Plans for more shops, restaurants and entertainment venues at Rentschler Field in East Hartford may finally be getting a boost, after being largely dormant since Cabela’s opened five years ago.
United Technologies Corp., owner of the property, “has signed a letter of intent with OTB Destination, which is putting together plans for a destination retail and entertainment complex for Rentschler Field,” UTC spokesman Ian Race said.
Race said he had no further detail on the scope of what may be designed, a potential timetable or sources of financing.
Utah-based OTB did not immediately return a call and an e-mail today seeking comment.
According to it web site, OTB developed the Legends Outlets Kansas City, which opened in 2006. The destination shopping center is part of the 1,200 Village West development that includes the Kansas Speedway, CommunityAmerica ballpark and LiveStrong Stadium.
The Legends includes such outlet stores and restaurants such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Polo Ralph Lauren, J. Crew, Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, Brooks Brothers, Dave & Buster’s and Cheeseburger In Paradise.
OTB also is involved in similar developments near Omaha, Neb., Tuczon, Ariz. and Dallas, according to its web site.
In East Hartford, the retail and entertainment component, known as “town square” is part of a much larger development of 650 acres, the majority of which is owned by Hartford-based UTC.
In 2004, UTC chose The Matos Development Group as the master developer. Matos envisioned a build-out of between 15 and 23 years, culminating in 2030, including retail, apartments and as many as four hotels.
The idea was to bring development to the area that would attract the professionals and other employees UTC needed for its company.
Daniel Matos, of The Matos Development Group, declined to comment today on the letter of intent signed with UTC. But Matos has said in the past that high-end outlets similar to the 70-store Clinton Crossing on the Connecticut shoreline could be expected at Rentschler.
Matos has blamed the slow development on the deep recession and slow recovery.
Even if plans are developed, tenants must be signed and state and local approvals must be secured.