More State Funding For Housing In Downtown Hartford?

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Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s proposed mid-term budget adjustments didn’t make any mention of increasing funding for housing initiatives in downtown Hartford, even though the initial $60 million is nearly tapped out.


State budget chief Ben Barnes. Courant File Photo.

“We have thought about it,” state budget chief Ben Barnes told me this morning after a presentation to the press on Malloy’s proposal. “I wouldn’t be surprised if that issue was raised in the next couple of months.”

The $60 million, controlled by the Capital Region Development Authority, is being used for loans and equity investments for apartment conversions.

Of that number, about $42 million is committed to projects, leaving $17.3 million. CRDA told me this morning that there are pending applications seeking $20 million in funding.

Three projects drawing from the fund are now underway: 201 Ann Uccello St., 179 Allyn St. and the former Sonesta Hotel on Constitution Plaza.

The largest project so far — the conversion of the former Bank of America tower on Main Street into 286 units — has yet to begin. Developer Bruce Becker hopes to work will get underway next month.

Barnes, who serves on CRDA’s board, said he will be watching the progress of that project because it it amounts nearly a third of the CRDA funds.  CRDA has backed $17.7 million for Becker’s project.

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