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MadVlad

A plan for North Downtown

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I took the Trumbull ST exit from I-91 South going into downtown today, and it's amazing the enormous parking lot that is along that stretch of highway (between I-91 and Market St, where the Cirque Du Soleil pitches it's tent). Isn't there room for an arena there?

How about this for a plan: the City changes it's Mill Rate to 50/50, land/bldg (or 40/60). The city creates a comprehensive plan to develop Trumbull St from the I-84 bridge to Market St, and further down along Windsor St. This can/will include the area around the Butt Ugly Building, and past Travelers on Windsor St. Get a plan for a new arena in the lot mentioned, create 6-10 story residential buildings leading to Market St similar to the way Paris is set up, and have some (but not too much) commercial on the ground level (for cafes, bookstores, whatever). This area is underdeveloped, so it isn't like anyone is being "misplaced" (like I care about that, truthfully), and it won't be seen as "dangerous" since it'll all be new and nice. Have the area directly around the arena be a little entertainment district similar to what some other cities have done (ever been to Denver? The area where their stadiums and arena are is very fun).

Change the tax structure, acquire the land (or have the owners build something), put it out to bid, voila! No loss in revenue since none of it is State owner like some of the rest of the city. New residents, new businesses, a cozy area to live and play. I was in New Haven over the weekend in the area just north of where the Coliseum used to be and damn.... I really hate to say it, but it had a great feel. Hartford needs to get out of it's own way. Let's do this!

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Sounds good to me. I would prefer a new arena location so that we can continue to use the XL Center while it is built so this would definitely work for me.

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in general I like your plan, but I think we need to fill in holes way more than we need to expand the footprint of downtown.

Allyn Street parking lot, Hilton Lot, YMCA, the AT&T parking lot area, Asylum and Main parking lot, broadcast house, 1000 main street, the clarion, and maybe front Street 2 are all higher priority to me that expanding downtown.

If most of these were redeveloped primarily into residential and 101-111 pearl too, then I would say NoDo had a chance and a reason to develop. Also, it would not be taking life blood away from our fragile downtown, but building on a successful and dense core.

we are a long way off I am afraid

as much as it would suck to have no arena for 2-3 years, I think the arena needs to stay right smack in the middle of downtown in order to inject the most life into this city.

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VoR, I agree with you on most points, but here's my feel: I think this area IS a hole in downtown, a big hole, it just is on the edge, not the middle. I think developing it would be as important, if not more so, than areas like the AT&T lot...

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VoR, I agree with you on most points, but here's my feel: I think this area IS a hole in downtown, a big hole, it just is on the edge, not the middle. I think developing it would be as important, if not more so, than areas like the AT&T lot...

ok I can buy that. I guess the thing is though that developing the area you are talking about is massive. its the size of Adrians landing. it would take a billion dollars to build all that stuff, and untill i hear a proposal come from the state, I do not see it happening in the same way that say, AI Engineers can come in and potentially develop broadcast house for just 40 million

or that some unnamed developer can potentially refurb the Clarion, or even a company like Northland spending 165 million on Hartford 21. 40 million is realistic in Hartford, 800 million is well lets just say that we need a few more fairly godmothers.

if we could put 2000 housing units in 8-10 story buildings and a stadium there I would be tickled pink. and it would fix many of the current doawntows ills.

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Sounds good to me. I would prefer a new arena location so that we can continue to use the XL Center while it is built so this would definitely work for me.

I agree. A new arena at the current site would not be very good for downtown. Church Street should stay open and Allyn Street should reopen.

in general I like your plan, but I think we need to fill in holes way more than we need to expand the footprint of downtown.

Allyn Street parking lot, Hilton Lot, YMCA, the AT&T parking lot area, Asylum and Main parking lot, broadcast house, 1000 main street, the clarion, and maybe front Street 2 are all higher priority to me that expanding downtown.

VoR, I agree with you on most points, but here's my feel: I think this area IS a hole in downtown, a big hole, it just is on the edge, not the middle. I think developing it would be as important, if not more so, than areas like the AT&T lot...

In my opinion, the 12B (Main and Trumbull)lot is up there with the Asylum and Main lot, and the Hilton lot. Those 3 are the top tier to me. The empty 12B lot has a big psychological effect on Main Street all the way down to the Old State House.

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I agree. A new arena at the current site would not be very good for downtown. Church Street should stay open and Allyn Street should reopen.

