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The Suburban Corporate Wasteland

Credit Chion Wolf
Ken Gosselin, Hartford Courant

One hundred seventy three acres of office space in Simsbury is up for sale, formerly The Hartford, but now what? It’s not a new story. Decades ago, many corporate headquarters moved from cities to the suburbs into sprawling campuses surrounded by trees. Now with downsizing and cost cutting, many of these suburban “temples” sit empty. 

We’ve been following the story of the Pfizer research park in Groton, parts of which have been torn down. The town of Ridgefield bought the former Schlumberger-Doll Research center, which sat vacant for five years. Now it’s being sold off piece by piece. 
Today we talk about these corporate graveyards - and the possibility of rebirth - with Courant reporter Ken Gosselin. He’s been tracking these properties, and how towns are dealing with the loss of jobs and tax dollars. 
We’ll also  hear from town officials, and talk about where workers are going, if not the suburbs, and how some of this vacant space is being used in creative ways. 

  • Ken Gosselin, Hartford Courant business writer covering financial services, residential and commercial real estate
  • Mary Glassman, First Selectman of Simsbury
  • Rudy Marconi, Frist Selectman of Ridgefield
  • Marian Galbraith, Mayor of Groton
  • Aaron Renn, writer and urban analyst at Urbanophile

    Tucker Ives is WNPR's morning news producer.
    Catie Talarski is Senior Director of Storytelling and Radio Programming at Connecticut Public.

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