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IN-PROGRESS: Spectra Apartments on Constitution Plaza


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I'm surprised they dont just slag it and build anew...

This would be the ideal choice, but in the current economy, and considering all of the other empty lots in the city (including the one next door), any full and functioning building is a welcome addition.

Edited by MichaelQReilly
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This would be the ideal choice, but in the current economy, and considering all of the other empty lots in the city (including the one next door), any full and functioning building is a welcome addition.

its all about cost. Even with asbestose removal, it is infinitely cheaper to remodel it than to abate asbestose, then knock down, then prep site, then build new, Then build out interior.

instead all they have to do is remove asbestose, and remodel interior. rent units!

so much cheaper

but the look of the building will of course not change.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...

Very good article with tons of info.

This kind of piece in the Times used to be very common back in the late 80's early 90's, so its good to see a fresh one. Hopefully this entices a few more NY area developers to look at Hartford as a viable development market.

193 works for me!

and its interesting to have martin Kenney quoted.

I truely hope he gives it a go again soon.

With Hollander2 and the plaza apartments, clearly you have to see what's officially being built before you invest your own money, but I like that he is stepping up again soon.

please god let it be something besides 101-111 pearl, since I think if marketed together those buildings will attract a ton of potential bidders, and I am greedy as hell and I want 4 residential projects not 3 :)

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[email protected];ArticleType]http://www.hartfordbusiness.com/article_list.php?RF_ITEM[][email protected];ArticleType

120 one-bedroom units averaging 700 square feet

60, 450-square-foot studio apartments;

13 two-bedroom and two-story loft-style dwellings averaging 900 to 1,200 square feet, Ravetz said Tuesday.

He said rents ranging from $900 monthly at the low end to $2,400 at the upper should be affordable to attract enough singles and couples to the development. Occupancy would begin by the second-quarter of 2013.

Amenities will include a library, media center, health club and valet parking. A convenience store is possible as part of the 12,000 square feet designated for retail space, Ravetz said.

1st Q start to the conversion,.

So it seems funding is not at all an issue and just planning and permitting are the hurdles if even that.

I like the unit break down.

only 13 larger units that likely have killer river views. I suspect that in a nice 2 story unit with 1200 SF and a good view there are plenty that would pay 2400 per month. you pay that much at H-21 and Sage Allen without the views.

12000 SF of retail is not a heck of a lot, but in this part of town there is not really any base to build off of. I wonder how much of that will be plaza level and how much street level.

Edited by The Voice of Reason
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  • 6 months later...

The apartments are on the planning agenda according to the e-mail I got with the agenda.

199 units is the official count. not a surprise at all since that number has been quoted a few times recently.

I can not find any renderings online, but cross key is the architect. I did remind myself of the old 101 pearl renderings while on their site :)

good to see this moving through planning!!!

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moving through planning...

this project is at the historical comission now. not sure what for, but i'm sure its to change historic use to a new use, aka hotel to housing.

still looking good though.

its very interesting that this is moving along and AI is a hole in the ground, travelers is for sale, and now the rest of the plaza is for sale. the entire complex will have changed hands in the last few years.

lets hope this project is replicated at some of the other buildings where possible.

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moving through planning...

this project is at the historical comission now. not sure what for, but i'm sure its to change historic use to a new use, aka hotel to housing.

still looking good though.

its very interesting that this is moving along and AI is a hole in the ground, travelers is for sale, and now the rest of the plaza is for sale. the entire complex will have changed hands in the last few years.

lets hope this project is replicated at some of the other buildings where possible.

I read they are actually applying for Historic Status for the modernist design of the building. I don't know how much merit that designation would have but if they can get that why not go for it? It will allow them to apply for Historic Tax Credits in order to help finance the project.

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  • 7 months later...
  • 1 month later...

OK...

 

This project is oficially named "On the Plaza"

 

maybe we can get a title change.

 

Also, Saw in the CT Bonding meeting minutes that in December they were given $3 million of their funding from the housing authority. 

 

Usually they dont actually bond these things until last minute because once this is done, they actually get the check.  I can only assume this is the lining up of the equity needed to secure the final financing.

 

I suspect we will hear something pretty darn soon about a construction start date.

 

Also, If this project and Front Street were to start on the same day I would imagine that this would be done 6 months before Front Street II which would be perfect timing.

