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IN-PROGRESS: Rentschler Field Mixed Use District

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With the recent news about Cabela's virtually assuring us that they are coming to Rentschler Field, I think it's time to start a topic specifically on the Rentschler Field development. This could be huge, and the design/planning/construction will be ongoing for over a decade.

Rentschler Field master plan

Edited by SOCOM

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With the recent news about Cabela's virtually assuring us that they are coming to Rentschler Field, I think it's time to start a topic specifically on the Rentschler Field development. This could be huge, and the design/planning/construction will be ongoing for over a decade.

Rentschler Field master plan

:) That new website looks great. I've been telling people that this development will be huge. I wonder if Buckland plans to sue like Westfarms did over BBC, because this is the same type of a threat. Although, Buckland already has competition at it's doorstep with Evergreen Walk. Overall, I think all of this stuff helps and even the malls will benefit if more people start noticing and moving to Greater Hartford. In my opinion Rentscher Field, Blue Back Square, Front Street, and the New Arena/Arena District (fingers crossed) are the big 4 of all developments in Greater Hartford. If all of these come online, we will be in a good spot. All of this stuff has to happen soon though because SE CT and Norwich in particular will be the next frontier of the development frenzy and if Hartford is not performing they will get all of the attention.......

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The Cabela's announcement is a huge step for this plan.

A light rail system to connect outlying areas with the West Hartford Center, Downtown, Riverfront, Renschler Development corridor (only about 5 or 6 miles long) would be invaluable.

Edited by Luca Brasi

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The United States Air Force is also planning a research and development on the site.

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I'd suggest we keep keep an eye out on this project....

I hope they use the modern ways of smart growth and planning, and not make it another sprawl-fest with parking lots everywhere and wasted space.

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The Cabela's announcement is a huge step for this plan.

A light rail system to connect outlying areas with the West Hartford Center, Downtown, Riverfront, Renschler Development corridor (only about 5 or 6 miles long) would be invaluable.

That would be exactly what's needed. I know it's been tossed around here, but where is the "real" discussion about this???

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I'd suggest we keep keep an eye out on this project....

I hope they use the modern ways of smart growth and planning, and not make it another sprawl-fest with parking lots everywhere and wasted space.

These are some exciting times ahead.

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A light rail system to connect outlying areas with the West Hartford Center, Downtown, Riverfront, Renschler Development corridor (only about 5 or 6 miles long) would be invaluable.

That would be exactly what's needed. I know it's been tossed around here, but where is the "real" discussion about this???

Maybe we should start a rapid transit thread

I was just writing down some thoughts I had running around in my head. It just happens to connect all the points Luca mentioned plus a multi modal depot at the junction of 3 interstate highways just outside of Hartford.

THE DEPOT

The site of the depot is located on I-384 in Manchester, just before the HOV lanes merge with the rest of the highway. It is easily accessed from interstates 84, 384 and even 291.

A huge commuter parking garage would be constructed using air rights above the the highway between Spencer and Hillstown Streets. The structure would also serve as a hub for shuttles to UCONN in Storrs, buses that circulate the Buckland Hills area, and other regional routes.

The existing approaches connecting I-384 and its HOV lanes could provide direct access between the highway and garage, sparing local streets. Perhaps, there could be direct access from I-84 as well.

The depot, which is adjacent to the extensive bike trail system could be interconnected with Manchester Community College.

THE RAPID TRANSIT LINE (METROHART)

The trains, bound for Riverfront Plaza in Hartford, would run in the HOV lanes for most of the route. They would be in a position to capture exposure as they pass motorists during peak hours.

As soon as the train departs (the Spencer Street Depot) for Hartford, it begins its ascent up to sunset ridge near the East Hartford - Manchester line. About a minute or two later, the panorama of the city and western hills appears to be set on a platter. The train stops briefly at Forbes Street (Showcase Cinemas), Rentschler, Main Street (East Hartford) and East River Drive before crossing the river into Hartford.

Ultimately, METROHART would extend to West Hartford Center via Farmington Avenue. The bigger picture would include rethinking the local bus routes to work hand in hand with rapid transit.

Edited by Bill Mocarsky

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I prefer high speed transit to light rail. It's more expensive but it is has the best track record (pun) of any mass transit system. Plus is you want the system to connect to Bradley International, it's the only option that makes sense.

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I prefer high speed transit to light rail. It's more expensive but it is has the best track record (pun) of any mass transit system. Plus is you want the system to connect to Bradley International, it's the only option that makes sense.

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Maybe we should start a rapid transit thread

I was just writing down some thoughts I had running around in my head. It just happens to connect all the points Luca mentioned plus a multi modal depot at the junction of 3 interstate highways just outside of Hartford.

