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grock

MetLife: Leaving Hartford or Staying?

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I'm praying they can buy CityPlaceI, but my gut feeling is they end up in Bloomfield.

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Here is some bad news for employees at The Hartford. The cities number one priority should be keeping the jobs it has and doing whatever it takes to attract more companies there.

Under a five-year contract, The Hartford Financial Services Group is turning over to IBM maintenance and management of its software applications, storage and recovery systems.

About 110 technology workers employed at the company

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Here is some bad news for employees at The Hartford. The cities number one priority should be keeping the jobs it has and doing whatever it takes to attract more companies there.

Under a five-year contract, The Hartford Financial Services Group is turning over to IBM maintenance and management of its software applications, storage and recovery systems.

About 110 technology workers employed at the company

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This is unconfirmed, but I heard from a friend who works for a real property asset management outfit in the area that he had reason to believe Metlife's first choice is the Bloomfield campus, and whether they move or not will be based on the terms of the deal they're able to get there.

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This is unconfirmed, but I heard from a friend who works for a real property asset management outfit in the area that he had reason to believe Metlife's first choice is the Bloomfield campus, and whether they move or not will be based on the terms of the deal they're able to get there.

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I too have been hearing that Bloomfield is MetLife's first choice, mostly due to the cheaper cost of the building. It seems that all of the local insurance giants are sprawling outside of Hartford.

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I too have been hearing that Bloomfield is MetLife's first choice, mostly due to the cheaper cost of the building. It seems that all of the local insurance giants are sprawling outside of Hartford.

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The original Hartford Courant article stated MetLife wasn't looking for tax breaks or incentives. If that's the case it makes you wonder why "cheaper" would then be so important. Regardless, of what that article said I agree with those who say the city should be banging down the doors of MetLife pleading their case.

I know there's the perception that the suburban offices make for easier commuting but I don't completely buy into it. Sure, if you have a car and you already live close to Bloomfield or Windsor the MetLife/ING moves (or possible moves) are great for your commute. If you live south, west, or east of Hartford than how does it end up really being easier?

Also, I know the Cigna employees in Bloomfield don't have to pay for parking, but I've done some work there through the years and in my opinion I never liked the parking situation (a few friends I have that are still there aren't big fans of it either). Certainly you can pave all you want but there are still costs associated with the maintanence (snow removal, security, upkeep, etc.) and you still have employees walking the equivalent of 3 or 4 city blocks. Cheaper? Probably. Cheap? No.

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The original Hartford Courant article stated MetLife wasn't looking for tax breaks or incentives. If that's the case it makes you wonder why "cheaper" would then be so important. Regardless, of what that article said I agree with those who say the city should be banging down the doors of MetLife pleading their case.

I know there's the perception that the suburban offices make for easier commuting but I don't completely buy into it. Sure, if you have a car and you already live close to Bloomfield or Windsor the MetLife/ING moves (or possible moves) are great for your commute. If you live south, west, or east of Hartford than how does it end up really being easier?

Also, I know the Cigna employees in Bloomfield don't have to pay for parking, but I've done some work there through the years and in my opinion I never liked the parking situation (a few friends I have that are still there aren't big fans of it either). Certainly you can pave all you want but there are still costs associated with the maintanence (snow removal, security, upkeep, etc.) and you still have employees walking the equivalent of 3 or 4 city blocks. Cheaper? Probably. Cheap? No.

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Plus ...

These moves don't correspond to the governor's purported desire to increase mass transit and create a commuter line from New Haven to Hartford. This is a good goal, but it won't make sense if we continue to encourage, let alone allow, businesses to locate in sprawling corporate office parks. The cheap land is achieved with low-density. The more businesses locate outside Hartford, the more reliant we are on the automobile. Then the state will build a train nobody will use b/c it won't actually take them from their homes to their jobs. Keeping jobs in Hartford is a first step toward making mass transit possible. If we have economic density in the hub, then it makes sense to build the spokes (and the north-south route is a good start).

Aetna and The Hartford would make good neighbors. Cigna and MetLife should consider Asylum Hill, and the businesses together could create transportation solutions; with such a critical mass of workers in one spot, mass transportation is a viable option. A frequently circulating shuttle from Union Station in Hartford up Asylum Hill would make sense whereas one on Day Hill Road in Windsor would not. The state should do its part to make sprawl costly and urban-building less expensive. These changed economics would benefit the state immensely by reducing traffic congestion and pollution and by supporting a viable city to attract talent. Moreover, improving Hartford would make it a better place to work. It's nice to be able to take a walk at lunch to grab a sandwich ... and it'd be even nicer to be able to stop into a bookstore or grab a birthday present for somebody, etc. It's just such a sad existence to be stuck in corporate office park land all day. Why don't people get it?!

It feels good to write these things on this board, but how do we get the leadership of this state to listen? I've written to Rell, but it's just not enough; we need a movement.