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The conversion of the old Sonesta Hotel in downtown Hartford into nearly 200 much-needed apartments could have been underway by now, if it wasn’t for one piece of financing that doesn’t normally draw a lot of attention: federal historic rehabilitation tax credits.

 

Investors – ranging from corporations to wealthy individuals — are usually lining up for the chance to help finance rehabilitation of historic structures in exchange for the credits used to reduce their federal taxes. But since last fall, after a federal appeals court ruling in a New Jersey case denied an investor the right to use the credit, investors have been scurrying to the sidelines until the implications are sorted out.

 

http://courantblogs.com/ct-real-estate/conversion-projects-face-delays-over-historic-tax-credits/

 

Yep, the good old IRS has thrown a wrench into the works.

Edited by beerbeer
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Pitney Bowles has lost its case. The USSC will not hear the case so the decision of the lower court stands. Until the IRS gives guidance, it will slow projects that have received the "historic" tax credit.

 

To recap the ruling --

 

In August, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled in favor of the Internal Revenue Service in a case involving the redevelopment of the Historic Boardwalk Hall in Altantic City, N.J. into a new conference center. The court ruled that a tax credit investor — Pitney Bowes — wasn't entitled to the credit even though it had invested $16.4 million into the project. The court ruled that Stamford-based Pitney Bowes was not really a true partner in the project because its tax credit agreement insulated it from any risk, even if the development went awry.

 

What it means to developers -

 

Meanwhile, the federal appeals court ruling did not shed any light on how tax credit investments should be put together and, as of yet, the IRS had not provided guidance.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Treasury Department, said the IRS "is working on this guidance and hope to release it soon." The IRS offered no specific timetable, but one expert said with the myriad of tax issues the IRS is dealing with "soon" could mean anywhere from a "few weeks to a few years."

 

 Many investors are sitting on the sidelines while the attorneys and the IRS try to figure this out," said Thom Amdur, executive director of the National Housing & Rehabilitation Association in Washington, D.C. Amdur estimated that as many as half of the investors in rehabilitation projects nationwide have put closings on hold.

 

The $24 million financing package for the Sonesta project factored in $4 million from federal historic tax credits. If you drop one piece of the puzzle, then the whole puzzle falls apart," said Jeffrey D. Ravetz, president of New York-based Girona Ventures, a partner in the conversion of the hotel on Consitution Plaza.

Edited by beerbeer
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that last quote is unerving.

 

the good thing though... these guys got the building for 500K, so its not like they would sit on it for 30 years trying to sell it for 12M

 

If this project falls apart, its hard to not see someone else picking it up and running with it.  the numbers are better here than most of the other proposals.

 

Damn tax credits!

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  • 3 weeks later...

From the Bond commission agenda this Friday

 

5 Constitution Plaza into 193 units of

housing with 32 affordable units. The project will contain approximately 54 studio, 125

one bedroom and 14 two bedroom units.

 

 

The construction bridge loan will be provided at an interest rate of 3.5% for a maximum

of 36 months.

 

Total Estimated Project Cost $24,047,136

Less: Federal Tax Credits 4,000,000

State Tax Credits 3,230,000

DECD State Loan, Previous Funding 4,000,000

Developer Equity 1,690,000

Mortgage Financing 9,077,136

Total, This Request $2,050,000

 

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  • 3 months later...

http://courantblogs.com/ct-real-estate/noticed-construction-fences-at-hartfords-old-sonesta-hotel/

 

About frekin time!

 

OK, I shouldnt get too excited we still have 2 months.

 

At least the tax credit is not an issue any more and they are in town with fences and meeting with contractors. 

 

If I had the cabbage I would inves in this project.  If first to the market is will do well.  I mean there is no way it wont get finished quickly and relavently cheaply and then occupy quickly.

 

It seems these guys are back in the lead towards opening a project up. (2 years later)

 

 

Im guessing this will open up sometime during the summer right?  Maybe fall?

 

 

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The first project on this site, District Condos, would seem similar in size to On The Plaza, albeit a bit more upscale.  It took 18 months from the start to finish.

 

http://www.wonderworkscorp.com/#!residential/c20x9  

 

You may have to hit the residential tab on the home page to see the District Condo info.

Edited by beerbeer
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