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WNPR’s small business coverage elevates understanding of the challenges faced by small business, educates policy-makers, and highlights the vital role of small business to the state’s economy.

Development in Downtown Hartford

http://cptv.vo.llnwd.net/o2/ypmwebcontent/Catie/Where%20We%20Live%2001-18-2013.mp3

Driving through downtown Hartford, you’ll see a lot of empty storefronts, plenty of parking garages, and some impressive high rises. And while the city has a hard time getting businesses to fill the office space - now at 26% vacancy -- developers can’t build housing fast enough to meet demand.

In fact, several of those old office buildings are being retrofitted for new housing. So people are voting for downtown housing with their dollars, but is there enough retail to keep feet on the street?

Developers hope more residents downtown will hopefully spur more action in those sad storefronts.  

And with new tenants in Front Street, iQuilt in the works, UCONN moving downtown, things are looking up for the hart beat.

Today, where we live, we’ll look at the recent history and hopeful future of downtown development - in Hartford and New Haven.