In my opinion, the 12B (Main and Trumbull)lot is up there with the Asylum and Main lot, and the Hilton lot. Those 3 are the top tier to me. The empty 12B lot has a big psychological effect on Main Street all the way down to the Old State House.

A new arena somewhere in this vicinity would be close enough to the current arena area that I don't think it would have a negative impact on the businesses currently located there and it would certainly expand the footprint of where it would be attractive to open a business much further north. The old XL center site would ideally become a revitalized mixed use development area with a much better pedestrian environment in the heart of the CBD and a new arena to the north could serve as a sort of bookend to this area and hopefully spur development around it going even further north and get that part of the city reintegrated with the Downtown.

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the cirque de soleil parking lot is pretty far away from the current downtown. and those data centers are not exactly cheap to move or pretty to look at/walk by

a arena up there would hurt downtown.

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the cirque de soleil parking lot is pretty far away from the current downtown. and those data centers are not exactly cheap to move or pretty to look at/walk by

a arena up there would hurt downtown.

It is depressing to think that up till the 60's, all this area was well within the footprint of downtown.

A new arena somewhere in this vicinity would be close enough to the current arena area that I don't think it would have a negative impact on the businesses currently located there and it would certainly expand the footprint of where it would be attractive to open a business much further north. The old XL center site would ideally become a revitalized mixed use development area with a much better pedestrian environment in the heart of the CBD and a new arena to the North could serve as a sort of bookend to this area hopefully spur development around it going even further north and get that part of the city reintegrated with the Downtown.

I like the bookend term. Arenas, like convention centers often become bookends. I believe the current site for an arena keeps the bookend too close to the center.

The vacant blocks to the north are considered less desirable than say, Asylum and Main.

Let's flip things around for a minute. The arena is on the north and a vacant block or 2 is on the south (at the current arena site). Would the vacant lots be more desirable in this configuration?

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Let's flip things around for a minute. The arena is on the north and a vacant block or 2 is on the south (at the current arena site). Would the vacant lots be more desirable in this configuration?

Exactly, we need something to serve as a catalyst for growth and investment on the north side of Downtown and we need to open up the center to more pedestrian activity and housing. Moving the arena north would kill those 2 birds with one stone. You develop much of the vacant land immediately to the north of Downtown and you open up a prime piece of the city for further development.

Also, couldn't we deck over more of 84 between Ann and Trumbull and even between Ann and High to create a developable area where essentially a new arena could be built just a few blocks away from the current site and put more of 84 underground?

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I think it would end up being inclusive, not exclusive, look into my reference to Denver...

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not that I want to be a devils advocate or anything because I think you all know I favor all kinds of development, and stuff, but I dusted off the arena study to remind myself of their findings on Hartfords various Arena sized developable lots.

http://www.hartfordinfo.org/issues/wsd/DowntownDevelopment/gblock/Feasibility_Study.pdf

they looked at 7 final locations, but the Cirque lot was not one of the finalists. I think this is due to its distance from the core of downtown.

that arena location would be as far from the old state house as park street is from the old state house.

so, if you wanted to get drinks or dinner before or after a game it would be a 15-20 minute walk easily between city steam and an arena up there.

also looking at the studies, there is conciderable mention of leveraging the existing parking stock for any new arena to keep costs down as well as space needs down.

building up between market and I-91, there is some room, but still, no where near enough to supply parking. so massive garages would need to be built.

the current location, or even the immediate area N of 84 would be able to draw on the existing downtown garages.

its fun to look at this study again. While I still like site 5 (the current arena location) the best, I could also get behind site 3(the lot across from butt ugly and part of the crown plaza land).

location 6 is now totally off the table because stage 1 of front street was built, and stage 1 might actually come back into play with a re-aligned highway/rail. as those obcticles might be less in the way.

if you want more insight into their thoughts on location, start on page 54 of the PDF

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they looked at 7 final locations, but the Cirque lot was not one of the finalists. I think this is due to its distance from the core of downtown.

I don't think anyone mentioned the Cirque lot though did they?

the current location, or even the immediate area N of 84 would be able to draw on the existing downtown garages.

its fun to look at this study again. While I still like site 5 (the current arena location) the best, I could also get behind site 3(the lot across from butt ugly and part of the crown plaza land).

I think this is the general vicinity that we all have in mind.

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I took the Trumbull ST exit from I-91 South going into downtown today, and it's amazing the enormous parking lot that is along that stretch of highway (between I-91 and Market St, where the Cirque Du Soleil pitches it's tent). Isn't there room for an arena there?

*SNIP*

sorry man, but thats exactly what the first post was about. putting the arena at the cirque tent site.

