State Proposes $6.2 Million Settlement With Former Front Street Developer

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The state is close to paying more than $6 million to a former developer whose contract to oversee Hartford’s Front Street entertainment district was abruptly terminated in 2004, the state attorney general’s office told me today.

The $6.2 million payment would settle a lawsuit filed the former developer, Richard Cohen and his firm, Capital Properties, after being ousted from the project.

Approval from the state legislature is required because the payment would come from the state’s general fund and is more than $2.5 million. The legislature’s judiciary committee unanimously backed a resolution in the matter today, sending the resolution to the full Senate and House for votes.

Cohen could immediately be reached for comment today.

Developer Richard Cohen, shown at Hartford's Constitution Plaza in 1999. Photo by Tom Brown/The Hartford Courant.

Developer Richard Cohen, shown at Hartford’s Constitution Plaza in 1999. Photo by Tom Brown/The Hartford Courant.

In 2012, a Superior Court judge in Hartford ruled that the state wrongfully breached its contract with Richard Cohen, owner of Capital Properties Associates. Public officials had blamed Cohen for delays in the starting of construction of construction on the project.

Cohen accused the state of launching a public attack on his firm and mismanaging the project. The state fired back with its own lawsuit, accusing Cohen of refusing to begin construction until a lease was signed with a major tenant, a condition not in the original contract.

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