Hartford city officials have chosen the developer of a new downtown ballpark for the relocating New Britain Rock Cats (Class AA; Eastern League), with the City Council set to discuss the plan Thursday night.
DoNo Hartford LLC, a group formed by Centerplan Development Co. this summer, was selected based on their proposal for a mixed-use development in the north downtown area that includes retail, housing and a ballpark. The city decided to solicit bids for a ballpark development after the original plan for a city-funded facility met with huge resistance from residents and politicos. From the Hartford Courant:
A group led by the Middletown-based Centerplan and New York-based LeylandAlliance — the lead developer for the Storrs Center project near UConn — has proposed building a ballpark, more than 210,000 square feet of municipal office space, more than 600 residential units, and retail space that features a supermarket with covered parking in the downtown north, or DoNo, neighborhood.
JCJ Architecture, Sports Contracting Group, Urban Design Associates, Freeman Companies, BETA, McDowell Jewett, and Greenskies Renewable Energy also are part of the development team. The plan would cost $350 million, city officials have said.
No word on what the ballpark component of the plan would cost; the original price tag used by Hartford officials for the ballpark was $60 million. By the Thursday meeting we should see some sort of a financial plan that involves a city contribution: we do know the Rock Cats rent will start at $500,000 annually. If approved, the new ballpark is expected to open for the 2016 season.
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