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September 17, 2020

Hartford approves tax deal for Land Rover dealership

PHOTO | PDS ENGINEERING & CONSTRUCTION Land Rover Hartford is located at the former Baronet Coffee property at 77 Weston St. in Hartford's North End.

Hartford's city council this week approved a 10-year tax fixing agreement for a new Land Rover dealership that recently invested more than $6 million to redevelop the former Baronet Coffee site in the North Meadows.

The tax fixing agreement for Land Rover Hartford owners Mitchell Auto Group was requested as annual taxes on the 77 Weston St. property have more than tripled since the company invested $6.2 million to rehabilitate the 30,600-square-foot facility in 2019.

According to the resolution, the property in the so-called “Auto Row” was valued at more than $1.5 million prior to the renovation of the industrial site, yielding an annual tax revenue of $60,219. Upon completion, the value of the property increased more than $4.2 million to a total of $5.3 million, and now yields annual taxes of about $279,000.

The tax deal also fixes the assessed value of the property so it yields annual taxes of about $191,497 in the first three years; $213,377 in years four to six; $235,257 in years seven to nine; and $257,137 in year 10. In total, the dealership will owe an estimated $2.1 million in taxes over a decade, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars on the deal.

Under the agreement, Mitchell Auto Group pledged to ensure that 20% of its workforce is city residents. It will also establish a job-training scholarship program for Hartford students attending A.I. Prince Technical High School on Flatbush Avenue. The scholarship/grant program will be aimed at encouraging three A.I. Prince students a year in their pursuit of careers in the automotive repair industries. 

Mitchell Auto Group, of Canton and Simsbury, and led by co-owners Mark and Steven Mitchell, first inquired about a potential tax abatement when it acquired the property for $3 million in Dec. 2016, but agreed to delay those talks while the city continued litigation with a coalition of auto dealers in the North Meadows area seeking tax relief, city records show.

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