517/523/525 Park Street, pre-demolition // Image courtesy of City of Hartford
In the 1990s, it was advised that 517/523/525 Park Street be dealt with immediately.
Earlier this month, the building formerly occupied by Allied Platers was demolished.
Getting to this point required collaboration between many departments and agencies including the Connecticut Department of Public Health, Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Hartford’s Department of Health & Human Services, and the Division of Licenses & Inspections. Continue reading 'Environmental Remediation for Frog Hollow Brownfield Site'»
As parks were assembled on streets to last a few hours today, another temporary park was being set up in front of the vacant tower at Pearl and Main. Knox Parks Foundation installed sod on top of the sidewalk surrounding 777 Main Street. This “pocket park” will remain through Monday. Continue reading 'Dead Space Revived Near Vacant Building'»
Participants in Saturday’s Quality of Life Community Conversation were told by moderator Alice Leibowitz to “listen to understand” and that “no one needs to promote or defend their opinions,” but old habits die hard. Some people left early, others kvetched about the meeting model, and others ignored the process entirely. Even with resistance, there were residents who moved out of Debbie Downerville and into action. Continue reading 'Residents Guided Toward Solving Problems Through Community Conversations'»
Members of the community removed weeds from the area in front of parcels 393 and 399 Capitol Avenue during the “Pop-up Coffee Shop” event that was organized by Virginia Iacobucci, owner of La Paloma Sabanera.
The weeds growing up through cracks in the sidewalk are not the most pressing problem, but they are the easiest to fix, requiring no special equipment or costly materials. Vegetation gone wild is what greets those walking the block, whether it be for exercise, to grab lunch, get a haircut, or get into the apartments located above commercial space.
The weeds are the proverbial iceberg tip.
Moving one’s eyes up from the ground to the actual structures listed as 393 and 399 Capitol Avenue on the assessor’s site, other signs of disrepair are apparent. Windows, scratched and cracked, remain in place despite requests for replacement. Continue reading 'Visible Blight, Less Visible Solutions'»
“I hope people will understand how hard I’ve worked to make sure this place stays open and that certain things are beyond my control,” Virginia Iacobucci, owner of La Paloma Sabanera, said weeks ago, while the closure of the coffee shop was still up in the air, before the tables had been raffled off and the güiro returned to its creator.
After the official closing announcements were made via mailing list, social media, and in person, La Paloma’s fate was still uncertain.
Behind the scenes, Virginia Iacobucci, the coffee shop’s owner, had been in discussions with the City of Hartford and the building’s landlord, the latter of whom had been completely unwilling to negotiate on rent, according to Iacobucci.
John Fleming, the Boston-based landlord, had failed to address a number of concerns with the building over the first five years of the lease, Iacobucci said. Though nobody had entered the store with a realtor, Fleming told Iacobucci that there were plans for a “high-end clothing store” to replace La Paloma. Following Iacobucci’s initial closing announcement, there were rumors from other building tenants that Fleming was going to put his building up for sale. For several days, this seemed to be the plan, and then, nothing.
When the building’s super was asked about the future for this spot at a later date, he said Fleming told him it was going to be a “surprise.” Continue reading 'La Paloma’s Void to be Filled by Convenience Store'»
After a property owner has been delinquent in the realm of paying taxes for a good long while, that parcel is made available by the City of Hartford to others. On Saturday, February 23rd, twenty properties will be up for sale.
It begins in the Bulkeley High School auditorium at 10am; potential bidders must register between 8-9:45am. Continue reading 'Cheap Properties Up for Bid'»
The Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously denied the request for a special permit that would have allowed for installation of a changeable electronic billboard at 15 Flower Street. It is expected that the Courant will ask to install a static sign in that same location.
Tonight is the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, along with public hearing, regarding — among other things — a request for a special permit to install a changeable electronic billboard in sight of an already congested segment of I-84.
The full PZC staff report is available to the public, but there are several key factors missing from the report. In it, there is no mention of the busway, which will be adjacent to the parking lot in which this sign would be constructed. Continue reading 'Billboard Proposal Does Not Account for Busway'»
The Hartford Courant is seeking a variance to install an electronic billboard on its building. The company has applied for a special permit for the changeable electronic billboard at 15 Flower Street.
Such signs are widely considered to be a blight presenting safety concerns as the flashing billboards create distractions for motorists and pedestrians.
In the past, the Courant has published commentary by writers opposing such billboards.
There will be a public hearing on this proposal at Tuesday evening’s meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission. The meeting begins at 5p.m. and will be held in the plaza level conference room at 260 Constitution Plaza.
The interior of the second and third floors have already gone through demolition and the first floor’s exterior façade is in process of being spruced up. Thanks to $500,000 given by CL&P toward the rehab project, the three-story, blond-brick building at the corner of Ashley and Garden Street (207-213 Garden) is now moving closer to completion.
The rehab project, sponsored by the Northside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance, INC. (NINA), was acquired in 2010 from what NINA is calling an “absentee investor.” Except for a pizza shop and package store on the first floor, the entire building (11,000 square feet) was vacant.
Moving forward, the plan is to maintain retail on the ground floor, while creating apartments on the second, and commercial space on the third. David Corrigan, the Program Manager for NINA, says the organization anticipates construction on the apartments will begin early in 2013. He says the apartments should be available to rent in early 2014. Rental rates will be determined closer to the date of completion. Continue reading 'Zunner Building in Asylum Hill Receives Funding'»