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June 17, 2022

2.8-acre site south of Hartford’s Bushnell Park targeted for up to $130M development 

Contributed A rendering of the Bushnell South development plan in downtown Hartford.

A 2.8-acre parking lot just south of Hartford’s Bushnell Park is being targeted for $90 million to $130 million in development. 

Four private sector teams have submitted competing visions for the 730-space parking lot at 165 Capitol Ave., adjacent to a recently renovated state office building. 

The proposals were submitted to the Capital Region Development Authority before a deadline of last Friday, responding to a request for proposals from the agency. 

The development teams hail from Connecticut, Boston, New York and North Carolina. Two have prior development experience in Hartford and all have mixed-use development experience, according to Michael Freimuth, CRDA’s executive director. 

“We have four really good teams,” Freimuth said. 

The target site is part of the larger, roughly 12-acre “Bushnell South” development area. A master plan for the broader area envisions a vibrant neighborhood of 1,800 residents, along with retail, arts and cultural offerings.

Here's what the Bushnell South area currently looks like. It's dominated by a sea of parking lots.

The four responses to CRDA’s request for proposals are variations on a theme set down for that site in the master plan, Freimuth said. Each proposed about 300 units of multifamily housing and roughly 25,000 square feet of retail space, he said.

Freimuth said a selection team could pick a development partner before the close of summer.

The submitted proposals are not set in stone, but rather examples of design vision. They can be adjusted, Freimuth said. The selection team will also weigh respondents’ capabilities and experience.

“We would prefer to form a partnership with a qualified group, then devise the project and the program from that,” Freimuth said.

The larger Bushnell South redevelopment plan includes Spinnaker Real Estate Partners’ $63.3 million redevelopment of a former state office building at 55 Elm St., which sits near the eastern edge of the development zone. Spinnaker plans to create 278 apartments, as well as retail on that site, according to the master plan.

These are the developable parcels in the Bushnell South area.

The master plan also shows Spinnaker eventually building another 456 housing units on parking lots just south of 55 Elm St.

Separately, state officials are reviewing proposals submitted through another process for the redevelopment of historic buildings at 18-20 Trinity St. and 30 Trinity St. 

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