Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

June 16, 2022

101-unit apartment conversion at former Travelers training center in Hartford gets CRDA backing The State Bond Commission, on Friday, is poised to approve many millions for economic development, including $3 million for a CRDA loan toward the $18.7 million cost of redevelopment of the former Travelers training center in Hartford into 101 apartments.

The Capital Region Development Authority board on Thursday agreed to loan $3 million toward an $18.7 million conversion of the former Travelers training center at 200 Constitution Plaza into 101 apartments.

Biagio Barone of Stratford-based Barone Properties has teamed up with John Guedes, president of Bridgeport builder Primrose Cos. for the redevelopment of the roughly 125,000-square-foot, five-story, concrete building on the northeastern edge of downtown Hartford.

“We felt it was a great location,” Guedes told the Hartford Business Journal. “We really believe the new wave of development is downtown areas, especially for young professionals and empty nesters.”

Meeting Thursday, the CRDA Board of Directors unanimously endorsed the request, which now requires the blessing of the Connecticut State Bond Commission. Barone and Guedes will have to secure the remainder of finances before tapping CRDA funds. They have also agreed to hold 10 units as affordable for 15 years.  

The project’s financing plan calls for $13.7 million in conventional financing, $2 million in equity and $3 million from the CRDA.

The office building at 200 Constitution Plaza has been empty for about a decade, CRDA Executive Director Michael Freimuth said.

Trinity College paid $2 million for the building in 2014 for a widely touted expansion into downtown Hartford that didn’t pan out. Four years later, the building sold to its current owner, 200 CP Holding LLC., for $2.6 million. The principal of the current owner is Aaron Berger, of Monsey, New York.

Guedes said 200 Constitution Plaza will cost $4.5 million to acquire for the currently planned project.

The target property is adjacent to the 250,000-square-foot “Spectra Plaza” building, a former hotel converted into 193 apartments in a $23.6 million project that wrapped up in 2016. That project was completed by New York-based partners Wonder Works Construction and Girona Ventures and is nearly fully occupied at present.

Guedes said apartments at 200 Constitution Plaza will be larger than those in the neighboring building. In a nod to the trend of working from home, the apartments will include enough space for an office, he said.

“Instead of using their kitchen table or their living room, they have an additional room that’s an office,” Guedes said. “If they don’t use it as an office, it can be used as a den.”

The conversion plan calls for 24 one-bedroom, 28 two-bedroom and 49 studio apartments. There will be lounges, a fitness room and an 150-seat auditorium will be preserved. That could be used by one of the colleges and provide entertainment space for residents, Guedes said.

Guedes said the building will be gutted for the remodel. 101 windows will also be replaced as the current windows do not open. He expects to begin demolition within a few weeks of purchase and said the new apartments would become available before the end of summer 2023. 

Sign up for Enews


Order a PDF