The Voice of Reason

XL Center Renovation/Replacement Plans

238 posts in this topic

http://www.courant.com/news/local/hc-cente...0,6866396.story

The right conditions are within reach for a new sports and entertainment arena to replace the aging Civic Center, recently renamed the XL Center, and the best place to put that arena would be on the center's current site, an arena consultant has told the city.

In a report Mayor Eddie A. Perez presented to corporate leaders last week, the arena consultants told the city that a new $300 million to $400 million, largely state-funded arena is worth talking about. Next up is a task force to gauge corporate financial support.

*SNIP*

"What we learned is that it's worth pursuing," McGovern said. "Because we know in 2013 we're going to have to grapple with the decision."

*SNIP*

The state last year picked a partnership headed by Lawrence R. Gottesdiener, downtown's largest developer, to run the center. Gottesdiener is the owner of the Hartford 21 apartment tower that abuts the center, and has said he wants to knock down the arena, build a new one, and bring a major league professional sports franchise to the city.

"Eddie showed a lot of leadership in continuing to drive this forward when it's not easy," Gottesdiener said Friday. "It's definitely rolling the boulder up the hill."

But it has to be rolled, he said. The center as-is, while functional, brings the city down. "It's particularly important now, as that arena decays," he said. "We're totally behind it, and we think it's absolutely necessary."

pic.jpg

The plans include closing Church Street and moving the arena itself further North. The area shown in this rendering is where the church street garage currently stands. The detailed building to the left is the back side of the Hilton. The Hartford-21 residential tower is in the center background.

Well, it looks like this is something the mayor is really serious about.

Now lets eee if we can secure a team for the areana

Edited by The Voice of Reason

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The arena consultant says the current site is the best. Church Street would be closed.

That would be one big superblock between Asylum Street and I-84.

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Yes, those Courant polls are very scientific. Where do I sign up to give my donation?

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The arena consultant says the current site is the best. Church Street would be closed.

That would be one big superblock between Asylum Street and I-84.

Just a guess, but follow me on this.

Northland has been vocal about interest in creating some kind of plaza like Roc Center in NYC with another residential tower on the opposite corner of H21. Granted this was in a situation where the arena location was moved. I would not be too suprised if NL wanted to close church in order to open up some space closer to H21. Possibly connecting Pratt and Allyn. lets not forget that NL owns half of Pratt, and the building that Agave is in on Allyn. NL also owns the huge flat parking lot cady corner to the arena at Ann and Church. If they closed Church and knocked down the old church street garage it would alow the city to re build the entire site with much more parking. Obviously there would be a much nicer arena, and all of this could be oriented in a way to breath extra life onto Pratt, Allyn, and possibly even connect them with a new pedestrian street like area.

I mention the garage coming down because I park there and its falling apart. concrete chunks literally falling from the roof. Also I think it was mentioned as part of the problem with parking downtown, and in one of the arena threads by the city. who knows this could be interesting, and with rates droping like they did today, its possible there will be more money for financing private investment downtown.

Yes, those Courant polls are very scientific. Where do I sign up to give my donation?

you should mail Larry G a $100 check for a season ticket deposit in the new arena for a team/sport to be named later.

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Just a guess, but follow me on this.

Northland has been vocal about interest in creating some kind of plaza like Roc Center in NYC with another residential tower on the opposite corner of H21. Granted this was in a situation where the arena location was moved. I would not be too suprised if NL wanted to close church in order to open up some space closer to H21. Possibly connecting Pratt and Allyn. lets not forget that NL owns half of Pratt, and the building that Agave is in on Allyn. NL also owns the huge flat parking lot cady corner to the arena at Ann and Church. If they closed Church and knocked down the old church street garage it would alow the city to re build the entire site with much more parking. Obviously there would be a much nicer arena, and all of this could be oriented in a way to breath extra life onto Pratt, Allyn, and possibly even connect them with a new pedestrian street like area.

I mention the garage coming down because I park there and its falling apart. concrete chunks literally falling from the roof. Also I think it was mentioned as part of the problem with parking downtown, and in one of the arena threads by the city. who knows this could be interesting, and with rates droping like they did today, its possible there will be more money for financing private investment downtown.

Opening up Allyn Street would be a good thing. A larger arena would fit north of Allyn Street if it also used the Church Street garage site. If Haynes Street was extended one block in each direction (north and south), it would link Allyn Street and the arena to Bushnell Park.

With that being said, I don't know about closing Church Street. It is a major crosstown street. How many other streets run from Main Street to Asylum Hill?

The other problem I have with the location is that sprawling buildings such as arenas often function like bookends. It may be a catalyst for some development facing downtown. However, the other side would probably end up more parking oriented. If this is true, I would like to see the "bookend" moved a little further out from the center of downtown. There are some great sites to the north that can handle an arena with the bonus of very little objection (if any) from NIMBYs.

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Bill your objections are legitimate, but I am wondering if blocking off Church would put an end to the wind tunnel problem happening there now.

I will also add that Northland would surely develop the flat parking lot at the Metrocenter that was once planned as MetrocenterII.

