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PROPOSED: Woodland Lofts in Asylum Hill

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Full Article: http://www.hartfordbusiness.com/news4162.html

New York-Style Lofts Planned For Asylum Hill

Developer to convert abandoned organ factory into condos

By Mary Johnson

The old Austin Organ Factory building at 158 Woodland St. had been vacant for five years and was degenerating. Riddled with asbestos and lead paint, it was just another symbol of blight in the Asylum Hill neighborhood.

But when Peter Marsele saw the abandoned building and its ‘for sale’ sign out front, he saw potential — for New York City-styled loft condominiums.

Plans call for renovation of the 73,000 square-foot former factory into 28 two-bedroom, two-bath condominiums that should bring the prospect of homeownership to the ailing area. The asking price per unit at the new Woodland Lofts development will range between $250,000 and $300,000

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Exactly what that area needs, here a developer we need to keep around.

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Exactly what that area needs, here a developer we need to keep around.

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Very interesting story. I pass that building often and would have done exactly the same thing with it. I think this will be a very good project for the neighborhood if it materializes.

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I hope this works.

I am all for any kind of improvement to the housing stock downtown. Especially if it is urban in nature and mid to high density. If this project is a financial failure it is still great for the area. If its a success I can only see these developers doing another simular project and possibly other developers replicating this one.

Kudos!

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He can't be any worse than some of the other developers. Why not see what he accomplishes first before judging?

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"Another perk for young homebuyers is the potential for tax deferments. Because the factory is both historic (thanks to an October designation) and blighted, it is eligible for the city

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Hello,

I want to introduce myself; I am the developer for 158 Woodland St in Asylum Hill as discussed in this topic. I am flattered to see the support talked about in a forum such as this one. I was turned to this forum by a local blogger that recently interviewed me. I wanted to join this forum to open up to my critics and also supporters of this development and Hartford in general. If anyone has any questions about my development feel free to ask. Newspaper articles are great, but reporters will write what they want to write no matter what. The article in the HBJ was well done, but there is more to a project like this than what is written in an article. I look forward to hearing from all of you.

Regards,

Pete Marsele

Woodland Lofts Inc.

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Hello,

I want to introduce myself; I am the developer for 158 Woodland St in Asylum Hill as discussed in this topic. I am flattered to see the support talked about in a forum such as this one. I was turned to this forum by a local blogger that recently interviewed me. I wanted to join this forum to open up to my critics and also supporters of this development and Hartford in general. If anyone has any questions about my development feel free to ask. Newspaper articles are great, but reporters will write what they want to write no matter what. The article in the HBJ was well done, but there is more to a project like this than what is written in an article. I look forward to hearing from all of you.

Regards,

Pete Marsele

Woodland Lofts Inc.

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Welcome to the boards Pete, and thank you for proposing such a project. Feel free to float around and discuss other issues here as well...

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Welcome to Hartford and good luck on your new project Pete

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Welcome,

I am pretty excited about this as that is my side of town, minutes from the area I was born. Who do you plan on marketing these too?

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Welcome,

I am pretty excited about this as that is my side of town, minutes from the area I was born. Who do you plan on marketing these too?

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Thank-you for welcoming me, all of you. My market is anyone who wants to buy, haha just kidding. Well I want to target young professionals from 25-35. Anyone is obviously welcome to the proposed complex, but it is being built to cater to this particular demographic. I have met with St. Francis hospital, and they are very excited to see this kind of development next door to them. They will assist me in reaching out to its employees when the time arrives. Due to the demographic and costs of revitalizing this particular building, I have come up with programs with the city to make the condos affordable as possible. City tax deferments help this tremendously. The assessment deferral program will cut each units taxes by close to 90% annually. The objective is to promote home ownership and allow people of the community to get excited about their living space. Large units will multiple baths, top of the line materials/construction all at affordable pricing.

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Hello,

I want to introduce myself; I am the developer for 158 Woodland St in Asylum Hill as discussed in this topic. I am flattered to see the support talked about in a forum such as this one. I was turned to this forum by a local blogger that recently interviewed me. I wanted to join this forum to open up to my critics and also supporters of this development and Hartford in general. If anyone has any questions about my development feel free to ask. Newspaper articles are great, but reporters will write what they want to write no matter what. The article in the HBJ was well done, but there is more to a project like this than what is written in an article. I look forward to hearing from all of you.

