There could be a potential major step forward for Hartford with a developer planning a $200 million project around Dunkin’ Donuts Park.
It would include hundreds of apartments and spots for shops.
“I think there is a lot of great things happening in Hartford right now. And we’d love to be part of it,” said Randy Salvatore, CEO & president of RMS Companies, which is based in Stamford.
After RMS renovated the nearby Goodwin Hotel, Salvatore jumped at the chance when four parcels became available around Dunkin’ Donuts Park. The company’s portfolio also includes the UConn residence in Stamford and several other properties.
“It’s very infrequent you find this large swath of a piece of property right on the edge of a city which really allows you to create really a new community,” Salvatore said.
On Tuesday, he presented his $200 million vision to city councilors: some 800 apartments plus retail space, even room potentially for a grocery store.
More exciting to some people: this could connect downtown with nearby neighborhoods.
“I see this as a potential great leap forward for the City of Hartford. I think something a lot of us have been waiting for for a very, very long time,” said Hartford City Councilman John Gale (D).
For decades people wished something better could be done with the 13 acres.
More recently it got tied up in controversy as the city battled another developer with plans for the sites. Centerplan Construction filed a lawsuit against after it was terminated from the stadium project and the city has since filed a counter-claim.
While many hope that’s the past, they are pushing for the community to have a say in the area’s future.
“I think people want to see Hartford do well. People want to see development include them,” said Patricia Williams of Hartford.
RMS was the only company that threw its hat in the ring to possibly develop the area.
While this is just the beginning of the process, the developer is hopeful to receive city approval and to break ground next spring.