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Building a Neighborhood With Stadium as a Heart

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Questions and doubts seem to be turning to cautious enthusiasm for the Downtown North project in Hartford that began with a proposal to build a baseball stadium for the New Britain Rock Cats. The idea is now to build a whole new neighborhood on a long neglected section of the city that will feature apartments and eventually condominiums, a grocery store, restaurants, shops, a brewery, and of course a stadium.

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This Sunday on Face the State, we got an update on the project from the developer, Bob Landino, CEO of Centerplan Development Corporation and the Chief Operating Officer of the City of Hartford Darrell Hill. Both talked about financing and the impact it will have on the city. The pair agreed the project (which is without a name or brand right now,) will do to the city what Blue Black Square has done for West Hartford, and Storrs Center for the home of UConn.

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Landino and Hill also talked about what this neighborhood would feature, and named at least one supermarket company that is strongly interested in being an anchor tenant, ShopRite.

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To learn more about the project, watch the entire interview from Face the State right here: http://www.wfsb.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=10601818.

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13 replies »

  1. How many sports teams is this city going to sponsor before the politicians realize that it just doesn’t work long-term for Hartford? The Hartford Knights..gone. The Whalers…gone. Now this? They want to build this complex in the most depressed section of the city and for what? This city has historically thrown good money after bad and the burden is always on the tax payer. We are NOT Boston. We are NOT NYC. We are NOT Philadelphia. We are NOT a city that can support a project of this magnitude. We need to find that rarest of creatures, the honest, non-corrupt politician, to better address the needs of our city. Hartford, when will you ever learn?

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  2. I think this is a brilliant idea, if the players can utilize those apartments to live in while are there for the season. For some players Hartford can be a culture shock and for them to venture out into the wedding areas may not be good. Also security needs to be raised in those areas as there will always be someone trying to get something for free, if u know what I mean. We need to check reality as much as I love Hartford, its not one of the safest cities to live in.

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  3. Hopefully the state doesn’t get involved in funding the stadium. To pay big money to move businesses from one city to another rather than bringing new businesses to CT is such a waste. Paying Earl O’Garro $120,000 to move a couple of desks & file cabinets from Windsor to Hartford before he made $690,000 disappear from the Hartford board of Ed is the kind of Titanic deck chair rearranging we’ve come to expect from state government. Even the new busway, aka the Heroin Highway won’t come anywhere near the stadium

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  4. If folks move forward with this, be certain that both football/soccer and baseball may be played in the same stadium. There needs to be a sport in season every season if Hartford wishes to declare it self a city. This will boost the stadiums revenue along with interest in the capital as well as the state of Connecticut. The XL center can house hockey and basketball at the minor league level too. In this way our town may attract fans from all around if there is always a game in season. Imagine something to do on a Sunday downtown. Since parking is a nightmare and traffic signals make no sense to pedestrians or vehicles (why are all the lights red and no one is moving?) this needs to be addressed so it becomes a dream. Additionally the skate park must remain intact available for community use as the cultural center of downtown that it has become. The X-games are an essential culmination of contemporary culture in sport. Graffiti gives voice to public art for everyone.

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  5. Many urban centers around the country have proposed and then developed very successful “projects” such as this venture. Blue Back Square is a prime example …. that is close in proximity and fairly recently completed. Is it possible that this will have similar and positive consequences? Is it possible that the residents of and commuters into downtown Hartford would like to see a vibrant neighborhood that is vital, prosperous and economically self sufficient? I certainly know I would!! I will be more than happy to say goodbye to the deserted and depressing area that has been in the crosshairs of interstates 84 & 91 for many, many years. This is the perfect proposal for this space and I for one applaud the attempt to make Hartford a far more interesting city. Build it and they will come!

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