$20M mixed-use development eyed in Hartford’s North End

A Hartford real estate firm is leading an effort to redevelop a key corner in the city’s North End with new residential, office and retail units.

7 Summits Realty CEO Rohan Freeman on Tuesday said his firm is looking to secure public and private funding to build a four-story mixed-use development on vacant city-owned land at the corner of Albany Avenue and Woodland Street. The $20-million proposal includes 50 apartment units and retail/office space.

Freeman’s firm has committed $1.5 million to the project and is seeking the remaining $19.5 million from several potential funders. They include the quasi-public Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA); the city of Hartford; Trinity Health of New England; the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving; and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).

The Hartford Redevelopment Agency awarded the project to 7 Summits this summer, but Freeman has been looking to revitalize the corner of Albany Avenue and Woodland Street for years.

Freeman, a Jamaica native now living in Hartford, began meeting with community members more than two years ago about how to overhaul the unused property to meet the needs of the neighborhood.

Public input, he said, will continue to play a large part in the type of retail and office tenants selected for spaces.

“This process has been very open and also has strong support from the community leaders and organizations,” Freeman said. “They are 100 percent on board and are pushing this very hard. We don’t want to disappoint the community and the folks who have supported us throughout this process.”

According to plans, the top two floors of the 80,000-square-foot building would include a mix of 50 studio and one-bedroom apartments, and the second floor is likely to house one office tenant in about 20,000 square feet. The majority of the street-level space would be used for retail, in addition to a portion earmarked for office use.

Tenants would have access to 122 parking spaces behind the building and another 30 spaces across the street.

Work at the site could begin as early as June with eight to 10 months of construction on the first phase, focusing on the retail units, being completed by fall 2020. The offices and apartments would then be completed by early 2021.

Freeman, who was recently named to the Connecticut Business & Industry Association’s board of directors and also owns his own engineering firm in the city, said the community has expressed interest in bringing a financial institution, diner or lunch/dinner restaurant to the development. The area already has an abundance of takeout eateries, he said.

HBJ PHOTO | STEVE LASCHEVER
7 Summits Realty CEO Rohan Freeman.

Although Freeman has a clear vision for the project, he still needs to figure out who is going to shoulder the majority of the $20 million price tag.

Freeman said he planned on securing financial partners by now, but he’s still hopeful funders will begin to step forward in the coming weeks to keep the planning process moving.

“I think we have gotten positive feedback from the people we have spoken to,” he said. “We are turning over every rock, it’s not a simple project. Everyone is on board in terms of making this happen.”

Full article:  https://www.hartfordbusiness.com/article/20m-mixed-use-development-eyed-in-hartfords-north-end

Route 44 Safety Improvement Project

Schedule: Week of November 4, 2019*

Normal Work Hours: 7:00am – 5:00pm, Monday-Friday

Pavement Markings: 7:00pm – 5:00am

  • Nighttime pavement marking is scheduled for this week on Albany and side streets between Homestead and Oakland.
  • Reconstruction of the Albany/Burton intersection continues. Expect minor traffic delays near the intersection. Burton will be closed at the Albany intersection during daytime work hours only. Continue to use Homestead for access to residences and businesses on Burton, including Coconut Café. Police are on hand to assist with the temporary daytime two-way traffic pattern on Burton.
  • Sidewalk and driveway ramp reconstruction continues on Burton this week and also on the north side of Albany between Edgewood and Vine.
  • Installation of conduit and light pole foundations continues on the north side of Albany between Sigourney and Vine.
  • In preparation for winter conditions, temporary paving and patching will occur in various areas throughout the project limits.

Schedule: Week of November 11, 2019*

Normal Work Hours: 7:00am – 5:00pm, Monday-Friday

Pavement Markings: 7:00pm – 5:00am

  • Reconstruction of the Albany/Burton intersection continues. Expect minor traffic delays near the intersection. Burton will be closed at the Albany intersection during daytime work hours only. Continue to use Homestead for access to residences and businesses on Burton, including Coconut Café. Police are on hand to assist with the temporary daytime two-way traffic pattern on Burton.
  • Sidewalk and driveway ramp reconstruction continues on Burton this week and also on the north side of Albany between Edgewood and Vine.
  • Installation of conduit and light pole foundations continues on the north side of Albany between Sigourney and Vine.
  • In preparation for winter conditions, temporary paving and patching will occur in various areas throughout the project limits.

*weather permitting

Route 44 Safety Improvement Update

Schedule: Week of October 21, 2019*

Normal Work Hours: 7:00am – 5:00pm, Monday-Friday
Paving Hours: 7:00pm – 5:00am, Sunday-Friday

  • Due to several rain days, nighttime roadway paving and safety marking will continue this week on Albany and side streets between Homestead and Oakland.
  • The traffic signals at the intersection of Lenox and Albany will be removed permanently. Electrical work will occur across Albany and side streets between Sigourney and Bedford. Expect partial lane closures near the work zone.
  • Reconstruction of the Albany/Burton intersection will continue this week, pending the relocation of the fire hydrant at the SW corner of Burton. Expect minor traffic delays near the intersection.
  • Drainage work will occur on the southwest corner of Bedford and Albany.
  • Sidewalk and driveway ramp reconstruction continues on the north side of Albany between Edgewood and Vine. No sidewalk demolition is scheduled to occur east of Vine this year.
  • Installation of granite curb continues on the north side of Albany between Sigourney and Vine; expect partial lane closures in the area.

