The plan to transform the area around the baseball park in Hartford into a destination with apartments, restaurants, shops and entertainment is about to begin.
The land around Dunkin Donuts’ Park, where the Hartford Yard Goats play during times other than the COVID-19 pandemic, was tied up in litigation for years. On Thursday afternoon, officials from the City of Hartford; the developer, RMS Companies; and local and state stakeholders broke ground on the $50 million first phase of the Downtown North Redevelopment Project.
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin called Thursday a beautiful day to celebrate a huge step forward. He said this development has the power to "knit" the neighborhoods that were divided back together.
"This is a great day for the city of Hartford," Bronin said. "We didn't get to play any baseball in the ballpark this year, but we still get a big October win and I think, like a lot of folks here, we've all had a chance to throw some shovelfuls of dirt. But, speaking for myself, I don't know if I'll ever throw a more satisfying shovel full of dirt than this one after the battle we fought to get here."
Former Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra attended the ground breaking to see a project he dreamed of begin.
“I can only hope that everyone can share the benefits and the fruits of this project in an equitable and just away,” Segarra said.
The overall project calls for as many as 1,000 apartments, as well as restaurants, entertainment space and parking garages to be built on all of the parcels surrounding the stadium over the next five years.
Hartford City Treasurer Adam Cloud called the project "historic" and said it is about taking care of space that had been barren for three decades.
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The first phase of the project includes 270 apartments, including studio and one- and two-bedroom units; a ground-floor restaurant; retail and entertainment space and a 330-space parking garage. Phase one is expected to be finished in 20 months.
A news release from the mayor’s office says the development agreement includes a minimum of 10 percent affordable units.
A news conference will be held at 2 p.m.