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March 28, 2022

District New Haven eyes Hartford location as part of ambitious Parkville redevelopment plans

HBJ FILE PHOTO District New Haven is a popular coworking space in the Elm City.

District New Haven — the hip Elm City coworking space founded by serial entrepreneur David Salinas — is eyeing a new location in Hartford’s Parkville neighborhood.

Salinas is a partner in a much broader $242 million public-private redevelopment plan to create a Parkville Arts & Innovation District.

Part of the plan hinges on obtaining funding from the state’s Innovation Corridor Program, which tasks the Department of Economic and Community Development with picking two or more “transformational, place-making proposals for major urban areas or regional economic centers” for grants of up to $50 million each.

David Salinas

The city of Hartford has officially submitted its program application, connecting it with efforts to turn Parkville into an advanced manufacturing hub. It is seeking $48.4 million in state grant funding to leverage an overall $242 million investment in Parkville.

Overall, the city’s Parkville Arts & Innovation District plan aims to boost residential development, job training and new manufacturing development in Parkville, leveraging many local organizations and nonprofits that already operate in the area.

Most of the projects outlined in the application — such as expansion of the Parkville Market and new apartment development in the area — have already been made public.

Salinas’ involvement is new.

According to plans, District New Haven would open a 20,000-square-foot coworking space in an advanced manufacturing innovation hub known as the “The Factory.” The Factory would be housed in the Champlin Company building, an 80,000-square-foot property at 81 Bartholomew Ave., and contain three distinct but linked spaces, dedicated respectively to advanced manufacturing technology and companies.

District New Haven’s coworking space would focus on advanced manufacturing innovation, but also be open to other types of companies.

The Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, in partnership with other organizations, will anchor and manage approximately 30,000 square feet of space in The Factory dedicated to helping small and midsize manufacturers integrate new technologies into their existing workflows. Another 30,000 square feet — called Solutions @ The Factory — will serve as a home for tech-driven companies that “provide products and processes that enable attainment of Industry 4.0 standards for manufacturers,” according to the city.

Another new project outlined in the city’s application is formation of the “Powerhouse,” a new center of workforce and talent development to be located at a vacant building at 45 Bartholomew Ave.

The long-vacant structure will be converted into a collaborative center for the development of digital and innovation talent.

The plan includes the creation of shared flexible, multipurpose spaces so that Powerhouse members, such as the workforce development nonprofit Girls for Technology, can conduct workshops alongside classes, seminars or research symposia put on by UConn, Trinity College or the University of Hartford, according to the application.

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