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MadVlad

Asylum Hill doesn't like Nyberg

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So apparently David Nyberg and College St LLC have bought a bunch of buildings in Asylum Hill (Niles, Imlay, and Farmington Ave section). He's rehabbing the buildings and not renewing leases. The locals are pissed because they are losing their apartments, but the streets will be nicer, in theory. This is the type of investment the city needs, and I'm skeptical that the words they used to remove the current tenants probably were said as quoted. How do you guys feel about this?

Nyberg in the Courant

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I think its great. While gentrification can be a problem in other cities, Hartford needs it badly. Too many neglected neighborhoods and not enough nice ones. We need the middle and upper classes back in Hartford and this is the way to do it.

By the way, those apartments are beautiful and badly in need of TLC. Good for Nyberg...

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I think its great. While gentrification can be a problem in other cities, Hartford needs it badly. Too many neglected neighborhoods and not enough nice ones. We need the middle and upper classes back in Hartford and this is the way to do it.

By the way, those apartments are beautiful and badly in need of TLC. Good for Nyberg...

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I'm in agreement 100%. This is EXACTLY what the doctor ordered. The Courant did the city a huge dis-service by running what I see as an opinion piece here. It sounds like they are basically telling the people to f' off, and I'm sure it didn't happen that way.

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So apparently David Nyberg and College St LLC have bought a bunch of buildings in Asylum Hill (Niles, Imlay, and Farmington Ave section). He's rehabbing the buildings and not renewing leases. The locals are pissed because they are losing their apartments, but the streets will be nicer, in theory. This is the type of investment the city needs, and I'm skeptical that the words they used to remove the current tenants probably were said as quoted. How do you guys feel about this?

Nyberg in the Courant

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Gentrification does cause some displacement and problems. However, if you read the enitre article, there is adequate housing in the area that theses tenants wouldn't even have to leave the neighborhood.

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Why is when anyone tries to improve Hartford the Courant is all over them? Why don't they do stories about how there is no affordable housing at Blue Back Square? Or that all the developments in Simsbury, Glastonbury, and Avon start at $650K?

That is the one complaint people have about moving to Hartford: there are too many bad neighborhoods.

David Nyberg seems good for the city. Check out the city website and look at all the Hartford people who own parking lots and run down buildings and are doing nothing with them.

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Why don't they do stories about how there is no affordable housing at Blue Back Square? Or that all the developments in Simsbury, Glastonbury, and Avon start at $650K?

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The problem is, the buildings most ripe for development aren't the bad buildings. That'd take too much effort and risk. Nyberg likes these buildnigs because they're already stable--they've got good tenants who haven't trashed them, and they're relatively safe. Thus, it's the best risk/reward mix. That pushes out good, lower-middle class tenants, not bad, unemployed drug-dealing ones. Now, I'm all for development in Asylum Hill and, generally, I view Nyberg's move here as a good one. You have to admit, however, that it's sad for folks who've lived in a place nearly 30 years to get the boot.

We have to have affordable owner-occupied housing in Hartford, so that decent folks of modest means don't get shuffled around when somebody buys their building out from underneath them; instead, they'd actually have a stake in higher property values. The irony now is that for some folks, the incentive is to keep the neighborhood somewhat shady b/c it keeps the rents low! Rising property values hurt the current residents.

I came across a book the other day that talks about the suburbanization of NY City--uber gentrification has pushed out artists and musicians, and all of the things that were part of the dynamic of the city that makes it so attractive. It's like sprawl; people want to live in the country, but they don't want anybody else to live there, too. People want to live next to artists, but if everybody moves in on that premise, where do the artists get to live?

The problem for Hartford is that Nyberg's target audience isn't the middle class: it's law students or young professionals, who I agree are GREAT for the city (I was once one and am now the other) but they're not necessarily (here's where I'm an exception) long-term residents. Law students may move after graduation; young professionals after starting a family. That spells high turnover. Sure, they're good tenants and customers while they're here, but we need to attract people to grow roots in Hartford. They kind of people who work and live in Asylum Hill for 30 years--the kind of people who live in Nyberg's new (old) buildings.

