New private investment in construction around Dunkin’ Donuts Park represents a small but significant statement of confidence in Hartford’s redevelopment.
Two major companies —
“The fact that these two companies are participating financially in a project that is so significant to Hartford’s future and Hartford’s development is a strong statement that they have confidence in where we are headed and they believe that a strong and vibrant
Bronin said the city and CRDA, which helps finance projects with state taxpayer-backed loans and equity investments, have had conversations with corporate leaders in recent years about the goals of redevelopment in the city, especially around increasing housing to make downtown and the city’s neighborhoods more vibrant.
“I am hopeful that this initial pair of investments will be the first but not the last,” Bronin said.
The low-cost loans from Cigna and
The loans signal that large corporations are getting increasingly comfortable with the city’s redevelopment strategy, and its results since CRDA was formed in 2013.
Since then, CRDA has invested
Based on property appraisals from before and after the conversions,
If momentum builds behind more corporations making loans into redevelopment, it may be possible to begin dialing back a little on the public investment in projects that now have a demonstrated track record, Freimuth said. That, he said, also could allow CRDA to focus more of its lending to promising — but still risky — projects, particularly in the neighborhoods.
“It’s a measure of where we’ve come from and where we are,” Freimuth said. “It’s an important achievement, but we still have a long way to go.”
Hartford’s history is marked by often heavy corporate involvement in city redevelopment efforts.
In the 1950s and 1960s, powerful corporate chief executives were part of the so-called corporate “bishops” which influenced development and philanthropic pursuits.
Even into the 1980s, insurer
A decade earlier,
“Our support of the DoNo project, one of the largest redevelopment projects underway in downtown
Cigna said it supports investments aimed at revitalizing
The redevelopment loans open a new investment front for the city, but Bronin and others say the corporate community has been active for years in supporting the city in other initiatives.
In Hartford’s Asylum Hill neighborhood, The
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