Mayor Says Hartford Can Move Forward With Development Around Ballpark

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin says a court has cleared the city of Hartford to move forward and develop parcels around the minor league baseball stadium, Dunkin’ Donuts Park.

“As of just about an hour ago, the court has lifted the liens that would have made it difficult to move forward with the development of the parcels around the ballpark,” Bronin said. “The city is now clear to move forward and that’s exactly what we plan to do.”

Bronin said the plan for five parcels of surface parking around the park would be for mixed-use development, including residential, retail and a grocery store, around the ballpark. 

“We have said many times, we think that area of Albany and Main is an important area for a grocery store to be located,” Bronin said.

“This is great news. We are thrilled with the ruling and we stand ready to finalize our legal agreements with the City so we can break ground on this transformative project in the very near future,” said Randy Salvatore, RMS Companies Chairman and CEO said in a statement. 

The mayor’s announcement comes after a jury decided in July that the city was justified in firing and ending a development agreement with Centerplan, the company hired to develop Dunkin’ Donuts Park.

Bronin fired Centerplan in 2016 after they missed their deadline to complete the ballpark.

“If past experience is any predicter, I’m sure that they will appeal. I’m also very confident of the city’s position,” Bronin said Thursday. “We won a strong victory at trial. We won I think an important victory today. I fully expect they’ll appeal. I also am confident that the city will ultimately prevail.”

The developer argued they didn’t finish the ballpark on time because of last minute changes made by the city. Centerplan sued the City of Hartford for wrongfully terminating its contract, leaving the land around the park in limbo.

The trial lasted five weeks. As part of the ruling, Centerplan owes $335,000 in damages. An attorney for Centerplan previously said they will appeal the decision.

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