I don't know what Nyberg's rents will be, and I'm glad he's trying condos downtown. But the pricing going on is ridiculous; the wealth gap is astonishing. Hartford continues to be a place for those with very little means or great means. I see it with my friends. They can't afford downtown. The West End is nice, but most apartments haven't been updated in years. So my friends find nice, recently updated or new apartments for reasonable prices in Manchester, Bloomfield, Cromwell, Wethersfield--not Hartford!!

That said--I applaud Nyberg for developing without public money. If anything, what he's doing is important because it signals that Hartford is undervalued. There is no better way to measure the city's health than private investment. I support the project, but as a community, I think we need a plan for gentrification-lite--bringing new residents into neighborhoods without displacing the hard-working, good people who already live there.

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Here's why I could see doubting some of the stories of these residents: Sour grapes is the best way to get someone to badmouth someone else. Now, losing your residence is a little more than sour grapes, but I couldn't imagine someone dealing with this in so crass a matter. The scenario I see is the people are pissed off and portraying the conversation in the manner they want it to be seen as.

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I read the comments on the article's page and the posters (minus a few bright spots) were by and large a bunch racist, defeatist, idiot suburbanites spewing garbage like, "Hartford is a cesspool," "The city is beyond the point of no return," and "We should build a wall around Hartford." What a bunch of ignorant morons.

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I agree with Vlad that I think the people with the worst deal are the most vocal. As an employee of Aetna, I'm really glad that Nyberg is developing this area. I like to envision Asylum hill as the future young professional neighborhood of Hartford, which it certainly has potential. Just think, if we got all the young professionals trying to save money to stop commuting to manchester, whethersfield, etc. think of how much less traffic and pollution there would be and think of how much more vibrant the night life would be!

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Of all the neighborhoods in Hartford, Asylum Hill would seem to be one of the ones where a turnaround is most doable. The housing stock and architecture is some of the best in the city.

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I think this is an very positive development. I don't think of Asylum Hill as a community, it seems to have the city's most transient population. There are some beautiful homes in the area and the condos being refurbished on Imlay look good. I wonder what will be done with Laurel and South Marshall, I think they are prime canidates for bull dozing.

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If downtown and the West End continue to improve. Asylum Hill will be dragged along as infill.

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Here's a new opinion from Tom Condon. I find I agree with him more often than not, though he's had a clunker or two....

Tom Condon article

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Here's a new opinion from Tom Condon. I find I agree with him more often than not, though he's had a clunker or two....

Tom Condon article

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I agree with most of what he said. The question is, if not Hartford, then where will the poor live? Most towns in CT are very small with low density and would surely be opposed to allowing even low density low income housing in thier communities. I just for the life of me don't think there's anything short of forcing towns by state law that would make them reconsider low and moderate income housing, mixed income developments, and increasing density to fight sprawl.

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I agree with most of what he said. The question is, if not Hartford, then where will the poor live? Most towns in CT are very small with low density and would surely be opposed to allowing even low density low income housing in thier communities. I just for the life of me don't think there's anything short of forcing towns by state law that would make them reconsider low and moderate income housing, mixed income developments, and increasing density to fight sprawl.

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I don't think that Hartford has a specific obligation to house the poor. There should indeed be a State law requiring all towns to have a certain amount of low-income housing. If Hartford wants to improve itself, despite what the displaced people will say, it should be allowed to.

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Vlad is right - Hartford doesn't have any obligation to the region to be a center for social services and poor people. Its how we got into this mess to begin with. When Rowland first introduced his Six Pillars, certain groups fought him to include low income housing in his housing grants. How silly in a city overloaded with low income housing and a shortage of middle and upper class residents to begin with. With this kind of mentality, this city is doomed.

Anyone remember when Elizabeth Horton Sheff voted against tax breaks being given for a luxury condo project at 111 Pearl St?? ... "We don't need anymore expensive condos downtown" was her reasoning.

No city was ever built on a foundation of poor people and low income housing.

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No city was ever built on a foundation of poor people and low income housing.

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