Hartford officials recently held a pre-bid conference for developers and others interested in building a new minor league stadium and its surrounding neighborhood. While the city fielded questions about available land and other infrastructure improvements it has in mind, one big question sticks out: "Have you identified promising sources of federal or state funds?"
The answer is kind of vague.
"The City anticipates that there will be other funding available for the housing component of the plan and we have talked to several representatives of federal funding sources," the city said in a written response to questions. "However, at this point we are focused on receiving RFP responses and evaluating the various frameworks for partnership and financing that are suggested."
The city's responses to questions from developers were posted online Wednesday. Also online is a sign-in sheet from the meeting that includes some well-known names in construction and development: Whiting-Turner, JCJ Architecture, Gilbane, Turner Construction, Centerplan Development, Simon Konover Development, Downes Construction, and C&R Development.
It's important to note that attendance at the pre-bid conference was not mandatory, and attendance is also not always a good indicator of who will eventually submit a proposal.
As you'll recall, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra initially set out to publicly finance up to $60 million to build a stadium just north of I-84 in the city's downtown. That plan met with little support: many liked the idea of a stadium; few liked his initial idea for how to pay for it.
Now, the city has changed course. First, Segarra and the city council now say they want the stadium to include a lot more private financing than initially considered. Second, the mayor wants to hear from developers who want to build both the stadium and its surrounding neighborhood -- housing, retail, and more.
Interested parties have until August 1 to submit their proposals.