Category: Community Development

Hartford’s convention center faces uncertain recovery from pandemic

Resource Credit CT Convention Center Archives

An article authored by Kenneth R. Gosselin and published in the Hartford Courant on September 25, 2022, highlights challenges that COVID-19 pandemic concerns have triggered and uncertainties regarding the convention center’s complete recovery from the huge hit it took in the pandemic.  According to the article, convention center experts report that, in terms of its duration,  the depth of the fallout from the pandemic exceeds that of the 9/11 attacks.

COVID-19 triggered a dramatic shift in the workplace to either a hybrid or a completely remote work environment, but experts expect that the return to in-person networking, training, and shareholders’ meetings is on the horizon.  However, the convention center’s fiscal problems are real.  CRDA reports that in the convention center’s  2019 fiscal year there were 178 events. The 2020 fiscal year indicated a shortfall of 105 events due to a drop in bookings at the convention center during the last three months as the pandemic took hold.  There were no events in fiscal 2021, except the COVID-19 testing sites.

The article continues that the City of Hartford is increasing its efforts to  become an economic driver by attracting more business  conventions to Hartford. The City will invest $1.3 million in federal pandemic relief funds to create a convention and visitors bureau that is solely aimed at Hartford.  Further details are available at the Hartford Courant.

First phase of $50M North Crossing Development

The North Crossing transformative development located downtown Hartford – South of Dunkin Donuts Park and around the corner from the XL Center-  is nearing completion. The Pennant, is the first of North Crossing’s residences. The developers RMS advocate that once completed, this development will feature a mix of residential, parking and retail buildings that combine historic Hartford charm with a modern, contemporary design.

The final $50 million project will consist of 270 apartments, a 330 parking space garage, and 11,000 square feet of retail space . It is lauded as a live-work-play development with unparalleled amenities that are custom designed for the Urban lifestyle. Pre-leasing of phase-1 began on May 15, 2022.

Additional details are available in the Hartford Courant publication dated Friday, July 15, 2022, authored by Kenneth R. Gosselin, and on the RMS website.

Resource Credit: RMS and Kenneth R. Gosselin/Hartford Courant


Hartford food truck project delayed

On February 28, 2022, the Hartford Business Journal published an article authored by Zachary Vasile, reporting that investors Rebeca and Quan Quach had filed plans with the City of Hartford to establish a food truck park dubbed “West Side Park” on the vacant lot at 510 Farmington Avenue.  The proposed operation entails four food trucks and a double-decker bus that also serves food. Further information is located on the HBJ website.

However, a recent article authored by Kenneth R. Gosselin in the Hartford Courant, on June 27, 2022,  regarding the status of plans for the “West Side Park” indicates that the opening of Hartford’s first food truck park at the corner of Farmington and Girard avenues in the City’s West End  that was previously scheduled for May, 2022, is now delayed until early July, 2022.

The article continues that the investors attributed the delay to problems resulting from a combination of their own inexperience with the intricacies of dealing with multiple city departments on a project that had no existing zoning regulations, and the slow responses from city departments to their questions. Further information may be gleaned from the Hartford Courant’s website.

Housing and restaurants included in proposal for development in Hartford

An article authored by Kenneth R. Gosselin published in the Hartford Courant on June 17,2022,  reports that the Capital Regional Development Authority (CRDA) will begin evaluating  four proposals for the Performing Arts initiative on a two-acre parcel of barren expanse as a major redevelopment near the Bushnell Center.

It is reported that the proposals call for 250 to 350 units of housing, split between 80 percent market-rate and 20 percent  affordable 25,000 square feet of commercial space, and various plans for parking garages. The vision is to create a stronger, walkable connection between Bushnell Park, the nearby Hartford Hospital district and Park Street, and extending to Colt Park.  Further information can be viewed  on Hartford Courant online at

Image Resource Credit: Mark Mirko / Hartford Courant.

