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Thu August 7, 2014
Two Developers Want to Build Hartford's Baseball Stadium
The city of Hartford announced Wednesday that it will consider three of the four stadium-related proposals it received last week.
Earlier this summer, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra announced that the New Britain Rock Cats would move to the city and play ball in a new stadium built with no more than $60 million in taxpayer dollars. Political pressure forced him to change course. He later said that private funding would be part of the mix, and taxes wouldn't have to go up to pay for the stadium.
Segarra then asked developers to submit proposals to build not just a stadium, but an entire neighborhood, with retail, housing, and more. Those proposals came back on Friday, August 1.
One proposal was submitted by the Thomas Hooker Brewing Company, and it includes only a brewery.
Another was submitted by CV Properties, LLC, which proposes to build a ballpark, a municipal office building, and a garage.
The final bid was submitted by Leyland Alliance and Centerplan, proposing to build a stadium, retail, a grocery store, restaurants, a brewery, 600 residential units, and municipal office space.
Thom Deller, the city's director of development services, said the city has to balance vision and financial feasibility. "Obviously, we have to work and analyze both simultaneously," he said, "and realize that there's going to be some trade-off. We may trade off a little vision to get a financial plan, and we may trade off a little financial plan to get what we think is the best vision for the city."
The inclusion of the municipal building could be an interesting way to get public bond funds into a project that will no doubt need a lot of money, especially now that fewer taxpayer dollars will be involved for the stadium.
"What the mayor has said, and what the council president has said, is there will be no increase in taxes and nothing in the general fund to pay for the stadium," Deller said. "We're trying to figure out through a public/private partnership how that can happen. There's a whole variety of ways that kind of deal could come together."
Deller said he expects to have a recommendation for the city council by September.
Show me the money