If the arena was moved up that one block and the metro center lot as well as the flat lots by the church street lot were developed I think it is a signifigant improvement. This would surely include signifigant housing elements while giving people more reason to move or visit downtown. One more key aspect would be putting a SIGNIFICANT increse in parking space for City place I, II, Goodwin, etc. allowing them to lure companys downtown.

I might be a little ahead of myself with all of this, but I think "fixing" the existing downtown would be better right now than extending downtown as its spread pretty thin now. If we achieve a higher level of livability and a higher density the retail we are so worried about would finally come. and the turn around would be well on its way.

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I, obviously for most you, agree that we should be looking to replace the XL Center. We are a major metro area and will need an arena for the forseeable future and the XL Center is about at the end of it's life as we all know. As a regional/state investment, any new arena should be generously funded by the state. I've never been to Bridgeport, but I'm sure my tax dollars helped to fund The Arena at Harbor Yard and I'm glad that it's there whether or not I ever personally set foot in it.

I came across this article in the Maryland Daily Record that I found to be very applicable to our own situation in almost every aspect. The article details the debate now taking place in Baltimore regarding building a new arena and whether or not it should be built with major leauge sports in mind. I agree that in a market the size of Baltimore, Kansas City, or here in Hartford that you do not want to build yourself out of future sports opportunities by building a mid size 15,000 seat arena. You want to plan for the future and build an arena with some breathing room.

MD Daily Record - Kansas City's advice: Build a big arena

Kansas City's advice: Build a big arena

18,500-seat Sprint Center is without NBA or NHL team

ROBBIE WHELAN

Daily Record Business Writer

January 21, 2008 5:21 PM

KANSAS CITY, Mo.

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proposed arena photo

here i found a rendering of the new arena. how are they going fit that in the exisiting location?

Well, it looks as though the Church Street garage is completely gone there and a plaza wraps around the building and goes under the Hilton.

I am guessing those two towers to the right of H-21 is City place and Goodwin, but I am wondering what that verticle orange thing with the detail is.

lookie what I found!

http://www.ctcda.com/images/customer-files...AL%208-4-06.pdf

it's the HOK report. It is from 2006 I guess but has all kinds of info about how much action the cc gets.

an example below

Summary of Event Estimates

Event Type *Events *Attendance * Total Attendance

Wolf Pack Hockey 43 X 3,800 = 163,000

UConn Basketball 21 X 14,000 = 294,000

Concerts 8 X 8,900 = 71,000

Family Shows 28 X 3,300 = 92,000

Non-Tenant Sports 11 X 8,700 = 96,000

Other Events 21 X 1,700 = 36,000

Subtotal 132 events 752,000 attendees

Flat Floor Events 15 X 2,500 = 38,000

Total - All Events 147 790,000

Edited by The Voice of Reason

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pic.jpg

I like it. That would be a boost for the city any way you look at it.

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pic.jpg

I like it. That would be a boost for the city any way you look at it.

Just as long as my taxes don't go up...

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Just as long as my taxes don't go up...

Taxes will always go up anyway. This is one acceptable way for the state to spend mine.

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Taxes will always go up anyway. This is one acceptable way for the state to spend mine.

They can do it without taxes going up. Get some private financing (Larry G., Travlers, The Hartford, UTC, Aetna), some state funding, Hartford has to put in some cash, have an arena surcharge on all tickets, naming rights. With the right mix it wouldn't be that tough to swallow.

People will look at Hartford and say there are other issues the money would be better spent; mass transit, schools, police. Well those areas are improving and there is money behind those initiatives. The police department has hired new officers, there is a new public safety compound being built, there is the New Britain Busway and New Haven-Springfield Commuter rail both fully funded and getting closer to construction. Schools are being built and renovated. The new superintendent is making sweeping changes. We'll have a new national park, an entertainment district next to the newly opened science center. An arena kinda completes the deal. If Hartford can get that you won't recognize it ten years from now.

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I could see potential in this site. I think the key would be to shift the arena to the north and then extend Allyn Street to Trumbull.

Closing Church Street without re-opening Allyn Street would be a mistake.

This Aerial View shows that the appendage of the Church Street garage block should accomodate a larger arena while still allowing Allyn Street to run through.

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I could see potential in this site. I think the key would be to shift the arena to the north and then extend Allyn Street to Trumbull.

Closing Church Street without re-opening Allyn Street would be a mistake.

This Aerial View shows that the appendage of the Church Street garage block should accomodate a larger arena while still allowing Allyn Street to run through.

I wish I had photoshop skills so I could work something up. Its crazy how much of the land around the arena Larry G. owns.

Seems to me that he has the most to gain here and I have no doubt he will be very involved.

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I could see potential in this site. I think the key would be to shift the arena to the north and then extend Allyn Street to Trumbull.

Closing Church Street without re-opening Allyn Street would be a mistake.

This Aerial View shows that the appendage of the Church Street garage block should accomodate a larger arena while still allowing Allyn Street to run through.

what an extraordinary amount of surface parking. though i have driven and walked everywhere in the CBD, the reality of this satellite map is a revelation. what percentage of surface parking does gottesdiener own (ballpark) of these open areas? hopefully, he is the right developer to be controlling this space.

