The city of Hartford has withdrawn its proposal for relocating the University of Connecticut’s West Hartford campus to now-vacant, city-owned land on the northern edge of downtown, a city official told me today.
Thomas E. Deller, the city’s director of development services, said the decision resulted from recent discussions with UConn.
“We decided the city would be better served working with UConn to pick the best location for UConn and for us than competing for one of the sites,” Deller said.
Jared W. Kupiec, Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra’s chief of staff, told me the decision to withdraw was the city’s and did not come from any negative feedback from UConn on the site.
Kupiec said the intent of the city’s proposal was to provide a cornerstone for redevelopment of the area known as “Downtown North.” At least three proposals that have become public — Talcott Street, 3 Constitution Plaza and the former bank processing building at 150 Windsor St. would accomplish the same thing, Kupiec said.
“All achieve the same catalyst for the development of Downtown North,” Kupiec said.
A UConn spokeswoman declined to comment today.
The city’s proposal was one of 13 received by UConn after it broadened its search in late January for a suitable downtown location. UConn has not disclosed any of the sites but details have emerged on some of them.
See a map of some of the proposed locations here.
The city had proposed leasing a 3-acre parcel at 1214 Main St. for $1 a year to the university so UConn could construct a 237,000-square-f00t facility on the site.
The city continues to study the proposed site and other city-owned land surrounding it for future development. A formal study of retail options is now under way, Deller said.
The area has been targeted as a possible location for a full-service downtown supermarket under a plan by the Hartford Community Loan Fund. Fund officials have said they have secured an operator for a 50,000-square-foot store, but have declined to identify the operator.
The city has said the supermarket would have to be part of a larger, mixed-use development.