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September 11, 2023

Broadcaster Connecticut Public eyes large-scale renovation to Hartford HQ

CoStar Connecticut Public's headquarters at 1049 Asylum Ave., in Hartford.

Nonprofit broadcaster Connecticut Public plans to redevelop the ground floor of its six-story office tower in Hartford’s Asylum Hill neighborhood into a public engagement center, including a 225-person auditorium, meeting space, black-box studio and a small conference room.

“With our headquarters in Hartford, and as a long‐time resident of the Asylum Hill neighborhood, we are committed to expanding our programming and services by providing opportunities for engagement in our space,” reads a portion of a project application Connecticut Public recently submitted to Hartford officials.

Joe Coss, senior vice president of business operations and development for Connecticut Public, said the nonprofit is working to secure public and private grants for the $3.2 million project. The hope is to complete renovations within two years, he said. 

Coss said area residents were invited to review the proposal and their feedback played a role in designs. 

"Storytelling is the core of what we do," Coss said. "Having a place to invite the community in to help tell those stories and shape those stories is one of the key reasons we are doing this." 

The nonprofit media organization is a member station of public media services PBS and NPR. It is also the parent company of three television stations: Connecticut Public Television, CPTV Spirit and PBS kids 24/7, as well as Connecticut Public Radio (WNPR). The broadcaster says it serves 1 million people each month through its platforms.

Connecticut Public is seeking a special permit from Hartford’s Planning & Zoning Commission for the “Public Square Project” planned for its headquarters at 1049 Asylum Ave.

Built in 1960, the broadcaster’s 62,960-square-foot, concrete and glass office building sits on nearly 2.7 acres. 

Connecticut Public employed 156 people in 2021, according to its fiscal 2021 federal tax return. According to its financial statement, the nonprofit and affiliated organizations had $73.9 million in assets as of June 30, 2022. It ran on a $24.2 million budget in fiscal 2022.

“Through intentional collaboration and extensive outreach, we will share our space, technology, and know-how with our community,” reads a portion of Connecticut Public’s application. “In doing so, we believe that the development of our facility can have a multi-pronged transformational effect on the Asylum Hill neighborhood, Hartford, and potentially beyond.”


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