THE DEPOT

The site of the depot is located on I-384 in Manchester, just before the HOV lanes merge with the rest of the highway. It is easily accessed from interstates 84, 384 and even 291.

A huge commuter parking garage would be constructed using air rights above the the highway between Spencer and Hillstown Streets. The structure would also serve as a hub for shuttles to UCONN in Storrs, buses that circulate the Buckland Hills area, and other regional routes.

The existing approaches connecting I-384 and its HOV lanes could provide direct access between the highway and garage, sparing local streets. Perhaps, there could be direct access from I-84 as well.

The depot, which is adjacent to the extensive bike trail system could be interconnected with Manchester Community College.

THE RAPID TRANSIT LINE (METROHART)

The trains, bound for Riverfront Plaza in Hartford, would run in the HOV lanes for most of the route. They would be in a position to capture exposure as they pass motorists during peak hours.

As soon as the train departs (the Spencer Street Depot) for Hartford, it begins its ascent up to sunset ridge near the East Hartford - Manchester line. About a minute or two later, the panorama of the city and western hills appears to be set on a platter. The train stops briefly at Forbes Street (Showcase Cinemas), Rentschler, Main Street (East Hartford) and East River Drive before crossing the river into Hartford.

Ultimately, METROHART would extend to West Hartford Center via Farmington Avenue. The bigger picture would include rethinking the local bus routes to work hand in hand with rapid transit.

I like the idea, though I'm just unsure of the logistics of putting rail on I-84, especially since Bulkeley Bridge cannot be widened. Instead, there is a rail bridge a quarter mile upstream in North Hartford that should be utlized. East of the river, I do think we should use the existing rails, and they run right into Union Station. A simple upgrade to the iron rails, and you have a track, whereas on I-84 would cost millions to contruct from scratch.

Now, west of Union Station, it may be necessarily to leave the train, head down to street level, and embark on a trolley to West Hartford, which is a brilliant idea! Your idea may need to be done in seperate parts.

Just my opinion.

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I like the idea, though I'm just unsure of the logistics of putting rail on I-84, especially since Bulkeley Bridge cannot be widened. Instead, there is a rail bridge a quarter mile upstream in North Hartford that should be utlized. East of the river, I do think we should use the existing rails, and they run right into Union Station. A simple upgrade to the iron rails, and you have a track, whereas on I-84 would cost millions to contruct from scratch.

Now, west of Union Station, it may be necessarily to leave the train, head down to street level, and embark on a trolley to West Hartford, which is a brilliant idea! Your idea may need to be done in seperate parts.

Just my opinion.

The Bulkeley Bridge was already widened in the 80's. I was thinking either alongside or above the Founders Bridge.

I agree that existing rails would be the easiest path. But then again, is the path of least resistance the best way?

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:) That new website looks great. I've been telling people that this development will be huge. I wonder if Buckland plans to sue like Westfarms did over BBC, because this is the same type of a threat. Although, Buckland already has competition at it's doorstep with Evergreen Walk. Overall, I think all of this stuff helps and even the malls will benefit if more people start noticing and moving to Greater Hartford. In my opinion Rentscher Field, Blue Back Square, Front Street, and the New Arena/Arena District (fingers crossed) are the big 4 of all developments in Greater Hartford. If all of these come online, we will be in a good spot. All of this stuff has to happen soon though because SE CT and Norwich in particular will be the next frontier of the development frenzy and if Hartford is not performing they will get all of the attention.......

I doubt Buckland would sue because it is used more then shopping. Cabela's is a store that you won't find at a mall (just like Bass Pro). I'd love to see the town of East Hartford unbury the trolley track that went from the railroad overpass to P&W. It would be great to have trolleys in East Hartford -- that'll connect to a Waterbury - New Britan - Hartford - Willmantic - Norwich - New London commuter train.

I'd love to see some open space as a park - honoring Rentschler, Lindberg and Earhart - and the magnet school for science along with a magnet high school for aerospace studies (Ellis Tech is one). I don't want to see any other retail stores there -- Charter Oak Mall and Silver Lane Plaza need better stores - and I know the old Twin-Hart Volvo site was going to be a shopping center with the Acura Market and Peaches Restaurant moving there.

I'd love to see downtown East Hartford with local stores -- not boutiques, but not national stores (Walgreen's is supposed to build a new store across the street from the old location.)

Jim S

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I doubt Buckland would sue because it is used more then shopping. Cabela's is a store that you won't find at a mall (just like Bass Pro). I'd love to see the town of East Hartford unbury the trolley track that went from the railroad overpass to P&W. It would be great to have trolleys in East Hartford -- that'll connect to a Waterbury - New Britan - Hartford - Willmantic - Norwich - New London commuter train.

