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June 27, 2023

Bronin eyes tax deal for Parkville mixed-use development

HBJ Developer Carlos Mouta

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin is proposing a tax agreement between the city and a major city developer to facilitate a new Parkville area mixed-use project.

Bronin has requested the city council authorize him to enter into a tax-fixing agreement, purchase and sales agreement, development agreement, and ground lease for 17 Bartholomew Ave.

The underutilized downtown parking lot is owned by Carlos Mouta of 17-35 Bartholomew Avenue LLC, who is seeking a public/private partnership with the city in his vision for a $16.72 million mixed-use development in the Parkville Arts & Innovation District.

The district has been identified as one of the city’s 10 transformative project areas with an eye toward building on “existing assets to create a more sustainable, prosperous, equitable and vibrant community within the Parkville Neighborhood.”

Mouta plans to subdivide the property into two parcels.

The Parcel A  project will be partially financed with a $5.5 million CT Communities Challenge grant to help build 57 apartments, 30% of which would be affordable, and first-floor commercial space in a new multi-story building.

Parcel B would become a public parking garage for 350 to 400 vehicles. 

Mouta said the support from Bronin and the city for this development “has been amazing.”

“This is a huge project,” Mouta said. “We need housing, and this helps toward that goal. And it comes with a parking garage, which is really going to help businesses around there, including the Parkville Market.”

Parcel A will require a 15-year tax abatement, the details of which were not disclosed because Mouta and city officials are still finalizing the terms, he said.

The agreement could start with Mouta paying 35% the first year, with that percentage increasing annually until the full tax amount is paid out by year 15, he said.
The city would take ownership of Parcel B and enter into a development agreement and long-term lease of the parking garage that has Mouta and the city splitting parking revenues 50-50.

Residents of the Bartholomew apartments could buy spaces, and visitors could pay a daily rate, Mouta said.

Mouta said parking is imperative to the success of new and existing businesses in the Parkville Market area.

The development is designed to maximize use of the adjacent CTfastrak station, while building upon the recent successes of the Parkville Arts and Innovation District initiative.

The proposed tax fixing and development agreements for both parcels “will result in the development of an underutilized surface lot within a prominent and heavily traveled corridor, produce additional mixed affordable housing units, provide district-wide parking, and create long-term revenue to the city in the form of PILOT payments from Parcel B,” according to a city resolution.

The development deal also requires Mouta to comply with the Hartford Affirmative Action Plan, minority contractor hiring and living wage mandates. 

The agreement will go to a public hearing July 17. Mouta said he’d like to see a groundbreaking by the end of the year.


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