January 23, 2013
Deal Watch Today

Asbestos clouds UConn's downtown Hartford move

HBJ File Photo
HBJ File Photo
UConn wants to occupy one of the office towers in downtown Hartford's Constitution Plaza. Shown are One Constitution Plaza (foreground) and 100 Constitution (background).

The University of Connecticut's relocation of its West Hartford campus to downtown Hartford has hit a stumbling block as the office building the school is targeting for relocation in Constitution Plaza has several issues including asbestos and space constraints, people familiar with the matter tell HBJ Today.

UConn officials declined to comment Wednesday morning on the status of the Travelers Education Center, but said an announcement updating the downtown Hartford move could come as early as Thursday morning.

UConn has been planning to move about 2,200 students and faculty to downtown for months, and recently hired Hartford's JCJ Architecture for a $243,524 pre-design study of the Travelers Education Center at 200 Constitution Plaza.

That 135,000-square-foot office budding, which is currently vacant and was foreclosed upon, was the top choice for UConn's new downtown site.

But people familiar with the planned move say that along with asbestos, the building may lack the space to fit UConn's needs.

UConn is looking for about 150,000 square feet downtown, school officials say.

It's unclear what the school's next move will be or if the Travelers Education Center falls completely out of the running as UConn's downtown campus. If that building is no longer being considered by UConn it will limit the school's options.

Although downtown Hartford has a high office vacancy rate, finding 150,000 square feet of space isn't a simple task.

UConn previously said it was also looking at Connecticut River Plaza and One Talcott Plaza on Talcott Street as possible location targets. However, the state is already close to buying Connecticut River Plaza for its own relocation plans. One Talcott Plaza, which is vacant, has about 103,000 square feet of space.

Comments

Type your comment here:

Today's Poll Is the St. Francis move to for-profit status wise?<>
ADVERTISEMENTS
Most Popular on Facebook
Copyright 2014 New England Business Media