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July 3, 2018

Global fintech SSC to move HQs, 330 jobs to W. Hartford

PHOTO | HBJ File Students walking through UConn's West Hartford campus in 2016.

New York global fintech Seven Stars Cloud Group says it will move its headquarters for technology and innovation to the former UConn campus in West Hartford.

Financial-technology company Seven Stars Cloud (SSC) announced Tuesday it will create a tech hub for blockchain technology and artificial intelligence at the vacant campus located on Trout Brook Drive.

SSC says it will bring 330 jobs to the campus as it plans to invest more than $280 million in the development, dubbed Chain Valley.

The state will provide a loan worth $10 million for renovations at the site. The loan may be forgiven if SSC meets its job target.

The agreement depends on SSC purchasing the former campus, which compromises two abutting properties at 1700 and 1800 Asylum Avenue.

Meantime, West Hartford officials must approve plans for the project. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said approval for the site, zoned for single-family residential use, could take up to nine months.

“SSC’s commitment to our state shows that our strategy for recruiting and retaining cutting-edge employers is working,” Malloy said. “When companies like SSC decide to locate and grow here, combined with unprecedented investments in making our communities more livable and walkable, it makes Connecticut a more attractive place to live and work.”

Under the project, SSC will retrofit the campus’ five existing buildings and construct new structures in phase two and three of the project.

SSC said it began searching for a new headquarters about 14 months ago, considering locations in five states. Negotiations began with Malloy about 10 months ago, SSC CEO and Executive Chairman Bruno Wu said during a press conference Tuesday.

“We think the state of Connecticut has really taken the initiative in becoming ultra business friendly,” Wu said.

In June 2016, UConn and West Hartford agreed to a $5 million sale price for the campus. But both sides later settled on a $1 million purchase price; however, the transaction was never finalized.

As previously reported, UConn in February said it would appeal West Hartford's $24 million assessed value of the former campus site.

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