I'd love to see some open space as a park - honoring Rentschler, Lindberg and Earhart - and the magnet school for science along with a magnet high school for aerospace studies (Ellis Tech is one). I don't want to see any other retail stores there -- Charter Oak Mall and Silver Lane Plaza need better stores - and I know the old Twin-Hart Volvo site was going to be a shopping center with the Acura Market and Peaches Restaurant moving there.

I'd love to see downtown East Hartford with local stores -- not boutiques, but not national stores (Walgreen's is supposed to build a new store across the street from the old location.)

Jim S

I don't think you'll get your wish. With the high end residential, hotel, restaurant, and office space proposed, we will no doubt see more national names at this site. I personally want national names.

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I don't think you'll get your wish. With the high end residential, hotel, restaurant, and office space proposed, we will no doubt see more national names at this site. I personally want national names.

Tycoon:

I am saying Downtown East Hartford should have some non chain stores. I just hope they won't put stores at Rentschler. I'd love to see single family homes in the open space south of Brewer St. I'd love to see East Hartford co-operate with Hartford to promote both places.

East Hartford should build a building to house the Edward King Museum of Tobacco & Avitation -- instead of having it on the second floor of Raymond Library.

Jim S

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Tycoon:

I am saying Downtown East Hartford should have some non chain stores. I just hope they won't put stores at Rentschler. I'd love to see single family homes in the open space south of Brewer St. I'd love to see East Hartford co-operate with Hartford to promote both places.

East Hartford should build a building to house the Edward King Museum of Tobacco & Avitation -- instead of having it on the second floor of Raymond Library.

Jim S

I'm just saying that I think you will be disapointed with the direction of the Rentschler project then. There may be some single family, but I actually hope for a more urban design for the majority of the housing. Townhomes, multi family buildings, mixed use retail/housing areas and such. I think that's more along the lines of what we'll see as opposed to single family houses with yards and such. I'm sure there will be a healthy dose of new shiny retail at the site for the new residents and droves of visitors. My inner capitalist says it would be a waste not to put retail there.

Edited by HartfordTycoon

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I'm just saying that I think you will be disapointed with the direction of the Rentschler project then. There may be some single family, but I actually hope for a more urban design for the majority of the housing. Townhomes, multi family buildings, mixed use retail/housing areas and such. I think that's more along the lines of what we'll see as opposed to single family houses with yards and such. I'm sure there will be a healthy dose of new shiny retail at the site for the new residents and droves of visitors. My inner capitalist says it would be a waste not to put retail there.

After tonight's UConn/Rhode Island game I'm seriously wondering about how this project is going to relate to the stadium and the needs of the 40,000 attending the game and how this is going to affect the overall "big picture" for the site. The new "Red" and "General" parking is absolutely horrible. I am not exaggerating when I say I had an easier time parking and walking to Shea Stadium this weekend (new stadium construction is underway & parking reduced). The new RED area is where at least 50% of cars must park. There was little disclousre to the public how parking would be handled for this season. All I'm going to say for those walking or driving through the lots, especially at night....watch out for tree stumps.

My point is I think for this to work communication and cooperation between UTC, CT (especially the DOT), The Matos Group, UConn, MSG, and any group I might have left out will have to be near perfect with no cutting corners for this site to be acceptable. Will people want to live among football crowds? Will the football experience suffer? Can retail afford the traffic of 10,000 cars filled with non-shoppers on 6 prime fall Saturdays? Without integrated Mass Transit will corporate development be substantial? Now that Rentschler is entering it's 4th season and the "kinks" haven't been worked out I fear what is probably the most important development site for the CT/Western MA region isn't going to be as well thought out as it NEEDS to be.

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After tonight's UConn/Rhode Island game I'm seriously wondering about how this project is going to relate to the stadium and the needs of the 40,000 attending the game and how this is going to affect the overall "big picture" for the site. The new "Red" and "General" parking is absolutely horrible. I am not exaggerating when I say I had an easier time parking and walking to Shea Stadium this weekend (new stadium construction is underway & parking reduced). The new RED area is where at least 50% of cars must park. There was little disclousre to the public how parking would be handled for this season. All I'm going to say for those walking or driving through the lots, especially at night....watch out for tree stumps.

My point is I think for this to work communication and cooperation between UTC, CT (especially the DOT), The Matos Group, UConn, MSG, and any group I might have left out will have to be near perfect with no cutting corners for this site to be acceptable. Will people want to live among football crowds? Will the football experience suffer? Can retail afford the traffic of 10,000 cars filled with non-shoppers on 6 prime fall Saturdays? Without integrated Mass Transit will corporate development be substantial? Now that Rentschler is entering it's 4th season and the "kinks" haven't been worked out I fear what is probably the most important development site for the CT/Western MA region isn't going to be as well thought out as it NEEDS to be.

