Bond Commission to consider millions of dollars for economic development projects, including in downtown Hartford


A development of around 1,000 apartments next to Dunkin ‘Donuts Park in Hartford is slated for an injection of $ 13.6 million as part of the State Bond Commission agenda next Tuesday.

The year-end program is packed with support for economic development, the arts, housing, and other initiatives across the state.

The bond commission rarely turns down a request once it’s on the agenda.

This means Hartford can be reasonably certain of $ 13.6 million for a loan to help kick off the second phase of the roughly “Downtown Crossing” (formerly Downtown North) project under Stamford-based developer Randy Salvatore.

Salvatore is phasing out four empty lots next to Dunkin ‘Donuts Park. The first – a $ 50 million construction of a 330-space garage and 270 apartments – was launched in October 2020.

The state’s money will flow through the Capital Region Development Authority to help fund the next phase, a $ 52 million project resulting in a 541-space garage and 228 additional apartments.

According to the Bond Commission’s program, Salvatore will fund this effort with state money, $ 33.2 million in “other funding” and $ 6 million in equity and development costs.

The Bond Commission is teeming with funding for other economic, housing and arts developments, including:

· $ 35 million to build a new rail station in the Thompsonville section of Enfield. State Senator John A. Kissel hailed the development as a “game changer.”

· $ 25 million for brownfield grants and loans to help municipalities and developers clean up polluted industrial sites, preparing them for reuse.

· $ 21 million to replenish funding for the Small Business Express program. The 10-year-old program provides low-interest loans to small businesses for the purchase of equipment, working capital, relocation costs, employee training and marketing.

· $ 4 million to support minority businesses through the Small Business Express program.

· $ 11 million to allow the Capital Region Development Authority to provide loans to help finance the conversion of half of the downtown Hartford Hilton hotel into apartments and the refurbishment of the remaining hotel rooms.

· $ 6 million for small projects and programs under the Economic Development and Manufacturing Assistance Grant.

· $ 5 million to provide free technical and vocational training to underemployed and unemployed people under the CareerConneCT program.

· $ 4 million for the private construction of $ 23.5 million of an 88-unit mixed-income apartment complex on 11 acres off Deming Road in Berlin. Twenty-seven units will be classified as affordable.

· $ 3.5 million grant to Thomaston to restore Thomaston opera house.

$ 3.5 million to the Capital Region Development Authority to fund renovations to the Connecticut Convention Center and Rentschler Field, including the installation of a cooling system, elevator upgrades, and handicapped accessible upgrades

· A $ 3 million grant to help fund a $ 14.7 million expansion and renovation of Real Art Ways at 56 Arbor St. in Hartford. This will add four cinemas; educational spaces for courses and workshops; a theatrical space for artistic events; renovated exhibition spaces, including a gallery for families; a café and a gathering space; renovated outdoor spaces for shows and events; and rental of spaces for events, studios and offices. Renovation work is expected to begin in fall 2022 and be completed within two years.

· $ 2 million for a grant to Middletown for repairs and improvements to its historic RM Keating business park. According to the minutes of the Middletown Economic Development Committee meeting of March 10, 2020, the business incubator park is home to 21 tenants, but needed improvements to roofs, paving, locks and more. areas.

· $ 1.5 million grant to help Opera House Players Inc. renovate a century-old church at 100 Main Street in Enfield into a performing arts theater.

· $ 1 million to Windsor for the second phase of a comprehensive study and analysis of streets and roads for transit-oriented development.

· $ 801,600 for Newington for a streetscape project.

· $ 500,000 to help East Hartford cover the design costs of a redevelopment of the Silver Lane Corridor.


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