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MadVlad

The 5 best open spots in downtown...

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Ok, here are the 5 spots that I personally deem the most important unused lots in Hartford (let's work with these 5 for now, we can add others in susequent threads), and what I personally would do with them. Tell me what you'd do with these 5 lots...

1) Main/Pratt/Asylum: The old Society for Savings/Renaissance Place spot. To be truthful, Renaissance Place had the right idea, a mixed use tower with Residential, Hotel, and Office space. It is literally ground zero for Hartford's downtown, we still need more people, and we could use some more hotel space (it's only 2 blocks from the Convention Center).

2) Ford/Asylum: The old Parkview Hilton spot. Can't get any better a spot for a luxury condo tower. Right across the street from Bushnell park, the Capitol, the Train Station, a block from the Civic Center, the bars. Somebody is sitting on this property, then need to *&^% or get off the pot....

3) Hudson/Linden Place: The hidden jem of SoDo. This is the lot that could jump start that area. Imagine a 15-20 story apartment building with some street-level coffe shops etc. Those people would be the population that would help spring main St back to life, and maybe spark that development on Capitol Avenue along...

4) Ann/Asylum: across from the SW corner of the Civic Center. I'm thinking a nice mixed use building here. A few floors of retail and commercial with at least 10 floors of condos above. This could be the match to Hartford21, bookend that block of Asylum St, and really get some foot traffic flowing, especially if Northland gets ahold of the Civic Center property....

5) Main St, north of the Stilts: The butt-upgly building spot. This is the key to increasing downtowns footprint. that parcel would open up all the other lots to development, no one wants to be the first, but I feel that lot has to be. Anything would do, office, maybe condo (pretty sure that's what's planned), I don't think a hotel would fly there....

So there you go guys, my 5 spots, and what I'd do with them. What would you all do with those same 5 spots?

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Great ideas

The Hudson/ Linden Place area tower would also be close to the Plaza Mayor residences at Park and Main adding more people and eventually retail/entertainment to that area of Main St

Main/Pratt/Asylum- Great hotel site possibly because large conventions would feel more comfortable knowning that besides the Marriott just two blocks up is another hotel plus a residence in by marriott and then another block up the hilton and the goodiwn

Main St/north of the stilts: Everyday I see people parking there cars there and walking to their jobs downtown. Its an easy and safe walk to downtown. Now lets try and get those walkers walking from there new apartment or condo to downtown

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My 1st tier (all important)

Main/Pratt/Asylum: I would like to see something like Renaissance Place. The Old State House is almost completely surrounded by office buildings. It would be nice to have at least 1 hotel on State House Square. I envision a building somewhere between the height of the State House Square towers and 777 Main (Bank of America).......................a filler building for the skyline @ 300-350 feet tall.

Ford/Asylum: All the things MadVlad stated.

Site 12B: I think this vacant site has a big pyschological effect downtown Hartford. If you are standing in the heart of downtown Hartford (Main and Asylum) and look north up Main Street, it looks like land ends just a few blocks away. Whatever is built there will have great visibility. The vista looking up Main Street (which curves to the left at 12B) will be redefined.

My 2nd tier

Hudson/Linden Place: Definately a large residential building. Pulaski Circle could be spruced up and surrounded with residential.

Ann/Asylum: All the things MadVlad stated.

Main and Talcott:

Trumbull and Church (atop garage):This garage was built with the intention of building towers above in the future. The Stilts building was built over the Main Street end.

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In order of importance:

1. Main, Pratt and Asylum - Used to be a department store until it was razed for Pelli's Society for Savings tower. Too valuable to be vacant this long. Current owners relocated Main St Market in order to develop Rennaissance Place. Never happened. Now used as a parking lot...hmmm....fishy. A hotel would be ideal here.

2. Allyn St. A huge hole between east and west downtown left by the demolition for 180 Allyn St. Development here would fill a large gap and bridge the area by the train station with the rest of downtown. This lot devastates the streetscape in this area.

3. 12B. Fly over Hartford during the day and what you see more than anything is a huge parking lot. Development here would give a much needed link to the North End. Between the 12B lot and 84, downtown literally just stops at North Church St. I really liked the idea of offering this land to ING. Maybe another one of Hartford's large corporations could build office space

here. I'd like to see the CBD extended into the north end.

