.) whom I am sure are just as interested as "wealthy white ex-suburbanites" in living in Hartford.

Injecting race into her argument is pointless and only shows her true colors.

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ctman987    0

As a student at Watkinson I know that the West End is full of an array of people. I have a history professor who lives across the street from Noah Webster School (which is undergoing an amazing renovation and addition), I have a friends who live in the West End whose parents are among the major lawyers, CEO's, CFO's, doctor's etc. that work downtown. There is also areas like South Whitney where just last week there was a shooting.

There can be upper class housing like this development along with the houses on Kenyon Street, Scarborough Street, etc and still be places for middle and lower income residents. Lets not forget there are 500+ apartments at Clemens Place.

The West End is also home to UHART, UCONN School of Law, Hartford Seminary, Noah Webster School, and Watkinson. That adds to the neighborhoods effect.

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GregV    0

I wholeheartedly agree. I'm from Hartford and currently live in uptown Manhattan where gentrification has been a hot topic for years. As young professionals priced-out of downtown have flocked to Harlem they have brought with them services, safety and jobs that were non-existent a decade ago. Now uptown boasts culturally diverse, mixed-income neighborhoods that are thriving (not to mention increased tax revenues).

I believe that this woman is entitled to her opinions, as misguided and racist as they may be. As to the success of this development, considering there is no displacement involved, it can only be positive. The same goes for the myriad other condo projects in the works downtown. I say build as high as zoning allows and as luxurious as the market demands.

Hartford's vicious cycle of poverty must be broken, and this is the first time I've seen such a genuine interest (and investment) in the city. Personally, I hope to own a condo downtown this time 2007, and I can only imagine how far the city will have progressed by then.

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SOCOM    0

Hartford's vicious cycle of poverty must be broken, and this is the first time I've seen such a genuine interest (and investment) in the city.

I think that's why we all have so much hope this time around. Constitution Plaza, the Civic Center, and a host of other attempts failed because nothing was done to entice people to actually live within Hartford's city limits. This is really the first time since Hartford's major decline after WWII that we have seen a citywide effort to improve living conditions as well as create new housing downtown.

I make a trip up to Hartford every month or so, and each time I'm here I notice one more piece of the puzzle fitting into place that I hadn't previously seen. It's a great feeling to see our hometown rising from the ashes.

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Hiramicus    0

Does anyone know the status of this project? I was driving buy and it seemed like they were pulling out all the concrete at this site. Maybe that means plans are going through??

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yea i wanna know what the plans are going to b like too...i actually live a couple streets up from 510 Farmington so that would be exciting for me to see more housing instead of a gas station anywayz. does anyone know the planned height...cuz i mean its right next to a burger king and i bet people dont wanna smell taht all night

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