I was there, I was wondering about the same thing. The parking situation is terrible now, nobody could find there car after the game. I was asking these same questions yesterday. They will need to execute this one perfectly. I do feel that there is plenty of room for everything to co-exist, but they need to do something seriously. I think there will be a new flyover or something though so maybe game traffic will be directed a different way than retail traffic. I really don't know how they are going to pull it off though. I think it will work out, I just don't know how.

At least we beat the crab out of URI though!!! :thumbsup:

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I've been a season ticket holder for football for all three previous seasons, but going to last night's game made me glad I didn't renew for this year. (Couldn't commit to all the games, and the prices, last minute game time changes were getting insane)

They used to have both a unique and a convenient setup at Rentschler, using the runways as parking lots as well as the fields to the left of Willow Street. But last night was a diaster. It feels like you're parked in Manchester or Glastonbury! You feel completedly disconnected from the festivities around the stadium. Now, I'm all for development and hope that the Rentschler Field progress is a success, but I fear they are going to kill the goose that laid the golden egg when it comes to treating UCONN Football and its fans.

My understanding is that Cabela's is going in the grassy spot between the start of the two runways. (That area was cordeoned off last night, and it appears 1 or 2 pices of construction equipment is being moved in.)

But can somebody tell me why we can no longer park in the grassy lots to the left of Willow Street?

At least a part of that lot should have been saved for red parking. If you have to put overflow out in the boondocks, so be it, but there should be at least some red parking within a 1/2 mile of the stadium.

Sorry, had to vent. <_<

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I've been a season ticket holder for football for all three previous seasons, but going to last night's game made me glad I didn't renew for this year. (Couldn't commit to all the games, and the prices, last minute game time changes were getting insane)

They used to have both a unique and a convenient setup at Rentschler, using the runways as parking lots as well as the fields to the left of Willow Street. But last night was a diaster. It feels like you're parked in Manchester or Glastonbury! You feel completedly disconnected from the festivities around the stadium. Now, I'm all for development and hope that the Rentschler Field progress is a success, but I fear they are going to kill the goose that laid the golden egg when it comes to treating UCONN Football and its fans.

My understanding is that Cabela's is going in the grassy spot between the start of the two runways. (That area was cordeoned off last night, and it appears 1 or 2 pices of construction equipment is being moved in.)

But can somebody tell me why we can no longer park in the grassy lots to the left of Willow Street?

At least a part of that lot should have been saved for red parking. If you have to put overflow out in the boondocks, so be it, but there should be at least some red parking within a 1/2 mile of the stadium.

Sorry, had to vent. <_<

I totally agree. They need to figure out what they are going to do, we need a clearly defined Stadium Parking area that is going to remain the same. I'm tired of a new parking spot every year, my father has has season tickets since day 1 too. Also we need some sort of color coding and numbered areas or something, because finding your car was a pain last night.

Edited by HartfordTycoon

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I totally agree. They need to figure out what they are going to do, we need a clearly defined Stadium Parking area that is going to remain the same. I'm tired of a new parking spot every year, my father has has season tickets since day 1 too. Also we need some sort of color coding and numbered areas or something, because finding your car was a pain last night.

If not for my car's panic alarm, I would still be there looking for mine.

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I totally agree. They need to figure out what they are going to do, we need a clearly defined Stadium Parking area that is going to remain the same. I'm tired of a new parking spot every year, my father has has season tickets since day 1 too. Also we need some sort of color coding and numbered areas or something, because finding your car was a pain last night.

Take the bus!!

You sound like someone who'd rather shop at Wal-Mart because of the ease of parking rather than a local business.

During soccer games, they alos run shuttles from Pratt St. downtown to Rentschler Field. I fully intend to never pay to park at Rentschler, ever.

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Take the bus!!

You sound like someone who'd rather shop at Wal-Mart because of the ease of parking rather than a local business.

During soccer games, they alos run shuttles from Pratt St. downtown to Rentschler Field. I fully intend to never pay to park at Rentschler, ever.

But half the fun of college football is getting to the game several hours early and tailgating. I think CT Transit frowns on people bringing barbeques and beer coolers onto their buses.

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But half the fun of college football is getting to the game several hours early and tailgating. I think CT Transit frowns on people bringing barbeques and beer coolers onto their buses.

I've done it, the beer anyway, not the barbeques. I'm not into tailgating or college football, personally.

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I've done it, the beer anyway, not the barbeques. I'm not into tailgating or college football, personally.

Well, the vast majority of people who go to those games don't simply park their car and walk into the stadium, so the mass transit option isn't really pratical.

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