Construction on the second phase of downtown Hartford’s Front Street — 115 apartments — will begin in late spring or early summer and could be ready for occupancy in 2015, a state development official said this morning.
Financing for the $35 million apartment project is now in place, Michael W. Freimuth, executive director of the Capital Region Development Authority told those gathered for the Rising Star breakfast at the Marriott Downtown Hartford.
The financing is roughly 60 percent bank loan and equity from developer HB Nitkin Group, plus 40 percent in state grants, Freimuth said.
The state grants are previously-approved funding from the “Six Pillars” initiative that helped pay for major housing and redevelopment projects in downtown Hartford, Freimuth said.
If construction proceeds as now expected, the Front Street apartments would be the first of five possible apartment projects downtown that could add nearly 1,000 units in the next few years. Among them are the conversion of the former Bank of America building on Main Street and the old Sonesta Hotel on Constitution Plaza. A new tower also could be built on the site of the old Broadcast House, also on Constitution Plaza.
The five-story building at Front Street will have mostly studio and one-bedroom apartments with a few two-bedroom units, all market-rate. Another 25,000 square feet of retail space is planned on the first floor facing both Front and Prospect streets.
The development comes as leasing picks up in the first phase of Front Street, the entertainment district. Spotlight Theatres opened there in November, and Infinity Music Hall & Bistro plans to open later this year. In addition, the upscale steakhouse Capital Grille has plans for a location there.
A third phase of Front Street — the conversion of the old Hartford Times building, most likely into more apartments — also is planned. But no timeline for that phase has been disclosed.