4. Ford, Asylum and Pearl. Probably the most prime real estate on Bushnell Park which just got bigger because they knocked down a few buildings for.... you guessed it.... more parking lots. A mixed use development here would be nice. Maybe an office tower on Asylum, brownstones facing the park and mid- high rise residential facing Pearl St.

5 (tie) The area south of Bushnell Park from Elm St down to Buckingham. An entire neighborhood was razed here for a state office park that never got built. What we are left with now is a parking lot for the record books. Blocks of brownstones to compliment the existing brownstones a little further east in SODO would work well here. Maybe another theater and an opera house on Capitol to compliment the two existing theaters there now. Highrises flanking West St. on Bushnell Park.

5 (tie) The lot on Bushnell Park between 55 On The Park and the YMCA from the park up to Pearl. Needs to be housing facing the park. Reopen Hicks Street.

I think the city need to seriously push through the idea of taxing undeveloped property (targeting parking lots and blighted buildings) at a much higher rate than other properties. Watych how fast real estate owners either develop or sell properties they have been sitting on for years.

And to take this thread a little further, the things I'd to see see demolished in Hartford to make way for future development:

1. That weird little housing project just south of the Conlan Whithead Highway. In no way are these structures suitable for downtown. To make matters worse, when they built this nightmare, they eliminated the street grid making some kind of weird looking suburban development smack two block from the Travelers Tower in the middle of downtown. I hate it. Bulldoze the whole thing, restore the street grid (giving the Polish National Home back its street frontage) and start over. This needs to be a neighborhood of mid and highrises.

2. That area just norh of the Crown Plaza by Rensselear. Ugly buildings that were built with no regard whatsoever to their surroundings. Depressing and office park-like with no windows and big lawns. Not suitable for downtown. There is no street life or activity here.

3. Bushnell Plaza on Main St. Admit it was a failure, demolish the pedestrian plaza and build a mixed use building with street level retail and housing.

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I'm a big fan of leaving free enterprise to the developers and having the city take care things that are actually within their powers. So these sugestions are based on things the city or state could actually achieve.

1) Front Street. That needs to be developed. Low rises, high rises, doesn't matter. Just get some life across the street from the CCC. That is the #1 empty lot in the city.

2) The corner of Spruce and Asylum across from Union Station. This needs to be a big municipal garage. That would energize the business and entertainment district on the west side of downtown.

3) The lot on Jewell Street between 55 on the Park and the existing YMCA. You can't really build here because of underground infastructure, so once again a huge parking garage. Once again you have a huge positive impact on the busines and entertainment district downtown.

The Front Street lot is already under the control of the state. They just need to get something done. The parking lots would break the strangle hold of parking lobby. They would provide daytime parking for corporations and businesses allowing them to expand more easily. They would provide nighttime parking for bars, restaurants, concerts, shows and special events like races, bluegrass festivals, Mark Twain Days or first night. In short, they reduce the need for surface parking by providing competition for the high priced private lots while infusing people and life into downtown.

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I am Bumping this because I want to add this question.

if you could choose any 2 of the following 8 projects (or any others for that matter) wich two do you wish were built most.

http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/ci/bu/sk/li/?...;ht=2&sro=1

1.Cutter Financial Center

2.Metro Center II [Metro Center]

3.Society Center

4.180 Allyn Street

5.World Trade Center

6.Linden Court

7.Bushnell Plaza III [Bushnell Towers]

8.Renaissance Place

I Know most people default to Cutter, so I curious what people liked most besides cutter. Also the origonal thread is interesting.

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Off the top of my head my first two picks would be The Cutter for the obvious civic pride reasons and Renaissance Place as it's timing could have helped spur revitalization much earlier than we actually have seen.

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I would also choose Cutter, but more for the 150 apartments up top. Oh and the looks of the building. and ok yes the 850 Ft height.

2nd for me would have been Society Center. Tough to choose, but that location is a lot of the reason. I just want to have something there. I chose Society over Renissance because the latter does not have any apartments. Just office and Hotel. So I would rather have 800K-1M sqft of office over top of retail. Also because the hotel at the convention center might not have happened if the Westin did.

The only problem with my two choices is that they both involve buildings being destroyed and this city has had so many knocked down.

