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The Office of the Mayor has communicated that Mayor Arulampalam will join Hartford’s elected and community leaders for a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, May 23, 2024. A snippet of the news release is as follows:

“Tomorrow at 11:15 AM, Mayor Arulampalam will join House Speaker Ritter, Council President Surgeon, other City Council members, and project developers Grow America and the PAC Group for a groundbreaking at the Albany Woodland project site in Hartford’s North End.

After over a decade of planning and preparation, the vacant lot will soon be home to a 31,700-square-foot, multi-story building housing the city’s Department of Health and Human Services, a Liberty Bank branch, a restaurant and additional retail space for residents to enjoy.

WHO: Mayor Arunan Arulampalam, House Speaker Ritter, Council President Surgeon, Hartford City Council members, Grow America Managing Director of Social Infrastructure Matt Wexler, Acting Director of the Department of Development Services Randal Davis, Health and Human Services Director Ebony Jackson-Shaheed, community leaders and neighborhood residents

WHAT: Albany Woodland Groundbreaking
WHEN: May 23rd, 2024, at 11:15AM
WHERE: Project site, 1161 Albany Ave, Hartford”

MBI Practicum: Spring 2024

Dr. Celia Lofink, Marilyn Risi, Beverly Redd, and Vinette McCaulsky-Walker expressed appreciation on behalf of the University of Hartford, to the small business owners who participated in the Spring 2024 MBI Marketing/Management practicum at the University of Hartford. Thirteen students from the university’s Barney School of Business were paired with 13 businesses located in the Upper Albany neighborhood, on diverse projects that provided experiential learning for the students as they help the business owners in completing their projects. From From left to right, (front row), Hortense Ross, Dr. Celia Lofink, Marilyn Risi, Morris Hardaway, Debra Montague, and Precious Ross-Ellis. (back row) Vinette McCaulsky-Walker, Beverly Redd, Kerron Vernon, Ace Andaleeb, Herman Todd, Gordon Jones, Alburn Montague, and Kiriakos Christoforakis.

HEDCO Highlights Temple Body Butter LLC

HEDCO showcased Temple Body Butter, LLC  (TBB) in an article titled, Temple Body Butter: Nourishing Lives with Nature’s Touch, written by Itzel Martinez Garcia on April 30, 2024.

Lyons was lauded as a visionary and a bright gem with the promise of natural healing and the warmth of Caribbean wisdom. Under the caption Crafting Organic Butter for the Skin and Soul, TBB was touted as offering solace to anyone seeking to avoid the chemical-laden products of mass production. TBB has twenty-one enchanting scents. Each whipped body butter is a diverse blend of Shea, Cocoa, Nilotica, and Mango, butters catering to fragrant and fragrance-free personal preferences, that are available for purchasing online at TBB’s website:

In acknowledgment, Lyons said, “I want to provide our customers with products they can be confident knowing are sourced from natural, pure, and organic ingredients that are Fair Trade Certified. We live in a society where everything is mass-produced and filled with chemicals that are harmful to the body. Using our products eliminates that worry.” 

Additional information may be viewed on the HEDCO website at: 

Photo Source Credit: Itzel Martinez Garcia, HEDCO and June Lyons


June Lyons poses with assortment of butters

Gateway Self-Storage Owners Visit University of Hartford

The owners of Gateway Self-Storage, Morris Hardaway and Gordon Jones, and past student Madison Thibodeau, were the guest speakers at the MBI capstone class this spring. In 2023, the Gateway owners were paired with Thibodeau on an architectural design project while she was a student pursuing an Architectural Design & Technology major concentrating in Construction Management and minoring in Business Entrepreneurial Studies at the university. The renderings of Thibodeau’s final design and floor plan are shown below.

CHEETAH at University of Hartford’s MBI

Dr. Paulette Trowers was the guest speaker at the University of Hartford’s small business practicum class during the spring semester.  Seventeen students were enrolled and are working on diverse projects after being paired on a one-to-one basis with small or micro business owners in the Hartford community. Project areas include technology, research, and architectural design. Dr. Celia Duke Lofink (the class instructor),  the guest speaker, and all the students posed for this photograph at the end of the class.


Grow America: Albany-Woodland Development

Image of planned mixed-use-development.

The City of Hartford has partnered with the National Development Council (NDC) and established Community Development Properties Woodland, Inc. a non-profit agency tasked to develop the long-vacant, high-profile parcel located at the intersection of Albany  Avenue and Woodland Street within the Upper Albany neighborhood.

According to the news released at a meeting held on Friday, February 16 at 9 AM at the Albany Branch Library and Community Hub, 1250 Albany Avenue, Hartford, this mixed-use development project will consist of the construction of a new 30,500 sq. ft. two-story commercial building that will house the City of Hartford’s Health Department, a full-service bank, and a sit-down restaurant. Two additional commercial spaces will be constructed to accommodate the development and adjacent businesses on the Albany Avenue side of the development.

