TheophrastusBombastus

IN-PROGRESS: Spectra Apartments on Constitution Plaza

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From the link I provided above I wanted to highlight some of the financials. and the hurdles.

First this bit about a guy who was trying to renovate the whole thing and re open a hotel with less rooms

in 1999, more optimism came in the form of a Michigan-based developer, David Ong, who'd expressed interest in the edifice, and had plans to restore it to an operating, 270-room business hotel. At the time, though, Ong was seeking investments from local corporations and the city itself, to the tune of $40.5 million -- an amount that would've covered the maharishi's asking price as well as needed renovations at the site. But again, no deal.

The thing about this number is that it includes the $15 million asking price of the building. it is also in 1999 dollars

So this guy Ong could have fixed everything up for $25.5 Million back in 1999. Below you see two different estimates to remediate the entire building for 15 million in 2003 dollars.

The problem with attracting potential investors, says Dan Matos of New York-based Capital Properties Inc., which owns five buildings on Constitution Plaza, has always been the building itself. It's estimated that -- thanks to a total lack of maintenance -- it would take more than $15 million to bring the hotel up to modern building codes and standards. "It's never sold because the asking price has always been too high, and to be honest the building is, for all practical purposes, obsolete," says Matos. "So whoever buys it is going to have in front of them a significant renovation job, just to bring the value of the property to zero. That'll cost around $15 million, the renovation. So, that's pretty daunting to anyone. It's a real tough business deal for anyone.

So we can likely assume that the 15 million is not too far off to take care of all the problems, and we can remove the 15 million price tag on buying the building if the city is reclaiming it.

So what are the economic benefits and potential income of this building? Clearly it can not be a 290 room hotel anymore. someone thought it could be a 270 room hotel in 1999. now I am just guessing that it wouldnt be fit for much more than 220-250 hotel rooms. Hotel rooms rent on average at an average of $98.95 according to Northeast realestate business magazine this month and as of feb 9 the Hartford business journal puts area occupancy at 56.4%

This would make a hotel in this location earn something like $5,092,461.75 a year on 250 rooms. I have no idea how much it takes to run a hotel in terms of costs, but it seems as though someone could make a go.

But as a dorm, the monies are likely better

290 rooms with double occupancy. Uconn curently charges an average of $7,480 off campus for housing only per semester(15 weeks).

and $4,355 for summer (8 weeks) so the place could earn $5,601,350 per year and only be open 38 weeks. this assumes a 50% occupancy in summer, but maybe downtown would be more popular in summer.. who knows?

I would assume also the that renovation costs for a dorm would be lower because there would not need to be as fancy of finished. I know I never stayed in a hotel as nasty as my old dorm.

I would take 580 college kids moving downtown over about 130 business travelers any day. especially since they would likely just take from other hotels.

just food for thought.

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It is more valuable as a heap of rubble.

I'm not a big fan of knocking down buildings. Rehabing is usually cheaper ad has better results. However, this thing and the butt ugly building should be razed. They contribute nothing and would cost more than they are worth to rehab.

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From the link I provided above I wanted to highlight some of the financials. and the hurdles.

First this bit about a guy who was trying to renovate the whole thing and re open a hotel with less rooms

in 1999, more optimism came in the form of a Michigan-based developer, David Ong, who'd expressed interest in the edifice, and had plans to restore it to an operating, 270-room business hotel. At the time, though, Ong was seeking investments from local corporations and the city itself, to the tune of $40.5 million -- an amount that would've covered the maharishi's asking price as well as needed renovations at the site. But again, no deal.

The thing about this number is that it includes the $15 million asking price of the building. it is also in 1999 dollars

So this guy Ong could have fixed everything up for $25.5 Million back in 1999. Below you see two different estimates to remediate the entire building for 15 million in 2003 dollars.

