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May 17, 2019

Goodwin College will build commercial space in E. Hartford

goodwin college east hartford Photo | Goodwin College Goodwin College in East Hartford

Goodwin College in East Hartford plans to build a 23,000-square-foot building with tenant spaces for a bank, restaurant, offices, or retail, in an $8 million project that’s expected to be complete in November 2020.

The town's Planning and Zoning Commission Wednesday unanimously approved the site plan for the mixed-use building during a special meeting. The plans called for a zone change to consolidate several lots at 391 and 365 Main St., and lots at 9, 13-15, 21, 27-29, and 33 Ensign St., which the college already owns.

The combined parcels create a 3.15-acre property directly across the street from the front entrance to the Pratt & Whitney campus.

Representatives from Goodwin College, based at 1 Riverside Drive, said they have businesses in mind to rent these spaces, but haven’t yet named them.

Project architects said the college wanted to design a high-quality building to engage the East Hartford community and welcome pedestrians from the Main Street sidewalk.

The building will have three floors and will be constructed with Ipe wood from South America, architects said, which is naturally resistant to rot and decay and eight times harder than California redwood.

The wood ages beautifully, Bryant Harrell, the college’s vice president for facilities, said. Materials were chosen to make the building look its best, he said.

The design includes two patio spaces, possibly for restaurant tenants to use, and outdoor terrace spaces on the rooftops.

The site plan also includes 123 parking spaces and a drive-through window for an unnamed financial institution.

A two-way driveway will enter and exit from Ensign Street, project engineers said, while the Main Street driveway will be exit only.

As part of the project’s requirements, the PZC unanimously approved Goodwin College’s soil erosion and sedimentation application, which allows project architects to disturb approximately 122,000 square feet of land the develop the building and parking lot.

The development is expected to go out to bid in the next few weeks, college representatives said.

Town Council Chairman Richard Kehoe said he’s glad Goodwin College’s first commercial project is moving forward.

The college has not come before the Town Council to seek a tax abatement for the commercial project, he said. The college's buildings that are used for educational purposes are tax exempt. 

The new commercial building will “kickstart additional investments on South Main Street,” he said, and the PZC’s cooperation with the college “sends a message to other businesses that the town is open for investments.”

This story has been modified for the web

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