On the northern edge of downtown Hartford, there is a no man’s land of vacant parcels and parking lots, desolate and not at all pedestrian friendly.
But the city of Hartford sees potential for the area to one day form a crucial link between downtown and the North End, most likely with a combination of housing, retail and office space. The city already owns a little over 7 acres and is close to adding another one-acre wedge of land.
The city council has approved spending $1.3 million to purchase the LAZ parking lot at 58 Chapel St. The city hopes to gain control of enough land to attract a developer, possibly within the next year. The developer could then get started quickly without having to wait for the city to acquire land, city officials say.
The tract at 58 Chapel is the second the city has purchased in recent years. The first, the H.B. Davis building at 1161 Main St., was acquired for $625,000 and later demolish. For years, the building was derided as the “Butt Ugly Building.”
One of the largest tracts owned in the area by the city — 3.3 acres — is at 1212 Main. Channel 3, WFSB-TV, once considered relocating to the site from Broadcast House on Constitution Plaza, but ultimately chose a site in a Rocky Hill office park.