As the city of Hartford moves forward with plans to build a ballpark and redevelop the Downtown North area, a contractor hired to analyze the plan has found the project “will have a positive economic impact for the city,” according to the office of Mayor Pedro Segarra.
The University of Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis presented its finding to the City Council at a committee meeting Thursday and concluded that the development will “deliver new economic activity” to Hartford.
According to the CCEA report, the “proposed Downtown North development has the potential to create a new neighborhood focused around the ballpark, used both for Rock Cats games and other activities.” It’s expected to create 1,806 jobs during the construction phase, along with more than 1,000 long-term jobs.
CCEA director Fred Cartensen, who wrote the report and presented it to the council, said three elements of the project stood out as highly positive: the development’s design, the developer’s level of investment and the commitment from ShopRite.
The 15-acre redevelopment will cost a projected $350,7 million, plus $525,001 to purchase the land. The first phase of the proposal will include 237 residential units and 63,400 square feet of retail space, according to the CCEA report.
The second phase will comprise 228 residences, 216,000 square feet of office space, 46,000 square feet for the Hooker Brewery and 24,000 square feet of additional retail space.
The project will be capped off with 208 apartments and another 8,000 square feet of retail space in the third phase.
“The area of Downtown North has been parking lots for decades,” said Mayor Pedro Segarra, in a statement Thursday. “Developing it will mean more jobs for Hartford residents, more customers for local businesses and more activities for our community.”
City Council President Shawn Wooden said the report “gives the Council more information to make a sound judgment on a major redevelopment.”
“We haven’t seen something like this in years and we need to understand the long term impact and any risks associated with changing the City’s landscape,” Wooden said in a statement Thursday. “Everyone wants Hartford to grow, to move forward. If the project is good for Hartford then we will support it.”
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