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Hartford Reaches Agreement With Stadium Developer and Rock Cats

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City of Hartford
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City of Hartford

The city of Hartford has reached an agreement with the developer of its new $56 million baseball stadium and with the team owners of the Rock Cats.

The revised development plan with DoNo Hartford LLC calls for improvements to the Downtown North neighborhood that would include a supermarket of up to 50,000 square feet, a brewery, housing, stores, and restaurants. The development agreement also includes hiring preferences for Hartford residents and minority or women-owned business in building the stadium.

A groundbreaking is scheduled for February 17.

The city said it is now ready to release the contract documents it had previously withheld. Last week, we asked the city to see any executed agreements between it and either the developer or the team owner, Connecticut Double Play LLC. The city denied that request, saying it was holding the documents "in escrow until all negotiations are resolved."

Luke Bronin, a candidate for Hartford mayor, criticized Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra for refusing to make public executed agreements related to the DoNo development.

"Residents of Hartford have a right to know what’s in these final agreements," Bronin said in a statement, "and there is no good reason for refusing to disclose these documents to the public. This isn’t a question of what the law requires, it’s a question of what the residents of Hartford deserve. The people of Hartford deserve open, transparent, responsive government, and I urge Mayor Segarra to reverse his decision to withhold these documents and make them available to the public today."

Below is Segarra's press release.

FINAL AGREEMENT REACHED FOR DEVELOPMENT OF DOWNTOWN NORTH

Groundbreaking Ceremony to Take Place on February 17 

— NEWS AND COMMUNITY STATEMENT—

(February 10, 2015) The City has reached a final agreement with DoNo Hartford, LLC, the developer of a new neighborhood north of the I-84 intersection known as Downtown North, and Connecticut Double Play, LLC, the owner of the Rock Cats Double AA Minor League baseball team. The new mixed-use neighborhood will include a supermarket of up to 50,000 square feet, a brewery, new housing, retail, restaurants, and the Double AA minor league ballpark. Terms of the agreement include 30 percent revenue sharing for all non-baseball events at the ballpark, a project labor agreement, a guarantee of a Double AA Minor League team for the term of the lease, and hiring preference for Hartford residents and minority/women owned businesses for all direct and indirect contract work.

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled to take place February 17, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. More details will be available as the date approaches.

“A new Downtown North mixed-use neighborhood is even closer now to becoming a reality,” said Mayor Segarra. “The pedestrian-friendly development will grow the downtown area with new entertainment venues, restaurants, residential spaces and businesses. This means more jobs and opportunities for our Capital City. I look forward to seeing vibrancy in an area that has been blighted for too long and to seeing the vitality and economic growth it will bring to the City of Hartford.”

“We appreciate everyone’s hard work in getting this done," said Rock Cats Owner Josh Solomon. “The redevelopment of Downtown North and a new minor league baseball stadium in Hartford will soon be a reality. We look forward to providing affordable, family entertainment during baseball season and year round activities for the entire Hartford community and the region.”

A report by the University of Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis (CCEA), found that the projected benefits of developing Downtown North includes over 1,800 jobs during construction and sustained employment in excess of over 1,000 jobs at full development.

“On behalf of DoNo Hartford LLC, which includes my partners Jason Rudnick, Yves Joseph, and Howard Kaufman, I would like to thank the City of Hartford for its support and diligence in the origination, negotiation, and execution of our development proposal.  We are thrilled to commence with the construction of the ballpark, and look forward to the successful realization of a transformative neighborhood,” stated Bob Landino, President and CEO of Centerplan Companies.

This report includes information from The Associated Press.

Jeff Cohen started in newspapers in 2001 and joined Connecticut Public in 2010, where he worked as a reporter and fill-in host. In 2017, he was named news director. Then, in 2022, he became a senior enterprise reporter.

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