The PAC Group, LLC was selected as the Construction Manager for this project, and they are finalizing the Site/Foundation Package that will be released this month [February]. An information/pre-bid conference will be held for subcontractors interested in bidding on the different segments of the project. Click here to view a copy of the PAC Community Outreach presentation document.

Hartford’s four-mile underground tunnel

According to an article in the CT Insider,  Capital Region, in 2022, a tunnel boring system called IRIS – which is a major component of MDC’s Clean Water Project that was established in connection with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – had churned its way through the Earth, 200 feet below the surface, creating a tunnel four miles long and 18-feet in diameter, which is intended to catch overflowing water across the southwest portion of Hartford.

The red cutter-head which is the front of the tunnel boring machine, was lowered 200-ft into the tunnel launch shaft on Brainard Road, Hartford, in August 2018
The red cutter head, the front of the tunnel boring machine, was lowered 200 feet into the tunnel launch shaft on Brainard Road, Hartford, in August 2018. Credit: MDC

This is a view at the bottom of the tunnel looking up toward the retrieval shaft in West Hartford. Source Credit: Contributed phone/MDC
This is a view at the bottom of the tunnel looking up toward the retrieval shaft in West Hartford. Source Credit: Contributed phone/MDC

City officials have concurred that the sewer system in Hartford is outdated – stormwater and sewage share the same pipes. IRIS was born from the challenges encountered by the MDC while trying to implement sewer separation in the Hartford community. This tunnel is the first of its kind in Connecticut. The project began in 2018, creating a tunnel that starts at Brainard Road in Hartford and ends at the MDC’s retrieval facility on Talcott Road in West Hartford.

The project is expected to be functional in 2026 after construction on the pump station is finished. When implemented, the overflowing water, upon entering the tunnel,  will be treated before being deposited into the Connecticut River.

Source Credit: Emily DiSalvo, Staff Writer

Hartford initiative to help entrepreneurs

Hartford officials have announced the formation of a new office dubbed  “The Business One-Stop”  intended to ease the challenges to entrepreneurs creating small businesses in the City of Hartford.

The Office of the Business One-Stop will be part of the Department of Development Services and will liaise with small business owners seeking direct help navigating the process of starting a business. According to the Hartford Courant,  Randall Davis, interim director of the department, said that to ensure streamlined communication, this newly created office will report directly to the mayor’s office.

Don Chapman, a long-time urban planner and a previous Director of Small Business and Community Development for the City of Hartford, has been tapped to lead the new office after Mayor Arulampalam noted that in conversations with small business owners, they all repeatedly mentioned Don Chapman. Chapman’s primary role will be to help small business owners navigate city hall and ensure timely responses to their questions.

Mayor Arulampalam has expressed his hope that this process will open doors to more investment in the city via a simple process that ensures entrepreneurs opening a small business do not have to hire a lawyer or a lobbyist to navigate city hall.

Source: Stephen Underwood, Hartford Courant, January 17, 2024. 

Downpayment Assistance Program for Low and moderate income homebuyers in Hartford

According to information from the City of Hartford’s website, the HouseHartford Homebuyer Assistance Program was created by the City of Hartford, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Fannie Mae.

The program offers low and moderate-income home buyers down payment assistance for the purchase of one- to four-family homes located in the City of Hartford.

HouseHartford promotes livable and sustainable neighborhoods by making the dream of homeownership attainable for many families who may not otherwise qualify for a mortgage.

The City of Hartford partners with local and national banks, real estate attorneys, and home buyer counseling agencies to administer this program, and since its inception, the program has assisted more than 1,300 families in attaining the dream of homeownership.

A  copy of the HouseHartford brochure may be downloaded by clicking here. Additional information is located on the City’s website.

Step 1. Review the Guidelines

  • What type of properties are eligible?  1-4 family homes and condominium units located in the City of Hartford.
  • What is the amount of home buyer assistance that one can receive?  Potential home buyers can receive up to 20% of the purchase price in down payment assistance up to a maximum assistance of $40,000. Restrictions may apply.
  • Who can apply?  Low and moderate-income potential homeowners can apply for assistance under this program. Program restrictions are based on the total annual household income of the applicant. The total annual household income of the home buyer cannot exceed the income limits as shown on the HouseHartford brochure, based on household size. These maximum income limits are established by HUD and are based on 80% of the Hartford Area Median Family Income.

Step 2. Contact a Participating Lender

Contact one of the participating lenders below and inform them of your interest in applying for the HouseHartford program. The lender will submit the HouseHartford application to the City on your behalf.

  1. American Eagle Financial C.U. – 860.568.2020
  2. Embrace Home Loans – 860.919.7755
  3. Fairway Independent Mortgage – 860.803.0810
  4. First World Mortgage – 860.785.4066
  5. Guild Mortgage Company, LLC – 860.462.8553
  6. Liberty Bank – 860.982.6601

Step 3. Complete the Program Interest Form

Interested in learning more about the House Hartford program? Complete and submit the form after clicking the link below and a member of the City of Hartford Housing staff will contact you.

Click Here!


Source: City of Hartford