So I should say 180 Allyn Street, and Metro Center II to fill some parking lots :)

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I too would choose Cutter and Renaissance. I chose Cutter for the reasons already listed, a marvelous building, and truly the reason I became enamored with skyscrapers. I chose Renaissance because it's an important lot, an awesome looking building, and we desperately need more hotels in the city. That is THE perfect place for that building.....

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Renaissance Place and Linden Court

2nd for me would have been Society Center. Tough to choose, but that location is a lot of the reason. I just want to have something there. I chose Society over Renissance because the latter does not have any apartments. Just office and Hotel. So I would rather have 800K-1M sqft of office over top of retail. Also because the hotel at the convention center might not have happened if the Westin did.

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I take Bushnell III to be the twin tower as well. For the purpose of this thread it can be the fully built out as planned developement.

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Renaissance Place and Linden Court

Society Center would have been the final piece in surrounding the Old State House with offices. I would like to see some residential or hotel space fronting on Hartford's historic town square.

The Marriott was slated to be built right along with the convention center. I don't think the Weston would have prevented that. An interconnected hotel is usually a priority for convention centers.

Bushnell III never existed as a proposal to my knowledge. The confusion might stem from the original concept, which included a twin to the existing Bushnell tower. The south side of the tower is almost widowless because it was intended to face the north (windowless) wall of its twin. For some reason, Bushnell II was built instead.

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Was Linden Court going to be built in that open lot on the corner of the rotary?

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I am Bumping this because I want to add this question.

if you could choose any 2 of the following 8 projects (or any others for that matter) wich two do you wish were built most.

http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/ci/bu/sk/li/?...;ht=2&sro=1

1.Cutter Financial Center

2.Metro Center II [Metro Center]

3.Society Center

4.180 Allyn Street

5.World Trade Center

6.Linden Court

7.Bushnell Plaza III [Bushnell Towers]

8.Renaissance Place

I Know most people default to Cutter, so I curious what people liked most besides cutter. Also the origonal thread is interesting.

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Skyscrapers have done enough damage to Hartford. Though I sincerely doubt there will EVER be another skyscraper proposed in Hartford. And the city will be better off without them. Those lots will probably be filled with buildings 3-8 stories high eventually. Most likely between 3 and 5 stories.

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I would say worry about what you do with the buildings you currently have in the city than build more. Would it be nice to have another skyscraper or two? Yeah, if there's enough demand to fill them. And what is already built.

Leave the lots vacant until the current built space fills up. Then build to suit.

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A corporation will definitely build another tower in Hartford one day. This city has been here growing and evolving for nearly 400 Years. It's going to be here for a while and we will certainly see another period of growth sometime in the future. I see it as inevitable.

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Skyscrapers have done enough damage to Hartford. Though I sincerely doubt there will EVER be another skyscraper proposed in Hartford. And the city will be better off without them. Those lots will probably be filled with buildings 3-8 stories high eventually. Most likely between 3 and 5 stories.

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What about East Hartford along the riverbank?I love the Cutter design and agree Rennaisance needs to be built.Unfortunately the 'burbs keep developing farmland and old orchards etc...to increase their grand lists.

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What about East Hartford along the riverbank?I love the Cutter design and agree Rennaisance needs to be built. Unfortunately the 'burbs keep developing farmland and old orchards etc...to increase their grand lists.

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East Hartford along the riverfront is a tough one. The whole area is floodplain. It seems as though a great deal would have to change in Hartford before there would be need for more development over there anyways. The goodwin college is the most we can hope for, for now. But who knows. Its certainly possible that East hartford could be more favorable for development on a governmental level. My guess however is that the Rentschler field development would need to progress much further before much else would go on with the riverfront. It's rightfully so East hartfords primary focus, and future tax base.

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With all the companies building in Windsor, Bloomfield, Rocky Hill, etc. how does any really think Hartford will ever need more office space? This state is anti-urban and has failed Hartford. Companies don't see the benefit of locating in the CBD, and unfortunately employees aren't even asking for it, they'll drive wherever they're told. With all the office space already built in the suburbs, and the fact that this region is not growing, there is no market for more office towers in Hartford at all. If you love skyscrapers, you should have been yelling at Hartford Life to building on farmland in Windsor, or at MetLife going to Bloomfield, or at the state for not enticing them to build in Hartford. Don't blame Hartford or Perez... The state and the neighboring towns, and the companies in the suburbs, share the fault completely.

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