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HartfordTycoon

Hartford Crossing Factory Outlet Center?

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I think this is a good idea that could bring high quality retail into the city for a change. The niche that outlets fill as destinations would really help attract vistors to the area and could spur further development. I hope the landfill will be closed for good and the odor situation can be controlled, but other than that I think this project could really work here. A project like this would start to change the retail environment in the city and provide a bunch of jobs for city residents and others.

Courant Article

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Outlets In North Meadows?

Big-Box Snub Leads To Idea For A Factory Outlet Mall

By JEFFREY B. COHEN

Courant Staff Writer

September 25, 2007

Plans for big-box stores in the North Meadows didn't pan out, so the developer is eyeing something different: a factory outlet mall.

Concerns that the Hartford neighborhood isn't ready for major retail caused various deals with Wal-Mart, Target, and Staples to collapse, and has led to a rethinking of plans for the 40-acre site just off I-91. Now the developers have a new, $75 million goal - Hartford Crossing Factory Outlet Center. Instead of names like Wal-Mart and Target, shoppers could see names like Nike, Cole Haan, Polo Ralph Lauren and Van Heusen.

"Almost every major manufacturer today of clothing accessories, soft goods, shoes - they all have an outlet business," said developer Adam Winstanley, of Winstanley Enterprises LLC. "We think it's a great neighborhood and we think it has all the characteristics to support an upscale retail project."

Original plans for the site were announced almost two years ago, and the developers have since worked unsuccessfully to secure an "anchor" tenant.

The location itself is made up of three parcels in an old industrial area dominated by car dealerships: the former site of direct-mail marketing company Advo Inc., the site of the commercial truck company Edart Leasing Co. LLC, and a roughly 10-acre vacant parcel between the two.

Edart needs a new corporate headquarters, and has its eye on about 12 acres of city-owned land on New Road near the Connecticut Expo Center. But before the city will sell Edart the property, the company and Winstanley must prove there is a viable retail plan for the site it is leaving behind.

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I think is a great idea also, but the problem is the location. Potential developers are turned off by the fact that a few blocks away are some really bad neighborhoods. Strip joints and a really smelly landfill are also turnoffs. Why not put outlets at Front Street or at Hartford 21?

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I think is a great idea also, but the problem is the location. Potential developers are turned off by the fact that a few blocks away are some really bad neighborhoods. Strip joints and a really smelly landfill are also turnoffs. Why not put outlets at Front Street or at Hartford 21?

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I think is a great idea also, but the problem is the location. Potential developers are turned off by the fact that a few blocks away are some really bad neighborhoods. Strip joints and a really smelly landfill are also turnoffs. Why not put outlets at Front Street or at Hartford 21?

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I think this proposal is a good one, and I think developers will look at this parcel as convenient site to serve the surrounding metropolitan area. Convenience is why the car dealerships and -- most recently -- CarMax have located to the North Meadows and done well.

If this proposal goes forward, I would expect to see a much improved West Service Road with easy access to the site from I-91 at Exits 34 and 33.

As for the landfill, are there still days when the odor is a huge problem? Granted, since I currently live in greater D.C., I only travel that stretch of I-91 between fifteen and twenty times a year. However, it's been a long time since I've driven by and recoiled at especially noisome fumes. I remember the smell being especially bad in the early 90s and slowly improving. Regardless, I think the landfill could eaily be hidden from view. I've always wondered why there wasn't a big push to plant trees alongside I-91 and up the artifical hillside.

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This area definitely needs outlets, I drive to Lee or Clinton just for them. Although I doubt that the location will work, if they can't attract Walmart or Staples how will they get Coach or Ralph Lauren. Just perception, the stores would end up drawing from all over but will they actually take the risk and build, it'll be interesting to see. I would think a location such as the Rent would be a little more ideal, especially with Cabela's. Front Street seems to be a bit too small to support an outlet center.

I do hope the Hartford location works though, it would be a great stimulus for that area...

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Front street by itself maybe too small, but is it feasible to use the entire downtown district for outlet purpose? It would be in an urban outlet center. Parking can be at the convention center, science center, morgan street garages. And have trolly or rising star buses move shoppers from area or area. Plus they can walk a bit. Even at other outlet centers people walk.