Historic Groundbreaking For Hartford’s New Minor League Ballpark


(February 17, 2015) Today Hartford Mayor E. Pedro Segarra, Hartford City Council President Shawn T. Wooden, City Council members and Rock Cats Owner Josh Solomon joined hundreds of community members for the historic groundbreaking of what will be Hartford’s first ever minor league Ballp  Located at the intersection of Trumbull and Main Streets, the new Ballpark will anchor the redevelopment of the Downtown North neighborhood and will be home to minor league baseball beginning in the spring of 2016. This is the first time in over 60 years the City of Hartford will have a professional baseball team. With 72 home games, it is estimated that over 400,000 guests will visit the park each season.“This is a truly historic day for the City of Hartford. What was once a sea of parking lots for over 40 years will soon be transformed into a thriving new neighborhood that will bring more housing, more jobs, more customers for our businesses and more economic opportunity to our great city,” stated Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra.

Strategic Plan Initiatives for FY 2012-2013

Welcome to the Development Services Department!

The Development Services Department, under the leadership of the Mayor Pedro E. Segarra and under the direction of Thomas E. Deller, AICP, in collaboration with the residents of Connecticut’s Capital City, oversees the development of the City. The Development Services Department is charged with helping to craft an action plan that is consistent with the Mayor’s vision for future infrastructureimprovements and job development opportunities and working to make that vision a reality. The Department is comprised of six divisions: Administration, Economic Development, Licenses & Inspections, Housing & Property Management, Planning, and Marketing Events & Cultural Affairs. Each of the divisions work together to ensure theimprovementof quality of life in our neighborhoods and community by focusing on high quality public spaces, ensuring building and occupantsafety, increasing homeownership, supporting the business environment, maximizing job retention, providing residents and visitors with enjoyable opportunities through public arts and events.


The Development Services Department vision is: To create a vibrant, livable, and sustainable City


The Development Services Department mission is: To improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods and community by focusing on high quality public spaces, ensuring building and occupantsafety, increasing homeownership, supporting the business environment, maximizing job retention, providing residents and visitors with enjoyable opportunities through public arts and events.


The Development Services Department values are: Excellence, Integrity, Collaboration, Accountability, Efficiency, Commitment, and Respect.

Strategic Plan Initiatives for FY 2012-2013

• Implement “One City One Plan” through the integration of planning grants, livable sustainable neighborhoods initiatives and the i-Quilt

• Implement & develop the comprehensive housing strategy to maximize homeownership & affordable housing opportunities

• Implement online permitting system

• Foster Small Business Development and Entrepreneurship

• Provide residents and visitors with enjoyable opportunities, improve quality of life and promote City of  Hartford as a destination city through arts and culture.

The Development Services Department is working with many different projects which are in diverse stages of completion and ongoing at this time. We regularly update a Current Projects List, which provides information about development within the City limits. For specific questions or more details, please contact the project managers listed in the Project Updates Report. Click below to download a copy of the Current Projects Updates.

Current Project Updates

Working together, we will improve our neighborhoods, grow jobs and expand Hartford’s economy. Here are several of immediate goals that we hope to address:

• Making our permitting process more predictable and reducing the time it takes to get a permit.

• Working with the Department of Public Works to accelerate the neighborhood streetscape projects funded through our capitalimprovementprogram and aggressively implementing the Intermodal Triangle funded by the recently awarded TIGER IV grant.

• Collaboratingwith the Livable and Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative team to focus resources in a manner that is consistent with individual neighborhood development plans and make our many diverse communities great places to live and raise a family.

We look forward to working with you to make Hartford the Capital City that not only every resident in Hartford and in the region is proud of, but the entire state sees as progressive leader in economic development and increased opportunity.


Thomas E. Deller, AICP
Director of Department of Development Services
250 Constitution Plaza, 4th Floor Hartford, CT 06103

Urban Land Institute Kicks-Off Hartford Site Visit

Urban Land Institute Kicks-Off Hartford Site Visit

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(January 30, 2013) – Over the next several days, Mayor Pedro E. Segarra will be joined by representatives of the Urban Land Institute, planners and urban design specialists from across the country and officials from the cities of Tacoma (WA), Louisville (KY) and Austin (TX) to inspect and tour the Albany Avenue corridor in order to develop suggested development strategies at four node points, including at the critical intersections of Woodland and Homestead. The tour culminates on Friday with a full presentation of the findings at the Artists Collective, located at 1200 Albany Avenue, from 9am to 11am. Last year, Mayor Segarra was selected by ULI as a Daniel Rose Fellow, which involves a year-long program centered on innovative urban development.

