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December 12, 2023

Developers moving forward with $32.47M ground-up apartment development near Hartford City Hall

HBJ PHOTO | GARY LEWIS Brothers Evan and Matthew Levy (pictured left to right), along with their brother Dean (not pictured), are partnered with Daniel Klaynberg (right) on several Hartford development projects including the rehab of a former firehouse at 275 Pearl St. in Hartford (pictured here) as well as a former municipal office building at 525 Main St.

Partners rehabbing a former Hartford firehouse and shuttered municipal building into apartments are moving to launch an estimated $32.47 million construction of a new 126-unit residential building on surface parking lots near Hartford City Hall.

Daniel Klaynberg, president of Spectra Construction & Development, said Tuesday his group recently applied to the city to build an eight-story, reinforced concrete building on a parking lot at 17 and 21 Wells St. The lot slopes sharply and plans call for 58 spaces to be incorporated on the first two levels of the new building. 

The two city-owned lots – which take up about one-third of an acre – sit behind a shuttered municipal building at 525 Main St., across from City Hall.

Klaynberg and his partners – brothers Matthew, Dean and Evan Levy – are more than halfway through an $8 million redevelopment of the former municipal building at 525 Main St., into 42 apartments over three retail spaces.

They have made similar progress on a $9.5 million effort to redevelop a former firehouse at 275 Pearl St., into 34 apartments and 4,200 square feet of restaurant space.

Klaynberg said he expects the firehouse and municipal building to be completed by June or July.

Klaynberg is seeking $9.4 million in low-interest financing from the Capital Region Development Authority for the proposed 100,467-square-foot ground-up development. He said he hopes to begin in “early” 2024 on a project that will take about two years to complete.

Plans call for 20% of units to be allocated as "workforce housing. The tentative design would include 84 studio units averaging 360 square feet, 20 one-bedroom apartments averaging 660 square feet and 24 two-bedroom units with an average size of 856 square feet. 

Klaynberg’s father, Joseph, heads Wonder Works Construction Co., a New York firm that was involved in the redevelopment of several long-vacant downtown Hartford buildings over the past decade. Daniel Klaynberg has since taken over the family interests in Connecticut, which includes a stake in hundreds of recently developed apartments in several buildings, along with ongoing development projects in the Capital City and beyond.

In November 2022, the City Council signed off on a deal to sell the shuttered Pearl Street firehouse and former Main Street municipal building to Klaynberg’s development group for $785,000, in return for a commitment to redevelop the sites.

The agreement also included a $32,000 annual lease of the parking lots behind the municipal building with an option to buy at any point for $162,000.
Klaynberg, on Tuesday, noted the agreement gave his group a decade to begin a promised development on the parking lots.

“We are ready to do it now,” Klaynberg said. “We are bullish on Hartford. All of our buildings are continuing to do well.” 

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