The Capital Region Development Authority is pushing ahead with a study to determine if it is feasible to construct a building on a parking lot in front of Hartford’s convention center.
While the CRDA has declined to identify the tenant interested in occupying the building, a member of the authority’s board told me today the tenant would match the area’s entertainment focus.
“It is a use that would fit in with what is happening on Front Street,” Thomas E. Deller, the city’s development director and a CRDA board member, said.
The Front Street entertainment district is located across the street from the convention center parking lot. Front Street now has a movie theater and an upscale steakhouse. Two other restaurants are expected to open this spring, with Infinity Music Hall & Bistro following in the summer.
The CRDA board Thursday approved using up to $30,000 in state economic development funds for studying development of the parking lot. The study is expected to be completed in the next couple of weeks, CRDA executive director Michael W. Freimuth told me today.
The study will determine, among other things, if a building can be constructed at a reasonable cost.
One major issue is how much it might cost to deal with contamination under the site that was sealed off in the construction of the convention center, opened in 2005. Dealing with cleaning up soil could push up development costs significantly and make construction to expensive.
The parking lot was envisioned for future expansion of the convention center. Any development on the site would have to be constructed in such a way that it could be incorporated into an enlarged convention center should that become necessary in the future.