City Of Hartford Withdraws Its UConn Campus Relocation Proposal

by Categorized: Downtown Hartford Date:

The city of Hartford has withdrawn its proposal for relocating the University of Connecticut’s West Hartford campus to now-vacant, city-owned land on the northern edge of downtown, a city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.

This vacant, city-owned lot on Main Street on the northern edge of downtown Hartford was proposed by the city for the relocation of the University of Connecticut's West Hartford campus to the city. Photo by Kenneth R. Gosselin/kgosselin@courant.com

This vacant, city-owned lot on Main Street on the northern edge of downtown Hartford was proposed by the city for the relocation of the University of Connecticut’s West Hartford campus to the city. Photo by Kenneth R. Gosselin/kgosselin@courant.com

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.

 

 

 

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20 thoughts on “City Of Hartford Withdraws Its UConn Campus Relocation Proposal

  1. Paul

    I’ve heard that the data processing center on Windsor is full of asbestos, which would have to be abated at an exceptionally prohibitive cost.
    Ken, could you verify? If that is correct, the city better come to grips with the reality and not expect a private developer to remedy the situation given the risk of development on that side of the highway (plenty of opportunity on other side of highway — or in East Hartford).

  2. Fred

    “Downtown North”
    Catchy title. You can bet “backroom” deals are being made.
    How much will it cost tax payers?

    1. bill

      It was once called, “the other side of the bridge” or the “North End.” but, with Ann Uccello Street, what next? How about “Exquisite Main Street and the Golden Mile.”

      Perhaps, Fishfry Street could be changed to, “Eddie Perez Way” in honor of Hartford’s first mayor to go to prison. But let me not jump the gun.

  3. Jennifer

    I used to take continuing education classes at night at the current campus but I would NOT go anywhere near the North End at night. The college is wise not to move there – students wouldn’t feel safe. It’s a bad idea to do anything in downtown Hartford – no where to park and it’s just too much of a hassle.

    1. Joseph

      For those among us who are so little motivated and curious that a trip into downtown is too much to handle, there are plenty of community colleges in the suburbs. For all the rest, downtown Hartford offers the ample employment and cultural opportunities befitting a rigorous academic curriculum.

      1. Patrick

        Very well said Joseph. Jennifer and Lew, the site being talked about wasn’t in or near the North End. You should take out a map to get a better idea of where things are located in Hartford. Better yet visit downtown and see/learn some of the things to do like the Old State House, Bushnell Park, Butler-McCook House & Garden, Wadsworth, The Bushnell, etc.

    2. bill

      Jennifer: I can’t for the life of me understand why Uconn wants to relocate from a quiet, idyllic campus in West Hartford with plenty of parking and close enough to I-84 right down the road. When I read of this intended move, I think that someone is very bored at the top of the food chain and wants chain want to make his mark for posterity in the face of tremendous costs but simply no improvement in location. The buildings that are currently used can be renovated. Renovate.

      Stop wasting our resources.

  4. pete

    Of course it did. DANNY BOY is using our tax money to buy the parking garage. Not hard to figure this out Ken

  5. SquareFeet

    The Windsor Street property would be purchased by an investor as the article about the building stated and would be taken down to the steel and completely renovated to suit the requirements of UCONN. Consequently, any asbestos or other concerning materials that might be present would be removed. No city or state money would be used to update or clean up the building. And I would hardly call this the North ENd. It is just past the end of Main Street and has plenty of parking that the students and faculty needs. Just saying folks, I think this is a good opportunity to jump start an expansion of the downtown and bring life to the city.

  6. Paul

    Thanks Square Feet; that is interesting and i agree it is not North End. I am optimistic that this is positive for the city; however, we should all tempor our expectations. UCONN-Hart is a commuter school and a small branch at that. I don’t think RIT’s presence has much of an impact. On balance it is good news, but don’t forget – UTC is vacating 6 floors of the Gold building and moving to Famington on account of city taxes. These new commuter students won’t offset that.

  7. Robert

    Those of you concerned about government waste, and I am definitely opposed to wasteful spending, are looking at this from the wrong perspective. We have a small commuter branch on a large tract of valuable suburban land. We have old obsolete buildings in need of renovation. It of course makes sense to move to Hartford and spend the money on those facilities. We sell the West Hartford land and absorb some of the ABUNDANT empty Hartford real estate. Any benefit to the city in occupying space, which helps to drive up rental rates and bring in retail businesses also benefits state taxpayers. The state continues to pay a significant portion of Hartfords operating expenses.

  8. Marc Henderson

    I’d like to know why the city decided bringing a great university like UCONN was not in the cards. That would have been a real catch for the city and a selling point to move there. It would have brought so much more life to the city other than the 9 to 5 community. So sad!

    1. Bri

      Marc,

      UConn is still definitely moving downtown. Hartford just withdrew the bid that included city-owned land because being a partner in UConn’s move as well as a bidder was a conflict of interest. There are still a number of privately owned sites being considered. Definitely an exciting opportunity!

        1. mike

          NO WAY! 777 Main is apartments as it should be.

          1000 Main(talcott Plaza) is not a terrible spot, but really, the best place is on Constitution plaza.the old hotel could essentially be dorms and the plaza would act like a campus within the city

Comments are closed.