Regards,

Pete Marsele

Woodland Lofts Inc.

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Welcome to the board Pete.

I have a huge love for re-used mill buildings, and commend you for your proposal!

As far as a market I suggest you snoop around the mills in Manchester. To me the renters in Manchester would make the ideal urban livers. They are young, professional, work downtown and are used to living close to other people and they are paying ast least 1200 a month in rent. If you can lure 5% of the people living in this complex to buy a unit you would be quickly on your way to looking for a 2nd project to develop. There has to be over 1000 units there and Tarragon would hardly notice a blip on their bottom line.

regarding major area employers, I am sure there is potential there, however I would not count on it. My employer, ING pays for parking for all employees, temps interns etc. However if you chose to car pool, they still pay for a parking space for you. If you choose to take the bus they do not pay the entire cost of a monthly bus pass. The parking space costs something like $150 a month, the bus credit is $50(I think the ticket is 60+) If you live downtown and dont need a parking space they pay nothing. Its a shame that companies like mine don't use this as an opportunity to be better citizens of the city. (mine is a great citizen, no complaints here)

If companies were able to offer that $150 as an incentive to live downtown for say 1 year that would be great. But then again I much prefer them being the way they are and my job staying in Hartford, not moving to Atlanta.

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You just touched on something that I've always wondered about. Is it possible to contact every large employer in the City (Aetna, Travelers, the Hartford, Phoenix, United Health, Lincoln Financial, the hospitals, etc) and cut deals with them to keep their employees living in the city? For instance, the employers subsidize a small portion of the rent (7.5%?) and the owner lowering the rent by the same amount, that employee would pay 15% less than they would normally, and the city would gain needed residents and the type of resident that is missing, middle class.

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Welcome to the board Pete.

I have a huge love for re-used mill buildings, and commend you for your proposal!

As far as a market I suggest you snoop around the mills in Manchester. To me the renters in Manchester would make the ideal urban livers. They are young, professional, work downtown and are used to living close to other people and they are paying ast least 1200 a month in rent. If you can lure 5% of the people living in this complex to buy a unit you would be quickly on your way to looking for a 2nd project to develop. There has to be over 1000 units there and Tarragon would hardly notice a blip on their bottom line.

regarding major area employers, I am sure there is potential there, however I would not count on it. My employer, ING pays for parking for all employees, temps interns etc. However if you chose to car pool, they still pay for a parking space for you. If you choose to take the bus they do not pay the entire cost of a monthly bus pass. The parking space costs something like $150 a month, the bus credit is $50(I think the ticket is 60+) If you live downtown and dont need a parking space they pay nothing. Its a shame that companies like mine don't use this as an opportunity to be better citizens of the city. (mine is a great citizen, no complaints here)

If companies were able to offer that $150 as an incentive to live downtown for say 1 year that would be great. But then again I much prefer them being the way they are and my job staying in Hartford, not moving to Atlanta.

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I don't live in the mills and don't know anyone living there, I own a place near them. So I would not be much help there, sorry, I just know thats where I would seek out tennants if I were developing a residential project downtown.

I am actually going to be getting into residential multifamilies this spring and with some luck development myself in a few years with some friends.

Definately open to helping you in any way as the small investor and small developer are the key to real change in a city like Hartford.

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The Voice,

First off, thank-you for your appreciation on this type of development. I hear

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I don't live in the mills and don't know anyone living there, I own a place near them. So I would not be much help there, sorry, I just know thats where I would seek out tennants if I were developing a residential project downtown.

I am actually going to be getting into residential multifamilies this spring and with some luck development myself in a few years with some friends.

Definately open to helping you in any way as the small investor and small developer are the key to real change in a city like Hartford.

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Pete, welcome to the neighborhood, I'm a few blocks away. Good to see more housing, perhaps I'll relocate

VOR, do you know something that I don't about Atlanta? I also work for ING downtown. All of a sudden rumors started running around my floor about outsourcing, which always lead to conjecture that the rest will be moved out of Hartford.

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You bet, if there is anything I can help you with in the future with development just let me know. I never shut anyone out. I agree with you on the keys to the city, lets make it happen!

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