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June 12, 2023 / 2023 Power 25 Real Estate

2023 Power 25 Real Estate: Randy Salvatore

Michael Puffer | Hartford Business Journal Randy Salvatore

Randy Salvatore is one of the most active apartment developers in downtown Hartford.

But that doesn’t mean those efforts have been without challenges.

Last year, Salvatore’s RMS Cos. debuted a 270-unit apartment building on what had been a vacant parking lot next to Hartford’s minor league baseball stadium, the recently renamed Dunkin’ Park.

Salvatore hoped to quickly roll into the second phase of his larger North Crossing development that includes adding a 522-space parking garage and 528 apartments on a lot just southwest of the ball field.

But a lawsuit by Middletown-based Centerplan Cos., a developer previously selected by the city to build both the ballpark and nearby apartments, has stalled those efforts for at least a year. A Superior Court judge recently ruled against the city’s efforts to dismiss parts of the lawsuit and set a trial date for next April.

Centerplan contends it was unjustly fired by the city and that it still has legal rights to develop the lots.

City officials have expressed confidence they will eventually prevail in court, allowing RMS to continue.

Salvatore last year also partnered in a plan to rescue the faltering Hilton Hotel in downtown Hartford. Work on the $18 million project is underway to transform the 12th through 22nd floors of the hotel into 147 apartments, with the goal of beginning occupancy late this year.

Despite the challenging environment — which also includes pressure from rising interest rates, higher materials’ costs and supply chain bottlenecks — Salvatore said he remains bullish on the city of Hartford.

He said demand for his 270-unit apartment building next to Dunkin’ Park has been stronger than anticipated, and the red-hot rental market has led to higher rents than budgeted.

His tenants include a mix of all ages, with about 75% coming from outside Hartford, he said.

“Which is great, because it’s increasing the population in the city, which creates vibrancy,” Salvatore recently told the HBJ. “So, we are really excited about that, as opposed to people just moving from building to building within Hartford.” 

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