Schedule: Week of October 28, 2019*

Normal Work Hours: 7:00am – 5:00pm, Monday-Friday
Paving Hours: 7:00pm – 5:00am, Sunday-Friday

  • Due to several rain days, nighttime roadway paving and safety marking could continue this week on Albany and side streets between Homestead and Oakland.
  • Sidewalk and driveway ramp reconstruction continues on the north side of Albany between Sigourney and Vine. No sidewalk demolition is scheduled to occur east of Vine this year.
  • Installation of granite curb continues on the north side of Albany between Sigourney and Vine; expect partial lane closures in the area.
  • Installation of conduit and light pole foundations continues on the north side of Albany between Sigourney and Vine.

*weather permitting

Business access will be maintained. All travel lanes on Albany will remain open before 9am and after 3pm; during other hours, partial lane closures may occur. Traffic will be maintained in both directions on Homestead and Westbourne. Hartford Police will assist motorists.

Route 44 Safety Improvement Project Update

Schedule: Week of October 7, 2019*

Normal Work Hours: 7:00am – 5:00pm, Monday-Friday
Paving Hours: 7:00pm – 5:00am, Sunday-Thursday

·   Nighttime roadway paving of Albany and portions of side-streets between Homestead and Oakland continues.
· Sidewalk and driveway ramp reconstruction continues on the south side of Albany between Garden and Bedford and also on the north side of Albany between Edgewood and Vine. No additional demolition of sidewalks is scheduled this year.
·   Sign installation, traffic signal, and other electrical work continues in preparation for one-way directional changes on Sterling, Lenox, Cabot, and Edgewood Streets.
·   Installation of conduit and light pole foundations continues on the north side of Albany between Edgewood and Vine.
·   Brick paver installation continues on the south side of Albany between Garden and Bedford.

·   NEXT WEEK: 10/15/19, one-way directional changes will take effect on Sterling, Lenox, Cabot, and Edgewood.

Schedule: Week of October 14, 2019*
Normal Work Hours: 7:00am – 5:00pm, Monday-Friday
Paving Hours: 7:00pm – 5:00am, Sunday-Thursday

·   10/15/19, one-way directional changes will take effect on Sterling, Lenox, Cabot, and Edgewood streets.
·   Roadway paving of Albany and portion of sides streets between Homestead and Oakland continues. Paving is scheduled to be completed by 10/18/19. Due to weather conditions, roadway paving along Albany between Homestead and Oakland may continue into the week of 10/21/19.
·   Sidewalk and driveway ramp installation continues on the north side of Albany between Edgewood and Vine.
·   Installation of conduit and light pole foundations continues on the north side of Albany between Edgewood and Vine.
·   Brick paver installation will occur on the north side of Albany between Edgewood and Vine.

*weather permitting

Students Continue To Work With Their Assigned Businesses (10/7/2019)

Students continue to work with their businesses on a weekly basis.  Last week (September 30, 2019), students presented their step 1 presentations which provide the Professor with an initial assessment of the student-business owner relationships.  Students will work throughout the semester (10 remaining weeks), to accomplish their city-approved goal.  Business owners are encouraged to attend class sessions if they are interested in learning about various business techniques and skills.  Business owners may attend any or all of the following dates:

  • Chrysalis Center 10/7/2019 (speaking about nonprofit agencies within the Hartford community)
  • Small Business Association (SBA) 10/28/2019 (speaking about how Governments help new and growing businesses)
  • Gregory Woodward, President of the University of Hartford 11/18/219 (speaking about how the Micro Business Incubator Program is important to the University and community)
  • Final presentations 12/2/2019 & 12/9/2019 (please plan on attending your students final presentations – more information to follow)

Facade Construction Begins On 1382 – 1392 Albany Avenue

On Monday, September 30, 2019, the Upper Albany Main Street Commercial Facade Improvement Program (CFIP) began construction on 1382 – 1392 Albany Avenue (King of Kings & Jessies Food Center).  The King of Kings convenience store will remain open during construction.

The Goal of the Commercial Facade Improvement Program is to:

  1. Stimulate development by providing incentives that increase existing business investment, promote business sustainability and restore the grandeur of Hartford’s Albany Avenue historic district.
  2. Create an “area of destination’ by encouraging new and innovative investments in retail and other goods, product and services.
  3. Complete the City of Hartford’s development plan and CT Department of Transportation (CTDOT) Route 44 Safety Improvement and Streetscape Project, while integrating modern commercial building facades with new roads and street enhancements.
  4. Create attractive, code-compliant facades for commercial structures along Albany and Homestead Avenues in the Upper Albany communities.

Route 44 Safety Improvement Project Construction Update – Week of September 23, 2019

The Route 44 Safety Improvement Project has been updated:
*Weather permitting

For The Week of September 23, 2019

  • Sidewalk reconstruction continues on the north side of Albany between Edgewood and Vine.
  • Concrete bus pads installation continues on Albany between Homestead and Oakland. Expect partial lane closures.
  • Utility work and other preparation for roadway paving will occur on Albany and side streets from Homestead to Oakland. Roadway milling will begin Sunday night (9/29) from 7 pm to 5 am.
  • Installation of granite curb will occur on the north side of Albany between Edgewood and Vine. Expect partial lane closures around the construction zone.
  • Installation of conduit and light pole foundations continues on the south side of Albany between Garden and Bedford and also on the north side of Albany between Edgewood and Vine.
  • Traffic signal foundation installation and other electrical work continue on the southwest corner of Garden and Albany.
  • Brick paver installation continues on the south side of Albany between Irving and Garden and also at the Burton intersection.