The state has completed the purchase of Connecticut River Plaza and two state agencies — the Department of Revenue Services and the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities — will be among those moving into the downtown office complex, a state spokesman told Property Line.
Revenue services alone will bring 700 workers to downtown Hartford, nearly a third of the 2,000 to 2,300 workers that are expected to move into the Columbus Boulevard complex, by early 2016, according to Jeffrey Beckham, a spokesman for the state Department of Administrative Services.
All the departments that will relocate to the two-towered complex haven’t been determined but planning is well underway, Beckham told me.
The state closed the $34.5 million purchase of Connecticut River Plaza Friday, but the extent of the renovations has pushed back relocations to the building from the initial timetable of 2015, according to Beckham.
Connecticut River Plaza is one of the two office buildings in Hartford acquired by the state this year as part of plans to consolidate office workers from nearly twenty leased and aging, state-owned locations in and around Hartford. This spring, the state also purchased 55 Farmington Ave. in Asylum Hill. As many as 3,300 workers could be shifted to the two locations.
At 55 Farmington Ave. office tower, at the corner of Flower Street, a total of 1,100 state workers are expected to move in, the largest chunk from the Department of Social Services with 600 workers. Other departments include: the Department of Aging, the Department of Rehabilitation Services, IT workers for payroll and human services and the Criminal Justice Information System.
The Farmington Avenue building is expected to be occupied within a year.
The state estimates it will save $100 million over the next 20 years, or $200 million when adjusted for inflation, by purchasing the buildings and consolidating state workers.
The 575,000-square-foot Connecticut River Plaza is basically an empty shell so office improvements — cubicles, furniture, telecom, IT, carpet and paint — are first needed. Repairs to the roof, plaza and garage also are needed, Beckham told me. The renovations are expected to cost $48 million.
Two of the departments — revenue services and social services — are relocating from 25 Sigourney St. The state has made moving workers out of the building because of its poor condition.
The state has poured millions of dollars into 25 Sigourney to repair water leaks and mold damage, with mixed results. Last year, the above-ground portion of the parking garage was closed because its crumbling structure raised safety concerns.