August 2, 2012

D'town Hartford housing to get millions in state aid

Several planned high-rise housing projects for downtown Hartford got a boost Thursday, as the state announced millions of dollars in grants and loans to help get them off the ground.

The funding is part of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's 10-year, $500 million initiative to significantly increase the amount of affordable housing in Connecticut by investing in new projects and redevelopment across the state.

The Hartford projects slated to get state assistance include the conversion of the Bank of America building at 777 Main St. and Sonesta Hotel in Constitution Plaza into 286 and 199 apartment units respectively.

Each project will receive up to $5 million in grants and loans from the state that will serve as gap financing.

Malloy announced on Thursday millions of dollars in grants and loans going to 10 affordable housing projects in Bridgeport, Guilford, Hartford, New Haven, Norwalk, and Norwich.

City of Hartford Chief Operating Officer David Panagore said the state aid is the first, critical step in putting together financing packages for the two downtown Hartford housing projects.

He said neither project has finalized financing deals yet, but now that the state aid is in hand, deals could be reached within 60 days and construction could start before the end of the year.

As part of the state funding, the Bank of America building will set aside 40 units as affordable housing, while the Sonesta Hotel will have at least 90 affordable units.

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