At each of the three public meetings for the Downtown North plan in 2013, a stadium was not mentioned. In fact, it seemed like news to Utile that the XL Center would be looking for options to move for expansion. When proponents of the XL Center raised this concern, the response seemed to suggest that there would not really be room for this type of facility at any of the vacant parcels in the area being dubbed “Downtown North.”
What was discussed: a grocery store, smaller retail and restaurants, and academic uses which would connect Capital Community College and the University of Saint Joseph School of Pharmacy to Capital Prep Magnet School and Rensselaer.
The plan, ambitious and somewhat flawed, did pay attention to keeping developments at what is called a human scale. This creates an environment more conducive to walking and cycling. There had been talk of housing, which raised concerns about gentrification, but in any case, these units would not be in a high rise.
The Hartford Community Loan Fund had been working with a tenant and the City of Hartford on bringing a grocery store to this area. With UConn entering the picture, it had the possibility of being placed on hold, but this week, the City and UConn made it official that the college would be moving into the former Hartford Times building. In theory, this would mean that the grocery store would get the green light for the area near Main and Trumbull.
Today, Mayor Segarra announced that the New Britain Rock Cats would be moving to a stadium at 1214 Main Street (between Trumbull and Pleasant) in April 2016. All of those Downtown North meetings came after the time frame given for when Mayor Segarra originally entered secret talks about moving the Rock Cats to Hartford. This raises questions about transparency, as well as questions about how money is being spent.
Why had the stadium not been mentioned at any of those meetings that Thom Deller had taken part in? Continue reading 'A Strikeout for Transparency in City Hall'»