Proposed Hartford Stadium Project Clears Another Hurdle

One day after suffering a setback, plans to bring the Rock Cats to Hartford are once again moving forward.

The Hartford Redevelopment Agency signed off on a proposal to transfer land for the project during a Wednesday night meeting.

The land includes the site of the old "Butt Ugly Building," the centerpiece of the corruption trial against Hartford's former mayor Eddie Perez. Developers hope to construct a supermarket, other retail space and apartments there.

"It's a step in the right direction. Certainly we needed this approval to move forward," said Yves Joseph, of Centerplan Construction, the development company selected to move forward with plans to build.

The transfer comes just one night after the city's Planning and Zoning Commission voted to give the project an unfavorable recommendation after members raised concerns about whether the project fits with the city's redevelopment plan.

The recommendation is non-binding and the Hartford City Council could ultimately override it if.

"Not everyone's going to be in agreement. Not all the different agencies are going to be in agreement. Ultimately, the council and I have an important responsibility of advancing this project forward," said Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra.

While the latest meeting did not include a public comment session, opponents of the project still attended.

"We would love to see the area developed. We just cannot understand why the stadium is the one thing that must be there," said Anne Goshdigian, of the Hartford Coalition to Stop the Stadium.

To address concerns raised by the Planning and Zoning Commission, the city plans to make revisions to its development plan soon.

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