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May 8, 2017 Deal Watch

Canton’s Roaring Brook Nature Center’s $725K redo

Rendering | Contributed Artist's sketch of the proposed $725,000 expansion of Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton.
PHOTO | Contributed 641 Farmington Ave., Hartford.

Canton's Roaring Brook Nature Center is preparing in late summer to start a $725,000 renovation that also will expand the facility's square footage by more than a third.

From its start in late August to finish after about five months, the work will add 1,160 square feet to the half-century-old museum's existing 3,330 square feet at 70 Gracey Road, said Roaring Brook Assistant Director Margery Winters.

The renovations will allow visitors to view wildlife rehabilitation in progress through a one-way window into the clinic, and provide better viewing to the center's permanent birds of prey. New classrooms and exhibit areas will also be added.

Moreover, the additions' square footage does not reflect the planned addition of new wildlife enclosures, porches and a front-entrance kiosk, Winters said.

Built in 1966-67, Roaring Brook, and its West Hartford affiliate, The Children's Museum, are home to more than 200 live animals and also feature hands-on exhibits and programs for young children and families.

Granby architect Dale Cutler, of DCarchitecture LLC, designed the project. Oxford Builders is projected as contractor.

The John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation has provided a grant of $225,000 toward completion of Roaring Brook's renovation/expansion. So far, center officials say more than $400,000 has been raised towards the renovation/expansion.

$745K Hartford sale

A 14,181-square-foot Class B Hartford office building recently sold for $745,000, brokers say.

Hawks Holdings LLC bought the 97-year-old, three-story edifice on 0.46 acres at 641 Farmington Ave., in the city's West End, from 641 Real Estate LLC, according to seller's broker Sentry Commercial. Cushman & Wakefield of Connecticut represented the buyer.

$3M Middletown apartment refi

Middletown's 66-unit Woodrow Wilson Apartments recently underwent a $3 million mortgage refinancing, the lender says.

Rhode Island's Washington Trust says it funded the refi of the four-story apartment building at 339 Hunting Hill Ave. Woodrow Wilson Middletown LLC is landlord.

Originally built in 1931 as Woodrow Wilson School and converted to apartments in 1985, the property houses a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom units. It has since undergone extensive renovations, including new windows, kitchens and bathrooms.

Moe’s W. Hfd. redux

Moe's Southwest Grill has returned to West Hartford, this time opening in the Crossroads Plaza in the town's Bishops Corner neighborhood.

Moe's opened May 5 its 75-seat eatery in about 2,600 square feet at 722 N. Main St. South Carolina realty developer-landlord Edens owns the West Hartford retail center.

West Hartford is the 12th Moe's location in Connecticut and Rhode Island for franchisees Matt Rusconi and David Vorchheimer, who say they intend more locations in both states.

A Moe's opened in West Hartford's Blue Back Square, shortly after the mixed-use development opened. It closed in May 2016.

David Alan’s N. Britain relocation

Berlin's David Alan Hospitality Group has leased larger quarters next door in New Britain, to house its food-service management and catering operations.

Presently located at 1897 Berlin Turnpike, David Alan signed for 8,000 square feet at 250 John Downey Drive with landlord Metal Works Enterprises LLC, said broker Reno Properties Group LLC.

David Alan plans to transform the former light-manufacturing space into an oversized commercial kitchen, with freezers and storage. An office area will include a tasting area, event-planning space, offices and a conference room. Drive-in access for vans also will be provided.

Exterior improvements to the building also are planned, Reno said.

Gregory Seay is the Hartford Business Journal News Editor.

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