The problem with attracting potential investors, says Dan Matos of New York-based Capital Properties Inc., which owns five buildings on Constitution Plaza, has always been the building itself. It's estimated that -- thanks to a total lack of maintenance -- it would take more than $15 million to bring the hotel up to modern building codes and standards. "It's never sold because the asking price has always been too high, and to be honest the building is, for all practical purposes, obsolete," says Matos. "So whoever buys it is going to have in front of them a significant renovation job, just to bring the value of the property to zero. That'll cost around $15 million, the renovation. So, that's pretty daunting to anyone. It's a real tough business deal for anyone.

So we can likely assume that the 15 million is not too far off to take care of all the problems, and we can remove the 15 million price tag on buying the building if the city is reclaiming it.

So what are the economic benefits and potential income of this building? Clearly it can not be a 290 room hotel anymore. someone thought it could be a 270 room hotel in 1999. now I am just guessing that it wouldnt be fit for much more than 220-250 hotel rooms. Hotel rooms rent on average at an average of $98.95 according to Northeast realestate business magazine this month and as of feb 9 the Hartford business journal puts area occupancy at 56.4%

This would make a hotel in this location earn something like $5,092,461.75 a year on 250 rooms. I have no idea how much it takes to run a hotel in terms of costs, but it seems as though someone could make a go.

But as a dorm, the monies are likely better

290 rooms with double occupancy. Uconn curently charges an average of $7,480 off campus for housing only per semester(15 weeks).

and $4,355 for summer (8 weeks) so the place could earn $5,601,350 per year and only be open 38 weeks. this assumes a 50% occupancy in summer, but maybe downtown would be more popular in summer.. who knows?

I would assume also the that renovation costs for a dorm would be lower because there would not need to be as fancy of finished. I know I never stayed in a hotel as nasty as my old dorm.

I would take 580 college kids moving downtown over about 130 business travelers any day. especially since they would likely just take from other hotels.

just food for thought.

Maybe UConn Law and MBA kids could have the option of living there cheap since the two schools are in the city anyway.

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For the cost of rehabbing that place you could build brand new dorms Downtown or rehab a better building. I'm not sure I want to see that building get new life for any purpose as opposed to seeing it gone with a new prime parcel opening up.

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For the cost of rehabbing that place you could build brand new dorms Downtown or rehab a better building. I'm not sure I want to see that building get new life for any purpose as opposed to seeing it gone with a new prime parcel opening up.

Agree 100% that that is the ideal scenario.

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But rehab is much cheaper. you guys are forgetting one thing

option 1 rehab

15 million to make this building usable, say another 20 million to make it nice and dorm like.

Option 2 destroy

15 million to make building safe for demilition and then demolition, another $40 million to build a replacement 12 story 200,000 SF building.

Also with option 1 you do not have a hole in the ground for the next 10 years. remember the market is impossible right now.

Financing is available for projects like 3rd party dorms. its easy to get financing for a building that the state university is guaranteeing 500 tenants for.

I am not saying that this should be some kind of permanent re-use for this building, but putting 30 odd million into this thing would give you 10 years for the developer to make money and then replace the building later when the market is better and pay taxes the whole time. The other advantage is that after spending that 15 million to get the asbestos out and such it will not have to be done again, so whenever the developer decides to redevelope the lot it would be much cheaper.

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Hotel America/Sonesta/Summit/Clarion

Ok, so it's not the most fetching building in the world and it obviously needs a ton of work. I'd still like to see it saved if only as an example of mid-century modern architecture. The interior would likely have to be reconfigured to meet today's standards. With the Statler/Parkview Hilton having been dispatched in the 1990s, I'd venture that this might be worthy of preservation- at least the shell. Somehow, I doubt there is anything much left inside.

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What students would live there? UConn 'Hartford' (undergrad) is in West Hartford, UConn Law is effectively in West Hartford, and the MBA program in Htfd is mainly Executive MBA and one-off classes, most of whom would not live there.... maybe there's enough demand for corporate housing?

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The building would not be fit for anything much more than a dorm or a hotel and thats with all the work.