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sorry man, but thats exactly what the first post was about. putting the arena at the cirque tent site.

Sorry, I missed that. Yeah, I'm not in favor of that site either. I thought we were always talking about the vicinity of 12B and where the Butt Ugly used to be.

My preferred site would be somewhere around here. If we can put more of I84 underground and put the arena on top I think that would be ideal. I guess the question would then become how do you extend and redevelop Allyn St. once the arena is gone. I think mid-rise and/or high rise residential with retail on the ground floors could be built along a newly extended, pedestrian only Allyn street which could basically run east up to what would become the west side of the H21 complex fronting Trumbull which would now have a new entrance allowing pedestrians to cut through H21 to get to the Trumbull and Pratt St. area.

newarenasite-1.jpg

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not that I want to be a devils advocate or anything because I think you all know I favor all kinds of development, and stuff, but I dusted off the arena study to remind myself of their findings on Hartfords various Arena sized developable lots.

http://www.hartfordinfo.org/issues/wsd/DowntownDevelopment/gblock/Feasibility_Study.pdf

its fun to look at this study again. While I still like site 5 (the current arena location) the best, I could also get behind site 3(the lot across from butt ugly and part of the crown plaza land).

site 5

One thing I like about site 5 is the Chapel street treatment. The proximity of Union station via allyn Street is exceptional. The public Allyn Street-Pratt Street walk through would be essential, though.

site 2

I kind of like site 2 (High, Main, and Chapel streets). It draws the footprint of downtown up towards the Albany, Main intersection. So a little land opens up between the arena and downtown core. But, if an arena truly is a catalyst for nearby development, these blocks would probably be considered desirable.

Union Station is a little farther, but not by too much. The current infrastructure makes it feel much farther than it is. That can be improved.

location 6 is now totally off the table because stage 1 of front street was built, and stage 1 might actually come back into play with a re-aligned highway/rail. as those obcticles might be less in the way.

site 1

I'm actually thinking about air rights just south of site 1 (on Church Street, across from Union Station).

Could arenas be built using air rights? Boston Garden and Madison Square Garden come to mind.

This location has some advantages.

A) located next to the transportation center.

B) a massive parking garage that should be built adjacent to the new rail station could be designed to serve the arena as well.

C) the "entertainment district" (Union Place and Allyn Street) is right at the doorstep.

D) opportunity to cover what otherwise might remain a highway and rail pit.

E) Allyn Street could reopen and Church Street could remain open.

F) a block from Bushnell Park

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I'll be honest, I don't know which sites are 1, 3, 5, 7, or 50000. Can one of you guys take the map and write the site numbers on them?

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I'll be honest, I don't know which sites are 1, 3, 5, 7, or 50000. Can one of you guys take the map and write the site numbers on them?

i think its on page 19ish of ther pdf I provided the linlk to.

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I'll be honest, I don't know which sites are 1, 3, 5, 7, or 50000. Can one of you guys take the map and write the site numbers on them?

I think I've attached the map of locations. I've tried anyway. Hope it worked.

post-23368-0-25253500-1290214260_thumb.p

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Site 1 would be an option if the 84 viaduct project and arena were to be done around the same time. That portion of the highway could be covered, allowing for the arena to be even closer to Union, Asylum, Allyn and Church.

Site 2 seems to me to be better suited if that portion of 84 were buried and either a portion of the arena, another building or a large plaza were introduced above it.

Site 3 causes problems for those who use the exit off 91S that empties right onto the space that would be taken over by the arena. The location isnt too bad but it is right on the edge of what is currently considered downtown (to me anyway).

Site 4 is out altogether in my mind. There is too much going on in this area for all those buildings to be removed. It's an entertainment district and should be implemented into an arena project, not removed to allow for an arena.

Site 5 is easily my top choice. I know it will take work and could close a street or two. But it's in the heart of the city and every reason that people go downtown for entertainment, is right around this location. There really couldnt be a better spot.

Site 6 is no longer an option with the new buildings already built across from the Convention center.

Site 7 is too far south. The downtown region does reach there and placing an arena here wouldnt attract anybody into downtown. They would have to get in the car to go to the bars, but I'm sure they'd drive home or back to the suburbs instead.

Wherever an arena is to be built, it needs to be a part of the downtown without removing any large sections of what is already there (unless of course they are parking lots). I have to say that I love how the arena issue never seems to go away. The study has been brought up multiple times over the last few years in these forums and I get excited every time I revisit it.

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