Selected Developer for Hartford’s Bushnell South Project

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HARTFORD — Local officials have chosen a company to develop a key area of ​​Bushnell South, a major project to reinvigorate the neighborhood east of the State Capitol and south of Bushnell Park.

The Capital Region Development Authority selected Camden, New Jersey-based Michaels Organization from three other bidders, the CRDA said. The company estimates the project would cost $130 million and is asking for $27 million in matching financing and a tax abatement from the city.

Similar to the ongoing development of the North Hartford Downtown Redevelopment Project adjacent to Dunkin’ Donuts Park, one of Bushnell South’s goals is to connect several Hartford neighborhoods.

“The Bushnell South development has the potential to reconnect Main Street to the Capitol, Hartford Hospital Area Campus and Park Street, all the way back to downtown,” Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said. “And by creating residential density on this side of the park, it also begins to make Bushnell Park the center of activity again rather than the outskirts of downtown. Much like the development of Downtown North, this project aims to replace a large expanse of sidewalk with mixed-use development and the energy and activity that brings.”

Michaels was chosen as the developer for the first phase of the plan, which calls for a mixed-use development on a 3-acre parcel of the wider area near the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts on Capitol Avenue. According to the proposal, Michaels plans more than 300 apartments and 15 townhouses spread over several buildings.

In addition to apartments and retail space, the larger plan includes wider sidewalks, outdoor dining and entertainment venues, and a new community plaza. In total, officials say the development would draw more than 1,800 residents to the area, with a construction value of more than $400 million and more than 63,000 square feet of retail space.

Having been selected as the preferred developer, Michaels can now move into the planning phase of the project. Michaels’ proposal says he could start a two-year construction project in about 18 months.

“We all recognized that, probably, when this project is done, none of us will be at CRDA, or perhaps in the roles that we have,” said board member Joanne Berger-Sweeney. of the CRDA and president of Collège de la Trinité. “So we were looking for the company that we thought could get the project across the finish line.”

Jonah.Dylan@hearstmediact.com, @TheJonahDylan

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