[View the group’s full presentation (PDF, 7.1MB)]

“We used Albany Avenue as the case study because it has a significant volume of traffic every day, serves as a connector to Hartford from surrounding areas and has all the essential components for a vibrant commercial corridor.  It needs to be a destination, not a place one simply drives through.  Strategic planning from professionals of this caliber that costs the Capital City absolutely no money will leverage that traffic, drive retail and business development and create a thriving and vibrant corridor,” said Mayor Segarra.

The Rose Fellows team from the City of Hartford includes:

  • Thomas Deller, Director of Development Services
  • Brandon McGee, State Representative for the 5th District
  • Steven Bonafonte, Partner at Pullman & Comley and Chairman of the Hartford Redevelopment Agency

For more information on the City of Hartford’s study, please visit the study’s page on the Urban Land Institute website. Biographies of all site review participants attached.

The Daniel Rose Fellowship is the flagship program of the ULI Daniel Rose Center, established in 2008 by the ULI Foundation Governor Daniel Rose.  The Center aims to empower leaders in the public sector to envision, build and sustain successful 21st century communities by providing access to information, best practices, peer networks and other resources to foster creative, efficient and sustainable land use practices.

About the Urban Land Institute:

The Urban Land Institute ( is a nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the Institute has nearly 30,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines. Hartford is within the ULI Boston/ New England District Council.

Ribbon Cutting Upper Albany Branch of the Hartford Public Library.

The New Upper Albany Branch Library.
The New Upper Albany Branch Library.
The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Mayor Segarra, Mathew Poland and community members.
The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Mayor Pedro Segarra, Matt Poland and community members.
Mayor Segarra gives comments at the Upper Albany Branch of the Hartford Public Library Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.
Mayor Pedro Segarra gives comments at the Upper Albany Branch of the Hartford Public Library Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.
Chief Librarian Mathew Poland comments on the New Upper Albany Branch Library.
Chief Librarian Matt Poland comments on the New Upper Albany Branch Library.George Scott, Emeritus Upper Albany Main Street.
Chief Librarian Hartford Public Library Mathew Poland.
Chief Librarian Hartford Public Library Matt Poland.
Executive Director Upper Albany Main Street (Marilyn Risi), Mayor of Hartford (Pedro Segarra), and Notrheast NRZ member(Helen Nixon) at the Upper Albany Branch Library Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.
Executive Director Upper Albany Main Street Marilyn Risi, Hartford Mayor, Pedro Segarra, and Northeast NRZ, Helen Nixon at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.

Professor Margery Steinberg Retirement

After 31 Years of service to the University of Hartford, Professor Margery Steinberg is retiring from her position as Associate Professor of Marketing at the Barney School of Business. Dr. Steinberg is one of the founders of Upper Albany Main Street through her collaborations with the Upper Albany Merchants Association and the Metro Hartford Alliance.

On Wednesday, May 11th, from 2:00pm to 4:00pm there was a celebration for her achievements at the University of Hartford Barney School. She recieved recognition for her development of the Micro Business Incubator program at UAMS as well as other accolades for her work with other educational institutions and organizations. The amount of effort and dedication to enhancing the University and the Hartford community that Dr. Steinberg has committed over her tenure is beyond words. Thank you for your work and dedication to the Upper Albany Main Street Program!

An informal photo from the farewell celebration. From the left: Dr. Susan Coleman, Upper Albany Main Street Executive Director Marilyn Risi, and Dr. Margery Steinberg
An informal photo from the farewell celebration. From the left: Dr. Susan Coleman, Upper Albany Main Street Executive Director Marilyn Risi, and Dr. Margery Steinberg

First Lady Michelle Obama Honors The Artists Collective

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA HONORS The Artists Collective For Its “Training Program In The Arts And Culture Of The African Diaspora”

Local program one of 15 nationwide recognized for positive youth outcomes

through engagement in the arts and humanities

Hartford,CT – For its effectiveness in developing creativity and fostering academic success by engaging young people in the arts and humanities, The Artists Collective of  Hartford, CT was recognized with a prestigious national award by First Lady Michelle Obama at a White House ceremony on Wednesday, October 20.

Chosen from a pool of more than 400 nominations and 50 finalists, The Artists Collective’s program, “Training in the Arts and Culture of the African Diaspora,”   was one of 15 after-school and out-of-school programs across the country to receive the 2010 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award (formerly, the Coming Up Taller Award), the highest honor such programs can receive in the United States. The awards are administered by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The award honors community-based arts and humanities programs that make a marked difference in the lives of their participants by improving academic scores and graduation rates, enhancing life skills, and developing positive relationships with peers and adults.

