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May 26, 2022

State Bond Commission approves $10M for Silver Lane corridor

The State Bond Commission on Thursday approved $10 million for the Silver Lane corridor redevelopment project in East Hartford.

The funds will help the town acquire multiple large, dated and underperforming buildings to create housing and support redevelopment.

East Hartford is devising a strategic redevelopment plan for the Silver Lane retail corridor using Connecticut’s Chapter 103 Redevelopment and Urban Renewal statute. Under a draft version of the plan, the city would acquire a string of large, rundown commercial properties for redevelopment. An approved Chapter 130 plan would grant East Hartford authority to use eminent domain to acquire properties needed for renewal efforts.

According to the state Bond Commission’s agenda, the money will fund projects including the purchase and redevelopment of Applegate Lane and Silver Lane Plaza, along with future site acquisition and renovations within the corridor. The projects are meant to attract new development and improve pedestrian movement.

A strategic plan for the Silver Lane corridor, developed under a $50,000 contract by East Hartford-based real estate advisors Gorman + York, aims to avoid displacing area residents, but prioritizes several properties for acquisition and redevelopment, including, in order:

  • Silver Lane Plaza – 808-850 Silver Lane
  • Nursing Home – 51 Applegate Lane
  • Charter Oak Mall and associated ring road – 934-940 Silver Lane
  • Futtner Farm – 711 Silver Lane
  • Pratt & Whitney fields
  • 755 Silver Lane
  • 707 Silver Lane (UTC)
  • Five properties in 2018 Revitalization Plan

A report by Gorman + York says that Silver Lane is “under-demolished.”

“There is too much older, nearly functionally obsolescent retail space in the corridor that can no longer compete — can no longer attract investment,” it says.

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