Hartford Calls Bond on Ballpark Project

The mayor of Hartford has called the $47 million bond for the ballpark being built in Hartford and said the DoNo baseball stadium developer, Centerplan Construction Company, has defaulted on its agreement with the city.

The ballpark was supposed to be “substantially complete” by May 17, but that did not happen and the latest estimates were that the park could open at the beginning of July at the earliest.

The baseball team has been playing in Norwich rather than in Hartford because the stadium is not done.

Mayor Bronin has sent a letter to Arch Insurance Company in Philadelphia on behalf of the city of Hartford and Hartford Stadium Authority, saying the developers are in default for not reaching the substantial completion date of May 17.

One of the items he mentioned is that the developer has failed to adhere to the requirement of an agreement reached in January to pay $50,000 if they missed the deadline and an additional $15,000 per day, up to $250,000, until reaching the “substantial completion” date. He said they have not paid.

Centerplan and DoNo have pledged to fight the claim in court because they say the city has some culpability in the park being late.

The letter also says “numerous construction deficiencies and code violations” remain on the project and Centerplan threatened to walk off the jobsite and would be in serious default if it does so.

“This afternoon, the City formally notified the surety, Arch Insurance Company, that the developer has failed to perform their obligations, and that the surety has a duty to make sure the project is completed at no further cost to the taxpayer of Hartford,” Bronin said in a statement.

In January, all the parties came together when it became clear that the developers were far behind schedule, to finance the gap, according to the mayor.

“That was the right thing to do to keep things moving. At this point, however, the developers have repeatedly missed deadlines and, we believe, continue to run over-budget. We have no choice but to bring the surety to the table to manage and finance completion of the ballpark,” Bronin said in a statement. “The developer has threatened to abandon the job if we call the bond, but to do that would be another breach of contract. They have a clear obligation to keep working, and if they believe that calling the bond wash¹t necessary, they can prove it by finishing the job as soon as possible with the resources they’ve been given.”

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