Bedbugs happen. Just like your son might come home from school once with lice or you might find a mouse in your kitchen or your cat drags fleas into the house, pests are for most, a rare nuisance. From 2011 to present, bedbugs have been reported throughout Hartford, from streets like Kenyon, Fairfield, and Cornwall, to Marshall, Wethersfield, and Farmington. They have been reported in single-family homes, high rises, and churches. But what does it mean when some properties have multiple incidents in one year, or year after year?
Although the information is public, we are not interested in embarrassing property owners who had one unlucky occurrence. Instead, we are going to look at some patterns. These reports are divided into those with two or three violations in one year (these are considered housing code violations) and those with four or more in one year.
In some cases, the repeat offenders involved just one unit of a larger building, but in other cases the problem affected public hallways in buildings with multiple dwelling units. When a property owner with multiple properties had multiple violations, or when there might be public interest in a location that had been affected, we named those owners.
What we found Continue reading 'Random Facts from Open Data: Itch Zones'»
Exactly one person spoke favorably about the stadium deal during Monday’s public hearing, yet members of City Council went ahead and approved the three Downtown North land purchases anyway, two of which are directly connected — either in print or geographically — to the proposed stadium.
Raquel, the one voice overtly supporting the stadium, said that “Hartford is a dead city” and that if people are out of work, it is nobody’s fault but their own. It’s not the City’s responsibility to get people to work, she said. That was the message in between her continued support for the stadium. No statistics, no research. The City is here to provide entertainment, she implied, but not jobs.
Ten individuals — eight residents, one former resident, and one individual moving into Hartford soon — spoke against the stadium plan. One woman did not speak directly about the stadium, but said that the “city looks like crap” and that it is a “dead land.” Continue reading 'Land Purchases Approved for Downtown North Area'»
Since the inception of the City of Hartford’s Livable and Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative, 386 properties have entered the Anti-Blight Ordinance with 96 of those now considered abated. By City definition, a property is abated if the blight violations have been remediated. A missing window, for example, would not have to be replaced to be considered abated; it need only be secured. Continue reading 'Blight Abatement Update'»
Later this summer, twelve veterans will receive help from Rebuilding Together Hartford and LSNI to fix up their homes.
According to Steve Frank of Hartford’s Livable and Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative, there are over 1000 veterans who own homes in Hartford. Fifty of those properties were determined to be eligible for assistance. That means owner-occupied, current on taxes, and there being a need for some fixing of the property.
Three properties in each district will get spruced up, with work beginning in August. About $15,000-20,000 will be spent on each home.
Got $4000 burning a hole in your wallet?
The City of Hartford is holding a Tax Deed Sale on June 28 in the Bulkeley High Auditorium. Registration is from 8-9:45am; sale begins at 10am. You will need that deposit money in form of cash, cashier’s check, bank treasurer’s check, teller’s check, or certified check at the auction. There are other stipulations, but that, and not owing property tax yourself, are the big ones.
The property owners have been given six months notice before properties placed in auction. Winning bidders will not receive title until six months after purchase, as the owner has opportunity for redemption. Here are the properties:
Tax Deed Sale 6/28/14
If this isn’t the right time for you but you just want to see what the auction process looks like, you can still show up to watch the action.
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'»