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February 20, 2023 / 2023 Power 50

2023 Power 50: 37. Randy Salvatore

HBJ PHOTO | MICHAEL PUFFER Developer Randy Salvatore, CEO of RMS Cos., stands on the roof of his nearly-completed, 270-unit apartment building on the northern edge of downtown Hartford.

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 ballfield.

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. 

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. Salvatore is working on plans to transform the 12th through 22nd floors of the hotel into 147 apartments. 

The Capital Region Development Authority and state Bond Commission have signed off on $11 million in low-interest loans for the apartment conversion, which Salvatore estimates will cost up to $18 million.

Despite the challenging environment — which also includes pressures 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. 

“If you build a great product they will come,” Salvatore told Hartford Business Journal in December. “I was bullish before. Now we have actual experience telling us that demand has outpaced what I thought it would be, so I’m more bullish now than I ever was about Hartford.”

Find out who else is in the 2023 Power 50.

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