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MetLife is looking to consolidate operations from glastonbury, rockyhill, and hartford in one location. There is no need to pay rent on 3 buildings within 15 miles of eachother when a single building could be rented for cheaper. MetLife is also unimpressed with CityPlace. The interior is unimpressive and rents are very high for what you get. From what I have heard the management company is not easy to deal with in the least. The bathrooms are in need of remodeling, as are many of the floors Met rents. If they were to buy the 1CP tower, a large renovation would follow shortly thereafter. Met's HQ is going to be NYC again in a few months, what do they care if some operations are in Bloomfield rather than Hartford - answer: they don't, why would they? It is also unfair to have emplyees making 30-35k/year have to pay for parking. Met does a great job at subsidizing it, however, the need for subsidy goes away in an officepark. Met has been a good corporate citizen thus far, even moving jobs from denver to hartford. now, they could be asking the governer and taxpayers for subsidies and financing and threaten moving our of state if they don't get a sweetheart deal, but they are not. I think often times that gets lost in the shuffle. would met moving to bloomfield really hurt the region - no. there is no loss or gain of jobs. would it hurt hartford, possibly. Vacancy rates would be higher, however, having a large chunk of vacant class 'A' space could attract other companies to the area. If perez wasn't a total imbicile, i'm sure filling the location may be a bit easier. now, do i want to work in an office park, NO, and i would like Met to stay downtown. To bad Hartford can't be more like Stamford. Stamford has landed RBS and UBS within the past 8 years. Those are HIGH paying firms. While a city like Stamford thrives, Hartford continues to struggle.

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MetLife is looking to consolidate operations from glastonbury, rockyhill, and hartford in one location. There is no need to pay rent on 3 buildings within 15 miles of eachother when a single building could be rented for cheaper. MetLife is also unimpressed with CityPlace. The interior is unimpressive and rents are very high for what you get. From what I have heard the management company is not easy to deal with in the least. The bathrooms are in need of remodeling, as are many of the floors Met rents. If they were to buy the 1CP tower, a large renovation would follow shortly thereafter. Met's HQ is going to be NYC again in a few months, what do they care if some operations are in Bloomfield rather than Hartford - answer: they don't, why would they? It is also unfair to have emplyees making 30-35k/year have to pay for parking. Met does a great job at subsidizing it, however, the need for subsidy goes away in an officepark. Met has been a good corporate citizen thus far, even moving jobs from denver to hartford. now, they could be asking the governer and taxpayers for subsidies and financing and threaten moving our of state if they don't get a sweetheart deal, but they are not. I think often times that gets lost in the shuffle. would met moving to bloomfield really hurt the region - no. there is no loss or gain of jobs. would it hurt hartford, possibly. Vacancy rates would be higher, however, having a large chunk of vacant class 'A' space could attract other companies to the area. If perez wasn't a total imbicile, i'm sure filling the location may be a bit easier. now, do i want to work in an office park, NO, and i would like Met to stay downtown. To bad Hartford can't be more like Stamford. Stamford has landed RBS and UBS within the past 8 years. Those are HIGH paying firms. While a city like Stamford thrives, Hartford continues to struggle.

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It's unfair to compare Hartford to Stamford. Stamford gets high profile companies because they don't want to be in NYC but still want to be close by. Hartford is losing companies to its burbs because they don't want to be in Hartford, but still want to be close by. Of course NYC has a lot other offerings so losing companies do not hurt as much. Hartford on the other hand put all its proverbial eggs in one corporate basket and now it is feeling the effect of downsizing and companies relocation. There is not much Hartford can do when burbs are cheaper and don't have as much anti-business craps.

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When business' move to the suburbs, everyone loses, including said suburbs. The way the towns/cities are set up in this State is asinine. We have suburbs fighting the core city for business', while the residents beotch and moan because their quaint little town isn't quite so quaint anymore. Ironically, they are the same residents that don't want subsidies to help the core city because "why should my taxes help THOSE people". Meanwhile, they fight the subdivision that's going up in the woods behind their house, like their house wasn't woods once upon a time. This could all be fixed if all these burbs were annexed as part of the city. Business' and apartment towers could go where they belong: downtown, and these nice towns can remain nice towns without big office complexes or crazy over-development....

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When business' move to the suburbs, everyone loses, including said suburbs. The way the towns/cities are set up in this State is asinine. We have suburbs fighting the core city for business', while the residents beotch and moan because their quaint little town isn't quite so quaint anymore. Ironically, they are the same residents that don't want subsidies to help the core city because "why should my taxes help THOSE people". Meanwhile, they fight the subdivision that's going up in the woods behind their house, like their house wasn't woods once upon a time. This could all be fixed if all these burbs were annexed as part of the city. Business' and apartment towers could go where they belong: downtown, and these nice towns can remain nice towns without big office complexes or crazy over-development....

