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HartfordTycoon

Hartford back in 88

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Interesting NYT article I came across online. Thought I would share. Enjoy.

May 22, 1988

IN THE REGION: Connecticut and Westchester; Can Hartford Beat the Housing Squeeze?

By ELEANOR CHARLES

LEAD: HARTFORD has an office vacancy rate of just 8 percent, one of the lowest in the country. But this upbeat market has its down side. The city has a severe housing shortage and monumental traffic and parking problems caused by the 125,000 commuters who pour into a square-mile business district each day.

HARTFORD has an office vacancy rate of just 8 percent, one of the lowest in the country. But this upbeat market has its down side. The city has a severe housing shortage and monumental traffic and parking problems caused by the 125,000 commuters who pour into a square-mile business district each day.

Seven million square feet of office space have been built since the 1970's and four million more square feet are under review. But some 4,000 units of downtown housing have vanished under this onslaught. Hartford's resident population of 137,000 has grown by only 1,000 since 1980.

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Hartford was a powerhouse back in the 1980's. If only those towers where built?

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Goes to show how much Hartford had going for it and how big of idiots the people running the show back then really were. If they had planned properly instead of trying to rip everyone off (hello Colonial Realty, mentioned in the article), the city would not have been devistated in the 90's. Even then, housing was imperative, yet they didn't get it. At least today (a decade late and billions short), they finally realize that people need to live in the city...

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Goes to show how much Hartford had going for it and how big of idiots the people running the show back then really were. If they had planned properly instead of trying to rip everyone off (hello Colonial Realty, mentioned in the article), the city would not have been devistated in the 90's. Even then, housing was imperative, yet they didn't get it. At least today (a decade late and billions short), they finally realize that people need to live in the city...

At least they realise today that housing is very important to Hartford's future. No point in looking back, it's all about the future now.

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So what's Hartford's secret? Why is it such an attractive place to do business? I'm asking mainly because Providence isn't at all and I'd like to know what they're doing wrong.

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So what's Hartford's secret? Why is it such an attractive place to do business? I'm asking mainly because Providence isn't at all and I'd like to know what they're doing wrong.

Hartford's business climate was founded on the insurance industry. Providence's economy revolved around jewelry at the turn of the century. The jewelry business became obsolete as it was easier and more economically feasible to outsource such jobs. You can't outsource insurance outside of the country as underwriting guidelines are set by each individual state. ( I imagine. I'm no expert. ) There really has been no need to relocate that industry to other parts of the country. While this article was written in 1988, the Hartford area is still a major player in the insurance industry. However, many of those insurance jobs have re-located to the burbs, thereby driving the office vacancy rates over 15% in the city alone.

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why did they locate to the burbs? why does Cigna have offices in bloomfield and windsor....when they have a huge tower downtown? wouldn't it be cheaper to have it in all one place instead of multiple locations? same thing for Aenta....although I heard from a birdie that Middletown will be moving a good deal of it's workers to Hartford in a few years....and shutting down the middletown location completely.

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HARTFORD has an office vacancy rate of just 8 percent, one of the lowest in the country. But this upbeat market has its down side. The city has a severe housing shortage and monumental traffic and parking problems caused by the 125,000 commuters who pour into a square-mile business district each day.

However, many of those insurance jobs have re-located to the burbs, thereby driving the office vacancy rates over 15% in the city alone.

That 8% for the metro then?

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why did they locate to the burbs? why does Cigna have offices in bloomfield and windsor....when they have a huge tower downtown? wouldn't it be cheaper to have it in all one place instead of multiple locations? same thing for Aenta....although I heard from a birdie that Middletown will be moving a good deal of it's workers to Hartford in a few years....and shutting down the middletown location completely.

Yeah I heard the same thing. Aetna will close it's Middletown facility probably within 8 to 10 years, maybe earlier.

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That 8% for the metro then?

No, 8% vacancy in Hartford was back in 88. Now it's like 15-17%. Who knows about the metro? It's measured on city limits.

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why did they locate to the burbs? why does Cigna have offices in bloomfield and windsor....when they have a huge tower downtown? wouldn't it be cheaper to have it in all one place instead of multiple locations? same thing for Aenta....although I heard from a birdie that Middletown will be moving a good deal of it's workers to Hartford in a few years....and shutting down the middletown location completely.

As Hartford insurers grew into global companies, most built huge office complexes in the suburbs for the simple fact that it is a lot less expensive to build in the suburbs and offer amenities like parking and a traffic free commute to employees. Aetna built in Middletown, Cigna built in Bloomfield, The Hartford built in Simsbury, The Phoenix built in Enfield, etc. If these companies were to move all area jobs back into downtown (I believe Phoenix has), you would have a major shortage of office space.

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I'm pretty sure Phoenix is downtown only also, the large complex they had right off 91 in Enfield is now MassMutual.

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Businesses are continuing to grow in Hartford's suburbs except we cannot let businesses continue to move out of Hartford for these suburbs. We should try to attract new businesses to Hartford then try the suburbs if that doesnt work....a new corporation in Windsor or Rocky Hill is better then it being out of state.

