Hours after the fired developer of Dunkin Donuts Park announced it would develop a deal to finish the project, Hartford's mayor said he would believe a deal when he sees it.
Bob Landino, who owns Centerplan, told Connecticut Public Radio earlier in the day that he was in the process of developing a multimillion dollar agreement to complete the stadium, without an additional cost to the city. The stadium was projected to cost $56 million bust has since ballooned to $66 million and more costs are expected.
Jason Rudnick, the man in charge of the stadium and surrounding development known as DoNo Hartford LLC, told NBC Connecticut on Thursday the company feels completing the stadium as soon as possible is the best course of action.
"We're trying to take the high road here and do what we believe is correct which is to be the adult in the room and say listen, the right thing is to finish the ballpark and we’ll figure everything else out afterwards."
Mayor Luke Bronin, however, released a statement one would expect him to release after the developer has missed multiple deadlines and not delivered on promises for completion.
He wrote, "Before terminating Centerplan, we repeatedly asked them to show us that they had a sound plan and adequate financing to finish the job, and they either couldn’t or wouldn’t."
Bronin continued by writing, "We’ve been told for weeks now that a proposal is coming, but we haven’t seen anything yet. If we get a serious proposal, we’ll take it seriously."
I. Charles Mathews, the chairman of the Hartford Stadium Authority, also released a statement.
"If Mr. Landino spent as much time and effort building the ballpark as he is now spending rewriting history, there’d be baseball in Hartford this weekend," he wrote. "He has yet to honor any agreement he has made with the City. Why would we enter in to another?”
Centerplan started construction on the stadium in February 2015 with a set completion date of mid-March. After delays came to light in December 2015, a new date of May 17 was set in January. Centerplan did not meet that date, the city invoked the $46 million insurance policy on the project and the city later fired Centerplan.
The developer has said that the city kept making changes to the project while the city has said the developer is to blame.
It's unclear how much completing the stadium is going to cost, when construction could begin again, or when the stadium would be ready for the Hartford Yard Goats to start playing.
Rudnick says the best solution is to complete the project and work out the impending legal matters surrounding the stadium later.
"Let’s make an agreement," Rudnick said. "We’ll get back in the ballpark, finish it. Everyone will still have the right to argue afterwards and figure out who’s right and who’s wrong but finish the ballpark first."