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40 acres seems too small for buildings and parking, unless they plan on building like 5 or 6 floor parking garages. Either way, that doesn't seem to fit the mold of the usual outlet mall like Clinton, Westbrook, or Wrentham.

Why would I see an outlet mall being built in a place like Rockville, off Exit 67? Certainly not Hartford.

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While feasable in theory, I don't think that would translate to reality. Outlet centers are cookie cutter developments by design. The developer will want to construct a few buildings and a sea of parking and that will be the end of it. No complex multi-landlord deals and shuttles and what not.

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Not sure if it's Lenox or another outlet place in VT, but it is not a cookie cutter development. It's like a few blocks with different buildings and different size spaces and only some were for outlet stores. There are independent shops and restaurants inter mingle with name brand outlets. Much more interesting and charming than cookie cutter outlet places such as Clinton outlet place.

Another example that I can think of, although this is awhile ago, so I could be totally off. I remember someone took the old Gimble's Department Store building on 34th Street in NYC and made it into a urban mall with some outlet stores in there.

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Another example that I can think of, although this is awhile ago, so I could be totally off. I remember someone took the old Gimble's Department Store building on 34th Street in NYC and made it into a urban mall with some outlet stores in there.

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I think this proposal is a good one, and I think developers will look at this parcel as convenient site to serve the surrounding metropolitan area. Convenience is why the car dealerships and -- most recently -- CarMax have located to the North Meadows and done well.

If this proposal goes forward, I would expect to see a much improved West Service Road with easy access to the site from I-91 at Exits 34 and 33.

As for the landfill, are there still days when the odor is a huge problem? Granted, since I currently live in greater D.C., I only travel that stretch of I-91 between fifteen and twenty times a year. However, it's been a long time since I've driven by and recoiled at especially noisome fumes. I remember the smell being especially bad in the early 90s and slowly improving. Regardless, I think the landfill could eaily be hidden from view. I've always wondered why there wasn't a big push to plant trees alongside I-91 and up the artifical hillside.

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Or a breeze has to angle a certain way heading from the landfill to the direction you are in. If you're generally to the east or northeast of the site, you may have fun with it frequently.

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The South Meadows smells worse than the North Meadows on a consistant basis. I'll take a trash heap over a crap plant any day....

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Not sure if it's Lenox or another outlet place in VT, but it is not a cookie cutter development. It's like a few blocks with different buildings and different size spaces and only some were for outlet stores. There are independent shops and restaurants inter mingle with name brand outlets. Much more interesting and charming than cookie cutter outlet places such as Clinton outlet place.

Another example that I can think of, although this is awhile ago, so I could be totally off. I remember someone took the old Gimble's Department Store building on 34th Street in NYC and made it into a urban mall with some outlet stores in there.

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My view is that people have no problem buying their Mercedes, BMW, Infiniti or Jaguar in the North Meadows so they may not have a problem with buying their Coach bag there to...

Also I have never smelled anything in the North Meadows....even when I look around for a smell ...on the other hand the South Meadows heading towards Wethersfield near the Cove is horrible sometimes

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The outlet mall in Westport would fit easily in this footprint. It's easy Interstate access which is a must. The landfill should be closed in a couple of years and the mall will take a couple of years to build out. It also is another amenity to offer convention goers.

I don't see a downside to this proposal.

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There really is no downside at all. Outlet shopping is a destination and would offer something very different than the suburban malls. The advantage to something like this is you already have critical mass when its built. This would attract people from up to an hour away. Woodbury Commons (about an hour north of Manhattan) attracts people from all over the northeast with outlet stores from Gucci, Versace, Prada, Dolce Gabbana, Chanel, Valentino, etc....

So not only will that woman drive to the north meadows for a Coach bag, but she'll also pickup a Dior dress and Ferragamo shoes.... all at half price. Merchandise and bargains you won't find at Buckland, West Farms or Evergreen....

Its a no brainer in my opinion.

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The outlet area you are talking about is Manchester, VT. I was just there about three weeks ago. Now the area does look really nice, and outlets are sort of comingled into a downtown setting, but these shops have really taken over this downtown, and they all close at around 8pm every night. After this point, the area really has a feel of ghost town, because there is really nothing else going on here. Now, maybe that wouldn't happen in Hartford because it is a big urban area to begin with, but I just know that it is creepily quiet in Manchester VT when the shops shut down for the night.

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