Hartford City Council To Consider Sale Of Pearl Street Building For Redevelopment

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My colleague Jenna Carlesso reports:

The sale of the city-owned 95-101 Pearl St. to Lewis and Pearl Street Ventures LLC — a team of developers that has proposed converting the vacant, former office building into housing, retail and entertainment space — will go before the Hartford City Council on Monday.

Rendering of how renovations could transform 111 Pearl Street into 121 apartments and street-level retail. Rendering courtesy of Martin J. Kenny.

The building has been packaged with 111 Pearl St. and 100 Trumbull St. (Trumbull on the Park), both owned by the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, for the purpose of the sale. Under the agreement, 95-101 Pearl St. would be sold for $500,000, 111 Pearl St., another vacant, former commercial building, would be sold for $500,000 and Trumbull on the Park, the 100-unit luxury apartment building, would be sold for $22.3 million.

CHFA in October approved the sale of 111 and 95-101 Pearl St. and Trumbull on the Park — just around the corner on Trumbull Street from the two empty buildings.

The team of developers that make up Lewis and Pearl Street Ventures includes Sanford Cloud Jr., CEO of The Cloud Co., a Hartford real estate development firm; Alan Lazowski, chairman and chief executive of LAZ; Martin J. Kenny, the developer of Trumbull on the Park; and Timothy Henkel Sr., a Philadelphia-based developer.

CHFA had put out a request for proposals from late March to early May. Three proposals were received, officials said, and a selection panel composed of city and CHFA representatives reviewed them and ultimately recommended that Lewis and Pearl Street Ventures be chosen to develop the properties.

Mayor Pedro Segarra has said that while negotiations are still ongoing, the project would include 66 market rate apartments and as much as 15,000 square feet of office, restaurant and retail space at 95-101 Pearl St. and 121 housing units and 9,500 square feet of retail space at 111 Pearl St. No changes are proposed for Trumbull on the Park, which already has a high occupancy rate.

“The city proposes to execute a license agreement with Lewis/Pearl, which will allow the developer to carry out necessary inspections at 95-101 Pearl Street,” Segarra wrote in a letter to the city council. “Following those inspections, the city and Lewis/Pearl will complete negotiations, agree upon the final terms of the sale and execute a purchase and sale agreement.”

The city had put out requests for proposals on 95-101 Pearl St. in recent years, but each time a developer came in wanting to create housing, the task proved too daunting, and plans were scrapped.

But officials involved in the deal said this time they were optimistic that an agreement would be finalized.

Segarra also has said he is poised to submit a resolution to the city council that would establish a 15-year tax fixing agreement on the two newly constructed buildings. The resolution would also extend a tax fixing agreement for Trumbull on the Park an additional three years and its adjacent parking garage for an additional eight years.


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6 thoughts on “Hartford City Council To Consider Sale Of Pearl Street Building For Redevelopment

  1. Master of the Obvious

    Can we please stop pretending that building new street-level retail space in Hartford will actually bring back street-level retail to Hartford? The city is failing because of its tax rates, not because it doesn’t have the space to sell stuff. Lots and lots and lots of empty storefronts downtown.

  2. Mike

    Its not about the retail buddy its about the housing.
    what else do you do with retail but prepare it for potential tenants… tenants come when there are customers. The lack of housing downtown has hurt vacancy in the fast. this project with 187 apartments will help that. Just up Pear another conversion with 286 apartments is gearing up. Do you mean to tell me that you wouldnt offer ground floor retail for lease if you owned these buildings?

    I cant wait to see so many people who type in these forumd eat crow…

    AI Engineers

    Clarion Hotel
    777 Main Street
    101-111 Pearl Street
    Front Street Phase 2

    There are over 1000 apartments being developed downtown to go along with a relocated UConn, the iQuilt project, the realignment of I-84 and a commuter rail on the way….. If we could only build a new arena and connect Pratt with Allyn Street.

  3. MG

    Where Master of the Obvious is correct is that downtown will never attract the type of retail on its own currently that would convince the suburban residents who take pride in avoiding Hartford to ditch Westfarms and Buckland to come shop downtown nor will it on its own convince Hartford’s huge office population to come outside and shop. Blue Back can’t even get anyone to shop there because it costs some tiny amount to park. Thus Hartford’s retail issue.

    Where Hartford CAN come back in terms of retail is indeed the housing and the move of UConn downtown. This large core of new residents will shop downtown if retail springs out of these new developments. The key is getting the new residents to walk around. Since the suburbanites cling to free parking as if a god-given right, this is the only way to make this work.

  4. Brendan

    Not that I’m a huge fan of Blue Back, but “Blue Back can’t even get anyone to shop there because it costs some tiny amount to park…” is a statement entirely divorced from reality.

  5. David

    I just moved from Philadelphia to Hartford. Philadelphia had a renaissance because more people moved back into Center City which led to more restaurants and night life. If Hartford does not want to become Camden, they need to add apartments quickly into Hartford which will lead to supermarkets and more restaurants which will lead to more nightlife and people coming into downtown. I have never seen a downtown where Starbucks is closed on the weekends and a McDonalds went out of business!

  6. MG

    Not arguing with you Brendan, but completely divorced from reality is your claim the CT suburbanites don’t cry like little babies about having to pay to park. It’s a fact.

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