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June 6, 2019

Hilton Hartford seeking city’s help for multimillion-dollar renovation

Photo | Contributed The Hartford Hilton

One of downtown Hartford’s largest hotels is asking the city to help it secure a multimillion-dollar federal loan for room renovations.

The city council on Monday is scheduled to vote on a resolution that would authorize Mayor Luke Bronin to amend the Hilton Hartford's existing ground lease for three parcels at 315 Trumbull St. so the city could seek a $4.7 million loan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on behalf of hotel owners, The Waterford Group.

The Waterford Group, which also owns Hartford Marriott Downtown, says a renegotiated ground lease and subsequent federal loan would be used to upgrade its 393 guest rooms and suites, city records show. The renovations, it says, are required by the Hilton brand and its licensing agreement.

The renovations would add to the ownership group’s recent $1 million investment into a new food market located in the Hilton’s lobby.

According to the hotel’s lease agreement, an amendment to its ground lease is needed to allow for more debt to be taken against the property in addition to extending the lease terms to reflect a second loan.

Mayor Bronin’s office and The Waterford Group could not be reached for comment Thursday morning.

The Hilton last underwent a major renovation in 2011 after its owner reached a deal with the city council to provide the hotel tax breaks and a $7 million HUD loan. The agreement required the hotel to pay a base rent to the city instead of it being subject to real property taxes.

City and hotel officials at the time lauded the finance restructuring deal as saving the hotel from closing, leading to a loss of 140 jobs.

The Hilton currently employs approximately 130 low- to moderate-income workers at the hotel, which includes 15,000 square feet of flexible space, meeting space and a bar and restaurant, city records show.

This story has been updated

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