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When business' move to the suburbs, everyone loses, including said suburbs. The way the towns/cities are set up in this State is asinine. We have suburbs fighting the core city for business', while the residents beotch and moan because their quaint little town isn't quite so quaint anymore. Ironically, they are the same residents that don't want subsidies to help the core city because "why should my taxes help THOSE people". Meanwhile, they fight the subdivision that's going up in the woods behind their house, like their house wasn't woods once upon a time. This could all be fixed if all these burbs were annexed as part of the city. Business' and apartment towers could go where they belong: downtown, and these nice towns can remain nice towns without big office complexes or crazy over-development....

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Combining this with the Hartford Negativity thread. Those quaint little towns won't be so quaint if Hartford stop taking in their citizens in need. Let them build their own shelters and rehab clinics. It will reduce Hartford social services cost and the quaint little town taxes won't be helping those people, but their own people.

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Seriously, it's not like people in the burbs don't have problems--they just don't stay there when they do. I hate the attitude I get from suburbanites who look at the "mess" Hartford is and think the state spends too much money on Hartford and it should deal with its own problems ... but the city deals with the state's problems; these are as much state problems as city problems! The state created this mess, now it's the state's obligation to fix it.

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I don't think Hartford should wait for the state to fix it Hartford should take the initiative to stop being the state's dumping ground.

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Well that's not a bad idea, but, as the saying goes, you don't bite the hand that feeds you. Hartford's not got a lot of leverage right now. How do you propose Hartford go about this? I mean, I love the theory of a bold move, like rejecting state funding but sending the legislature a bill for its capitol and state office buildings. But, the state could very well abandon them anyway (in theory of course) so the city would just have a higher vacancy rate! What does Hartford do? Does it get NIMBY syndrom and tell the state to keep its shelters and rehab clinics in the suburbs? How will that sound to those who rely on these services, most of whom live in the city?

The very structure of this state punishes Hartford? Hartford can't change that. How does it make it cheaper to do business, when it already requires the state to pay for 50% of its budget. And how can it compete with the suburbs who have cheap land to offer and tax incentives ready and waiting, and the state still sends money to those projects, too, out of fear that the businesses will otherwise flee the state.

No no, Connecticut has a problem. Connecticut is becomming one big development, one big parking lot, and it has neglected its cities for decades. Yes, Hartford needs to do what it can to help itself; it needs bold vision and leadership, which it lacks. But much of the goal of that bold vision and leadership must be to convince the state of what must be done.

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I am not sure persuasion is all it takes to get Hartford's view across in the state government. I mean the mayor of Hartford should not go to the state with a tin can in hand to beg for fundings and supports when it is the state's policy that makes Hartford such an undesirable city to live and work in. The fact is CT's legislators and bureaucrats are surrounded by a sea of poverty that their policy and execution of such policy have created. Not only that they have been ignoring this problem for a long time. Sure Hartford gets 50% of its funding from the state, but just like DC that gets its funding from Congress it is a pack with the devil simply because those people's priority is not the city, had they cared they would not let what was the wealthiest city in the US 100 years ago to become one of the poorest in the country. Adding insult to injury, this is the wealthiest state in the country with a large surplus yet Hartford government don't have the money to have a decent school system, and we wonder why nice middle class folks rather have a root canal than come into Hartford. To say that each local area (county) should have their social services such as shelters and rehab clinics instead of concentrate them all in Hartford means Hartford is practicing NIMBYism? On the contrary, it is those municipalities that are dumping their problems here the epitome NIMBYist because they don't want those nice facilities in their own back yard. The cost of taking in other locations needy citizens to Hartford is very high, and Hartford is suffering from such cost. The only way to make the state understand the depth of the problem is let them feel the pain themselves.

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Incidentally, there was an article in the Courant today about Windsor town planners and the future of Day Hill Road. They're trying to do a bunch of traffic improvements because they think congestion isn't far behind and if it gets congested, businesses will leave. Yes, they will! But, of course, they'll get the money from the state to put in bigger roads. In fact, one of the Windsor councilmen said that Windsor has leverage because to get the businesses the state needs their land. BULLSH*T. Grow up, not out--the state has the perfect place to grow its business infrastructure: downtown Hartford. :o

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Right. I agree with everything you just said. I wasn't saying earlier that Hartford practices NIMYsm ... the state obviously does. I was simply saying, what is Hartford supposed to do: start practicing NIMBY--start telling the state not in my backyard, when the state has already managed to put its problems in Hartford's back (and front) yard. I agree it's a pack with the devil, but what can the city do independently? In some ways it's the same problem Washington DC has experienced. The DC region is ENORMOUS, but much of the growth has taken place outside of the city and the city itself is completely beholden to Congress. (The structure of DC is different, obviously, and even more dependent on Congress, but the analogy is good b/c of the role the federal money has in DC government.)

Anyway, we agree on the problem ... and I'm not sure we disagree on the solution, but I'm just not sure I understand what you think the solution is.

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