The Artists Collective was recognized by Mrs. Obama for using engagement in the arts and the humanities to improve academic achievement, encourage admissions to higher education, and/or advanced training programs, promote self  – discipline, teamwork, and leadership skills; and foster respect/responsibility  for self and others.

Founded in 1970 by internationally renowned alto saxophonist, composer and  educator Jackie McLean, with his wife Dollie McLean, the Artists Collective. was created to  preserve and perpetuate the art and culture of the African Diaspora  Over the past 40 years, the organization has engaged more than 50,000 young people in dance, music, drama visual arts, martial arts. and Skills for living training programs.

Accepting the award from Mrs. Obama on behalf of Artists Collective was Lauren Horn, a 14-year-old participant in the program since the age of three, who was accompanied to the White House by Founding Executive Director Dollie McLean

“Standing with the First Lady of the United States in the White House and accepting this award was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I’ll never forget,” said Lauren . “It showed me that the power of the arts and humanities to change kids’ lives is recognized and valued. Having dance in my life helped me to express myself and do well in school.”

Joining Mrs. Obama and the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in recognizing the impact of “Training in the Arts and Culture of the African Diaspora” in transforming the lives of young people and our community were a number of its long-time partners and supporters, including: Hartford Public Schools, Connecticut Department of Children and Families, Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz, Hartt School, University of Hartford, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and Neighborhood Studios, Greater Hartford Arts Council.

“By engaging and inspiring young people, the Artists Collective is giving them not just the vision but the skills to build a new and better life for themselves and their families, and for our community,” said  Senator Joseph I. Lieberman and Congressman John B. Larson .  “These young people are learning how to use creative thinking to work as a team, to solve problems and to express themselves constructively. These are exactly the kinds of skills we want them to have to be able to succeed in school, in work and in life, ” said State Senator Eric Coleman, State Representative Marie Kirkley-Bey, Karen J. Senich Executive Director, Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism, and Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra.

In addition to the national recognition bestowed by receipt of the prestigious award, The Artists Collective will also receive $10,000 to support its programming and engage more young people from the community.

“We hope this award will draw attention to the documented fact that programs like ours are essential investments not just in the lives of our young people, but in our community, as well,” said Founding Executive Director Dollie McLean for the Artists Collective.

The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award is the nation’s highest honor for after-school arts and humanities programs, particularly those that reach underserved children and youth. The awards recognize and support outstanding programs that lay new pathways to creativity, expression, and achievement outside of the regular school day. These programs excite and engage a range of students, cultivating imagination, collaboration, discipline and academic success, with demonstrable results. They also provide safe harbors after school, on weekends and evenings for children and youth in some of our country’s most at-risk urban and rural settings. For more information, visit

Founded in 1970 by world renowned alto saxophonist, composer, educator, and community activist Jackie McLean, his wife, actress, dancer, administrator Dollie McLean, as well as co-founders and Hartford artists, bassist, Paul Brown, visual artist, Ionis Martin, and dancer Cheryl Smith, now Associate Director, the Artists Collective is the only  organization in Connecticut dedicated to the art and culture of the African Diaspora.  Annually, through its interdisciplinary arts training programs and professional concerts, dance/theater productions, and visual arts exhibits, the Artists Collective serves upward of 15,000 children, youth, and adults from Hartford and Greater Hartford . The majority are youth from the African–American and Caribbean communities, as well as low-income communities nearby. Located in one of Hartford’s poorest, most violence-ridden neighborhoods, the Artists Collective has been a catalyst and anchor for $150 million of economic development since its new facility was completed in 1999. The organization receives support from national and local foundations and corporations, such as the JazzNet Endowment, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Surdna Foundation, Greater Hartford Arts Council, Bank of America, and the Travelers, Prudential, and Metlife Foundations. In addition, the Artists Collective is supported by federal, state, and city agencies, such as the National Endowment for the Arts, U.S. Department of Justice, Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, and City of Hartford    For more information about the Artists Collective, please visit

Dollie McLean and her students accept their award from First Lady Michelle Obama
Dollie McLean and her students accept their award from First Lady Michelle Obama