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July 18, 2022 / 2022 Power 25 Real Estate

2022 Power 25 Real Estate: Arunan Arulampalam

Arunan Arulampalam

Arunan Arulampalam isn’t afraid to try new career paths.

A lawyer by trade, the Quinnipiac School of Law grad got his start in 2014 performing corporate finance work at Hartford law firm Updike, Kelly & Spellacy P.C.

Two years ago he was appointed deputy commissioner of the state Department of Consumer Protection, putting him second in command in an agency that oversees everything from business licensing to the state’s marijuana industry.

His latest gig is running the Hartford Land Bank, a still relatively new organization that is trying to revitalize the city’s neighborhoods. He was named CEO in July 2021.

The land bank is a nonprofit that identifies and acquires abandoned, tax-delinquent and otherwise distressed properties in the city to facilitate their rehabilitation and return to productive use. Its mission is to not only increase homeownership in the city (at 24%, Hartford has the lowest homeownership rate in the state), but also develop a pipeline of Hartford-based developers who have the skills and capital to turn run-down properties into owner-occupied dwellings.

To that end, Arulampalam last November helped launch a new training program aimed at minting a diverse group of developers to tackle home redevelopment projects in the Capital City. He also wants to create a revolving loan fund that will offer low-interest construction loans to help redevelop land bank properties.

The main focus for now is residential properties, but redevelopment of commercial buildings could be part of the long-term plan, Arulampalam has said.

The land bank got its start with $5 million in state funding, but one of Arulampalam’s tasks is to create a long-term business model. Corporate and private-sector donations and state dollars will be part of the equation.

It’s estimated there are hundreds of distressed buildings in Hartford and it will require tens of millions of dollars to revitalize all of them.

Arulampalam, 36, is a married father with five children who lives in the city’s Frog Hollow neighborhood.

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