Positive Developments on the Plaza

Hartford's Consitution Plaza

Constitution Plaza is one of the centers of redevelopment in Downtown Hartford. A number of projects have been on the drawing board for years, and recently there seems to be signs that they will begin moving forward.

The former hotel in the back right of the photo is slated to become apartments. Ken Gosselin, author of the Courant’s CT Property Line blog recently wrote about his encounter with the developer at the site after noticing new fencing.

The former restaurant just behind the fountain in the photo is in the process of becoming a TV studio for a new sports network specializing in golf. The Hartford Business Journal published a piece about the status of Back9Network in April 2013 as they continued to build their brand.

The CT River Plaza office building in the back left of the photo, along with its companion hidden behind the hotel, have been bought by the State for office space (Note: CT River Plaza is not technically part of Constitution Plaza, but the two are connected by a pedestrian bridge). Ken Gosselin reported on the State’s plan to renovate the buildings and have workers on site by 2016.

Out of the frame to the right is the former site of the Broadcast House, for which a new apartment tower is proposed. Greg Bordonaro of The Hartford Business Journal covered the announcement about a year ago.

The building at the far left of the photo is another candidate for redevelopment, as you can see from the green banner at the top. It was evaluated early on in the UConn discussion, but they eventually selected the Times building on Prospect Street.

There is a lot of chatter around Hartford’s Constitution Plaza right now. If these projects are completed, then the space is going to be transformed into a very different environment. The photo at the top was taken in the mid-afternoon on a weekday. It’s safe to say that there will be dramatically more life on the Plaza with hundreds of new apartments and thousands of State workers. Fingers crossed that the different plans work out…

I’ll Be Out Back Putting

This enterprising homeowner installed a putting green in their yard. It’s in good condition and appeared to have three holes cut when I was touring the neighboring house with some buyers. Putting greens are not a very common feature that we see advertised – I wonder if it would be a positive or a negative for a home’s value?

Putting Green

Downtown Sights and Sites

There is a lot going on in Downtown Hartford these days. Here are just a few of the activities and projects currently scheduled and underway.

The PGA Tour comes to Greater Hartford in a couple weeks for the Travelers Championship. One fantastic way to get involved is to check out the Tee It Up for Charity event on Thursday the 24th. It’s basically a big party with live music, a silent auction, and a mini-tournament on the practice facility. All money raised goes to The First Tee Connecticut.

Travelers Championship PGA Golf Tourney

Abul Islam and AI Engineers is building a green office building at the site of the former Broadcast House on Constitution Plaza, to be called the AI Tech Center. At this point the old building has come down, and they are reported to be looking for tenants in order to secure construction financing. Interested in meeting and talking with Mr. Islam? Sign up for the HYPE Entrepreneur Success Stories event on June 22nd in which he is the featured guest.

Site of the future AI Tech Center

Front Street continues to plug along, though leasing is lagging construction. They have the exteriors of the buildings in good shape and the sidewalks down. Who will sign up to be the first tenants?

Front Street Nearing Completion

Finally, the Wadsworth Atheneum is undergoing some renovations, which includes some work on the roof.

Roof Work at the Wadsworth Atheneum