But as upperclassmen housing and MBA housing as well as UHart housing I think there would be demand. Remember that most UCONN students come to Hartford to party on weekends, so making a dorm in the city is not really a stretch. Admitadly its not an ideal solution, but I think there would be demand if you were to put it to the regions students.

A single 290 unit dorm that could serve multiple schools, provides parking and is listed as an option on housing forms. Priority would be given to grad students and upperclassmen first. A shuttle might run to campus (I think one allready does) more frequently. Uhart has the sage allen dorms nearby, and if there is demand they can use the clarion as well. either way you would have a pretty large student population between the two buildings.

There are tons of companies that run dorms for universities so I really think this could work. I could be completely wrong however as well. I also have no idea how this idea could be moved along and taken seriously.

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The BOA Building is very similar in style as a mid-twentieth century structure.

I generally agree that older structures should be saved but the old Sonesta has little to recommend it.

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Who's going to pay for it to be torn down? And why would the hotel site be valuable to developers, when countless other lots downtown are remaining parking lots for an eternity? Broadcast House is certainly an anomaly in this city, if that ever goes through. If there's a fraction of a chance the hotel can be adapted to a future use, it should remain as it is. Otherwise it will be another embarrassing empty hole.

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Here is a thread about the building we can revive.

I guess I also looked into it a little too much back then too. damn my job was slow back then.

anyhoo, if we have a fish on the line I say green light the thing asap, so we do not loose it this time. anything is better than empty. I think we are learning this with Front Street

From the link I provided above I wanted to highlight some of the financials. and the hurdles.

First this bit about a guy who was trying to renovate the whole thing and re open a hotel with less rooms

in 1999, more optimism came in the form of a Michigan-based developer, David Ong, who'd expressed interest in the edifice, and had plans to restore it to an operating, 270-room business hotel. At the time, though, Ong was seeking investments from local corporations and the city itself, to the tune of $40.5 million -- an amount that would've covered the maharishi's asking price as well as needed renovations at the site. But again, no deal.

The thing about this number is that it includes the $15 million asking price of the building. it is also in 1999 dollars

So this guy Ong could have fixed everything up for $25.5 Million back in 1999. Below you see two different estimates to remediate the entire building for 15 million in 2003 dollars.

The problem with attracting potential investors, says Dan Matos of New York-based Capital Properties Inc., which owns five buildings on Constitution Plaza, has always been the building itself. It's estimated that -- thanks to a total lack of maintenance -- it would take more than $15 million to bring the hotel up to modern building codes and standards. "It's never sold because the asking price has always been too high, and to be honest the building is, for all practical purposes, obsolete," says Matos. "So whoever buys it is going to have in front of them a significant renovation job, just to bring the value of the property to zero. That'll cost around $15 million, the renovation. So, that's pretty daunting to anyone. It's a real tough business deal for anyone.

So we can likely assume that the 15 million is not too far off to take care of all the problems, and we can remove the 15 million price tag on buying the building if the city is reclaiming it.

So what are the economic benefits and potential income of this building? Clearly it can not be a 290 room hotel anymore. someone thought it could be a 270 room hotel in 1999. now I am just guessing that it wouldnt be fit for much more than 220-250 hotel rooms. Hotel rooms rent on average at an average of $98.95 according to Northeast realestate business magazine this month and as of feb 9 the Hartford business journal puts area occupancy at 56.4%

This would make a hotel in this location earn something like $5,092,461.75 a year on 250 rooms. I have no idea how much it takes to run a hotel in terms of costs, but it seems as though someone could make a go.

But as a dorm, the monies are likely better

290 rooms with double occupancy. Uconn curently charges an average of $7,480 off campus for housing only per semester(15 weeks).

and $4,355 for summer (8 weeks) so the place could earn $5,601,350 per year and only be open 38 weeks. this assumes a 50% occupancy in summer, but maybe downtown would be more popular in summer.. who knows?

