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November 14, 2023 Deal Watch

Salvatore seeks city permit for 473-unit apartment development on RPI's former Hartford campus

Contributed A rendering showing the possible exterior view of one of the apartment buildings developer Randy Salvatore plans to build on the former Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute campus along Windsor Street in Hartford.

As developer Randy Salvatore prepares to restart a multiphase development of roughly 1,000 apartments on city-owned lots around Hartford’s Dunkin’ Park baseball stadium, he is also laying the groundwork for an equally ambitious development nearby.

Salvatore, on Nov. 8, submitted a special permit application to Hartford’s Planning and Zoning Commission seeking to build 473 apartments in two buildings, as well as a 507-space parking garage, on the former Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute campus.

A rendering included in his application for the 12.7-acre site shows a possible full residential build-out that would eventually yield five apartment buildings with a total of 1,232 units, along with three parking structures supplying 1,310 spaces.

Reached Wednesday, Salvatore said a full residential build-out is just one possibility. He is also contemplating a mix of commercial space and room for nonprofits. Those conversations are ongoing.  

Planning and complete redevelopment of the RPI campus will take years, he said.

“We just want to understand what the possibilities are,” Salvatore said. “I think there are a lot of other opportunities for the site in addition to residential. … It is a 12-acre property with an abundant number of possibilities that we will explore in the months and years to come.”

A rendering of Salvatore's larger vision for complete development of the 12.7-acre Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute site.

Salvatore said he expects to purchase the RPI property in the next 30 days. The next stage would be to finalize designs and financing for demolition of existing buildings and construction of the 473-unit apartment development. He estimated the project’s first phase will be a roughly $125 million investment.

Salvatore is already engaged in the “North Crossing” project to build roughly 1,000 apartments in several buildings on city-owned parking lots around Dunkin’ Park.

Stamford-based RMS Cos. – Salvatore’s company – completed the first 270-unit apartment building of North Crossing in 2022 on a city lot off the southeastern corner of the stadium, across Trumbull Street.

After a year’s delay, Salvatore aims to begin construction on the next phase of North Crossing before the close of 2023.

This 228-unit apartment development comes with a cost estimate of $52.8 million and is expected to open in 2025.

Salvatore also plans to add a parking structure to the site, known as Parcel B, followed by another apartment building.
Attorney Joseph P. Williams, of Shipman & Goodwin LLP, wrote in the Nov. 8 application to the city that Salvatore’s plans for the RPI campus are a “logical extension” to the ongoing “North Crossing” development.

“It will extend the link between downtown and DoNo, and it will help revitalize the area by increasing density and creating vibrancy and a mix of land uses in the neighborhood,” Williams wrote. 

Williams said the development will replace 1970-vintage buildings with an “aesthetically appealing design, construction and amenities.”

“RMS’ proposed redevelopment of 275 Windsor Street will significantly improve the aesthetics of the site and surrounding neighborhoods, protect neighboring property values, add alternative choices to the City of Hartford’s housing stock and enhance and activate the area,” Williams wrote.

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