February 16, 2018

CT OKs $10M for Dillon, Colt upgrades

RENDERING | Contributed
RENDERING | Contributed
This artist's sketch depict a revitalized Dillon Stadium hosting a nighttime soccer match in Hartford's South End. A trio of area businessmen are negotiating with the city to lease the stadium to host professional soccer games as early as 2019

The State Bond Commission Friday approved $10 million for renovating Hartford's aged Dillon Stadium to eventually attract a pro soccer team to the city.

The allocation to the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) can be used for the renovation, including installation of artificial turf, for Hartford's Dillon Stadium, which a local ownership group proposes to lease from the city to eventually host pro soccer. The funding also covers improvements to adjacent Colt Park.

Bruce Mandell, a member of the private investment group leading the effort to lease Dillon from the city and bring soccer to Hartford, hailed the commission's vote as "an important step forward in the continued revitalization of the Coltsville neighborhood.''

Also, another $1.9 million of CRDA's allocation will go to redevelop a vacant commercial building at 28 HIgh St. into 28 apartments and 600 square feet of retail space.

In addition, Girona Ventures will get from CRDA $960,000 toward conversion of 16 two-bedroom apartments at 100 Trumbull St. into 16 studio- and 16 one-bedroom units.

Separately, the commission approved $5 million to CRDA, for railing, waterproofing and sealant repairs to the 20 Church St. parking garage in downtown Hartford.

CRDA also will get $225,000 for renovations and improvements to downtown Hartford's Connecticut Convention Center and to Rentschler Field in East Hartford.

The commission also voted to provide three Hartford area employers with $5.5 million in loans and grants to abet their expansions and more hiring: Polamer Precision Inc. and Okay Industries Inc., both in New Britain; and Global Atlantic Financial Co. in Simsbury.

Polamer, an aeroparts maker, had previously won the state DECD's commitment of a $9.5 million loan and $500,000 grant to fund a $46 million expansion of its New Britain facilities, in return for its pledge to retain 100 jobs and create 200 more within three years. Half the 10-year loan would be forgiven if Polamer achieves its job-retention/hiring goals.

The commission voted to fund this latest installment that includes a $1.9 million loan and a $100,000 grant.

Okay was granted a $2.5 million, 10-year DECD loan to fund its $12.6 million expansion and upgrade of its New Britain and Berlin metalworks. Half its loan is forgivable if it retains 210 jobs and adds 62 more within three years.

Global Atlantic, spun off from Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs as a provider of annuities and life insurance, asked DECD for a $1 million loan to fund its estimated $4.6 million price tag to relocate to downtown Hartford from 82 Hopmeadow St. in Simsbury. Principal is deferred for five years of the 10-year note, and a portion is forgivable if Global retains 66 workers and adds up to 59 more within seven years.

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