I would assume also the that renovation costs for a dorm would be lower because there would not need to be as fancy of finished. I know I never stayed in a hotel as nasty as my old dorm.

I would take 580 college kids moving downtown over about 130 business travelers any day. especially since they would likely just take from other hotels.

just food for thought.

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I am very interested to see how long it will be before a solid plan is proposed?

I would suspect anyone serious enough to buy is serious enough to start the approval process.

damn this is a great positive step!!!

we should smash all of these 3 new threads into the older clarion hotel site thread :)

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This is a much needed dose of good news for Downtown considering that we have two major office complexes set to be empty for some time to come. Hopefully this will encourage some movement on getting 777 Main converted to apartments as well as bring positive momentum for finding a tenant for CT River Plaza. If we can get to that mythical critical mass of a viable and sustainable community of residents downtown we will be on our way back to being a relevant city again. The good news for Hartford is that we need residential occupancy to increase much more than we need office occupancy to increase at this point in our revitalization.

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gotta say this is one of the best things we could have happen, and timing IS good.

this building is larger and could become more downtown housing units than most other options, so its really great that this might happen.

After reading the article in the courant about downtown office space etc, I am not really a fan of Grunburgs attitude on the whole thing. I am not sure I would want the city to have to dump 20 million into asbestos remediation so he can do something with that building. now if there were federal money maybe, but It really just comes down to an awesome cigar shop closing, and the end to an incredibly cool era to the city....

anyhooo

I think that with Clarion being turned into apartments, we might see 101-111 pearl turned into apts, and between the two of them there would be some great progress on the revitalization.

any time we can turn vacant office space into full housing we get a double win. office vacancy goes down, tax rolls go up, residents go up, traffic at resturants goes up, and ultimately the city will become more attractive to corporations to locate offices in and then we will see new office buildings as well as even more new residential. not sure how far off that is (I am buessing pretty far)

If through some crazy means Grunburg gets 777 Main some federal/city/state monies to turn the building into housing, and we get 101-111 Pearl started, and this Clarion thing happens, and.... somehow a new tenant comes from out of the area to rent riverfront plaza, I would just be tickled pink! but right now those things all seem possible since I think the clarion was one of the bigger longshots there.

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I wanted to add that the HBJ in another article put the number of units at 180

180 units makes this a major apartment building.

in fact, the only buildings bigger would be Hartford 21, and the Bushnel tower/plaza combo.

this is 30 or so units larger than the Sage Allen building/student housing combo.

I am very pleased to see how lmany units this will be.

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I wanted to add that the HBJ in another article put the number of units at 180

180 units makes this a major apartment building.

in fact, the only buildings bigger would be Hartford 21, and the Bushnel tower/plaza combo.

this is 30 or so units larger than the Sage Allen building/student housing combo.

I am very pleased to see how lmany units this will be.

It's pretty clear that some extensive renovation of this property will be needed given that it is older and that it has lain dormant for so long. Lets hope the rehab extends to the exterior the building as well. Any changes to the front to make the entrance more pedestrian friendly would really help improve that stretch of Columbus Boulevard.

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I guess this link was not posted in this thread yet.

Developers web site

http://www.wonderworkscorp.com/

I have looked around, and I have to soo, that 180 units number is not anywhere except in the HBJ, and its uncited, so I would not bank on that.

I did however see on Globe Street that they are planning 1 bedroom apartments. that was on 2-1-11 when the sale was made public. so still too many questions to know for sure on anything.

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I believe, originally, the hotel had something like 290 rooms. Obviously the rooms were small and that made it hard to convert to modern statndards.

The hotel in better days. http://www.cardcow.c...rd-connecticut/

Thats a fun picture to see.

it predates CT river plaza. and honestly it looks pretty decent in that context, but with having ct river plaza, and HSB building between it and the river, the hotel surely lost a lot of appeal as it was now in a canyon and all morning sun is blocked. I am sure there is still some nice light there and the views are still pretty good even though they are obstructed. I am soooo eager to hear more about this project.

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