February 12, 2019
Deal Watch Today

Manchester seeks Parkade makeover partner

Photo | Flickr via cometstarmoon
Photo | Flickr via cometstarmoon
An abandoned Bradlees store at the former Manchester Parkade.
Photo | Flickr via JJBers
A vacant lot at the former Manchester Parkade.

After years of contemplation and delay, the town of Manchester appears ready to finally get underway with redevelopment of 23 town-owned acres that were once a thriving commercial hub.

The Manchester Redevelopment Agency has extended a request for proposals (RFP), inviting potential private development partners to submit their vision, development credentials, and financial ability to remake the former Manchester Parkade, a 23-acre tract that co-anchors the town's Broad Street commercial corridor.

The town razed the buildings that once occupied the 23 acres to make way for redevelopment.

According to the bid specifications, the town is offering its winning co-partner, among other things, negotiated land sale prices or land lease arrangements; tax increment financing; tax assessment agreements, access to public financing through revenue bonds and/or leftover general obligation bond funds from the town's redevelopment bond issue; use of Community Development Block Grant funds; as well as assistance in applying for state or federal grants or development loans.

In addition, the town may make additional nearby land available for redevelopment. Also nearby is a Stop & Shop Supermarket and Parkade Cinemas.

In exchange, the town wants a stake in the development partnership.

The 23-acre parcel -- consisting of 296, 324, 220, 334 and 340 Broad St. -- is situated within a federally designated "opportunity zone'' (OZ), meaning it can be developed with tax-qualified funds from qualified taxpayers seeking to shield some or all of their capital gains from federal taxes. Connecticut has 72 OZs statewide.

"The town is seeking a high quality development that will bring vitality and drive new investment to the Broad Street redevelopment area,'' according to the RFP, outlining the town's goals for the redevelopment partnership. "We encourage creative proposals supported by market conditions that achieve the redevelopment plan's vision for a dense, vibrant, economically anchored vision, as outlined in the plan and this document. Alternative concepts and uses will be considered as long as they meet the general vision of the plan and generate significant economic activity."

Emailed questions about the RFP are due to Adam Tulin, Manchester's director of general services, (gensvcs@manchesterct.gov) no later than April 25. Answers will be addressed in an addendum issued on the town's website.

The RFP submission deadline is 4 p.m. on May 16.

This story has been updated

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