Edited by blackstone

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I could see potential in this site. I think the key would be to shift the arena to the north and then extend Allyn Street to Trumbull.

Closing Church Street without re-opening Allyn Street would be a mistake.

This Aerial View shows that the appendage of the Church Street garage block should accomodate a larger arena while still allowing Allyn Street to run through.

I like that idea. I think if we created another pedestrian friendly boulevard with the re-opening of Allyn Street that it could tie the area on the other side of the arena together with Pratt St. better and create a pedestrian freindly continuity through the heart of Downtown all the way from Union Place to Market St. I think we should even consider having the portion of Allyn that would go through the current HCC site being only open to pedestrian traffic.

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Hartford could do what many other cities have done... add a very small tax to all hotel rooms and rental cars to fund the building of a new arena. That way, outsiders pay for it.

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what an extraordinary amount of surface parking. though i have driven and walked everywhere in the CBD, the reality of this satellite map is a revelation. what percentage of surface parking does he own (ballpark) of these open areas? hopefully, he is the right developer to be controlling this space.

Sadly Lary G does not own that much of it. But luckily he owns the closest bit.

The surface lots next to the Church Street garage that abut Ann street either the city owns, or it is confident it can get them. The arena will cover them. But the darkest colored surfact lot across Ann street is owned by Lary G. As is the office building and parking garage to the West of that. I am thinking that if the arena is built where they say it will be, Lary G will use this surface lot for more housing and entertainment venues to keep visitors and their money downtown.

Most of the stuff he owns is actually buildings. Just south of the arena he owns The Goodwin, City place II, but not City place I, and of course Hartford 21.

To the East he owns the grey roofed building that runs 3/4th of the way along the North side of Pratt Street. To the West he owns the building Agave is in on the corner of Ann and Allyn. I'm not sure what else he may own immediately around the Arena, but thats a pretty good concentration. I would not be too suprised if a few properrties changed hands if there was going to be such a large project downtown that involved a change to the street scape. I know the building across from Agave is for sale 2.2 Mill I think. (a bit steep)

All those other lots down Allyn and Church are owned by the people that were going to build the 180 Allyn street skyscraper back in the early 90's, and the large lots just north of 84 are city owned.

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I like that idea. I think if we created another pedestrian friendly boulevard with the re-opening of Allyn Street that it could tie the area on the other side of the arena together with Pratt St. better and create a pedestrian freindly continuity through the heart of Downtown all the way from Union Place to Market St. I think we should even consider having the portion of Allyn that would go through the current HCC site being only open to pedestrian traffic.

When I first read the article and read about the arena moving North and mentioned the extention of Allyn, I think I might have been a little premature. If Lary G. is as involved as I assume he would be, Pratt is more important to him than Allyn. He has a significant financial investment and a large amount of vacant retail up Pratt. So unless this pedestrian road directly connected Pratt to Allyn, I am not sure it would line up with Allyn. Also Pratt being further south gives more room to fit the larger civic center. Remember the new arena will have a much larger foot print. I am not sure how much space it will take up. I suspect that one of the arenas entrances woul open onto this street if it is in the plans to maximize pedestrian traffic.

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I wish I had photoshop skills so I could work something up. Its crazy how much of the land around the arena Larry G. owns.

Seems to me that he has the most to gain here and I have no doubt he will be very involved.

I did a little "photoshopping" with the image. I just don't have the ability to upload anything now.

I moved the footprint of the current arena to the north of Allyn Street. What I found was that there was plenty of room left over (at the new site) to allow for a larger arena. In addition, a site ripe for development would be freed up on the south side of Allyn Street.

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I did a little "photoshopping" with the image. I just don't have the ability to upload anything now.

I moved the footprint of the current arena to the north of Allyn Street. What I found was that there was plenty of room left over (at the new site) to allow for a larger arena. In addition, a site ripe for development would be freed up on the south side of Allyn Street.

That space on the south side of Allyn looks to be about where those two towers are in the rendering.

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That space on the south side of Allyn looks to be about where those two towers are in the rendering.

at first shake I thought that too, but I now think they are generic space holders for Cityplace I and The Goodwin tower. I just looked again and they appear behind H-21 and also why would all of the other generic blocks in that rendering represent 280 Trumbull, 100 Pearl, cityplaceII etc. but they would exclude City place I and Goodwin in liu of two other buildings.

I think any new verticle development here will come on the parking lot for Metrocenter.

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Summary of Event Estimates

Event Type *Events *Attendance * Total Attendance

Wolf Pack Hockey 43 X 3,800 = 163,000

UConn Basketball 21 X 14,000 = 294,000

Concerts 8 X 8,900 = 71,000

Family Shows 28 X 3,300 = 92,000

Non-Tenant Sports 11 X 8,700 = 96,000

Other Events 21 X 1,700 = 36,000

Subtotal 132 events 752,000 attendees

Flat Floor Events 15 X 2,500 = 38,000

Total - All Events 147 790,000

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