Windsor and Rocky Hill are becoming major centers of business with their massive offiice parks (in my opinion at least) Rocky Hill's Corporate Ridge is home to the North American headquarters of Henkel Loctite, as well as offices for such companies as MetLife, Nationwide and SNET. There is also the Marriott Hartford Hotel Rocky Hill on site and a brand new Residence Inn by Marriott. This area is also where the new headquarters of WFSB is being built

Windsor's Day Hill Road area is home to numerous hotels including a Cortyard by Marriott, Hilton, etc as well as numerous other companies. Windsor will also be home to a new Walgreens distribution facility (something like that) and ING.

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That SNET site isn't as big as it used to be. There is still a 811 call center there and some Cingular stuff, but most has moved out of there to my knowledge. They/we have much bigger operations in Hartford, Meriden, and New Haven (obviously)...

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That article is so scary it's interesting. There seems to be a lot in common with 1988 and today. However, we're finally establishing aprtaments/condo's downtown, and that seems to be the key.

Did they seriously think people were going to walk downtown from the Park Place towers??? :lol:

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Another article from the Times. This project seemed as though it was right on schedule for construction, what happen to cancel the project so fast?

LEAD: Construction took 50 workers seven weeks to complete. And that was just for the pop-up magazine advertisement.

Construction took 50 workers seven weeks to complete. And that was just for the pop-up magazine advertisement.

The actual $350 million project, named Cutter Financial Center, is expected to break ground in February and take two and a half years to complete. It will be a 59-story, 1.9 million-square-foot tower on a site bounded by Lewis, Trumbull and Pearl Streets in downtown Hartford. Its height, 878 feet, will make it the tallest building in New England, eclipsing the John Hancock building in Boston, which is 790 feet tall.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html...751C1A961948260

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Another article from the Times. This project seemed as though it was right on schedule for construction, what happen to cancel the project so fast?

LEAD: Construction took 50 workers seven weeks to complete. And that was just for the pop-up magazine advertisement.

Construction took 50 workers seven weeks to complete. And that was just for the pop-up magazine advertisement.

The actual $350 million project, named Cutter Financial Center, is expected to break ground in February and take two and a half years to complete. It will be a 59-story, 1.9 million-square-foot tower on a site bounded by Lewis, Trumbull and Pearl Streets in downtown Hartford. Its height, 878 feet, will make it the tallest building in New England, eclipsing the John Hancock building in Boston, which is 790 feet tall.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html...751C1A961948260

That short snippet is enough to make any Son of Hartford cry. :cry: What could have been, what should have been. Oh well.

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It's kinda sad how close that was to becoming reality... The state (and esp. the city of Hartford) needs to improve its business climate NOW. The location is prime right between NYC and Boston, if it was super (or even moderately) cheap to conduct business in Hartford we would definately see a large influx of businesses moving in.

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That short snippet is enough to make any Son of Hartford cry. :cry: What could have been, what should have been. Oh well.

Yeah it is sad indeed, but who knows maybe in the future if the economy improves enough, we might be able to ressurect some of these projects again. To bad we couldn't get the eighties style economy back. :(

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That short snippet is enough to make any Son of Hartford cry. :cry: What could have been, what should have been. Oh well.

I seriously almost shed a tear after reading that. I had no idea the project was ONLY 2 MONTHS away from breaking ground!!!

Even though it would have been bad for the economy after it crashed, we could have turned all of the office space into condo's. :(

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It's kinda sad how close that was to becoming reality... The state (and esp. the city of Hartford) needs to improve its business climate NOW. The location is prime right between NYC and Boston, if it was super (or even moderately) cheap to conduct business in Hartford we would definately see a large influx of businesses moving in.

Damus, it does need to improve its BUSINESS CLIMATE, but I believe they'll drive more businesses away. Southern states are more business friendly and until voters of Connecticut wise up, more people -- and businesses (including HEADQUARTERS) -- will leave.

Connecticut (mostly Fairfield County) used to have more HEADQUARTERS then most (except NYC), but now Fairfield County is not in the top 5 in terms of HEADQUARTERS.

Do I think Connecticut will be business friendly? I'm not sure... I hope so.

JimS

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I seriously almost shed a tear after reading that. I had no idea the project was ONLY 2 MONTHS away from breaking ground!!!

Even though it would have been bad for the economy after it crashed, we could have turned all of the office space into condo's. :(

And we would have the TALLEST Brick building!! :) Will 'Cutter' ever be built -- I mean an 800 foot brick skyscaper -- in Hartford. Yes, if Hartford and Connecticut co-operates with businesses. Maybe ATT (nee SNET/SBC) could use it for their Northeast HQ, Connecticut Bank and Trust could use it for their HQ and maybe Webster. Plus the Cutter was going to have apartments and retail space -- bring Wild Oats/ Whole Foods into downtown.

Hartford is turning the corner -- slowly. But it is making positive moves.

JimS

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Maybe ATT (nee SNET/SBC) could use it for their Northeast HQ

JimS

Not gonna happen, most of our buildings are becoming half empty around here as it is, especially with all that nice AT&T space they still have at the "old" headquarters in NJ.....

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