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Hartford Developer Pitches Ballpark Completion Plan

Hartford Yard Goats

With no timeline in place for the completion of Dunkin’ Donuts ParkCenterplan Cos. CEO is offering to resume the work and pay for its costs, if certain conditions are met. 

During a Thursday appearance on WNPR-FM, Centerplan Cos. CEO Robert Landino revealed his proposal, which calls for his company to finish and pay for the remaining work at the home of the Hartford Yard Goats (Class AA; Eastern League) while operating under the supervision of a third party. The developer would then maintain the right to recover project-related costs in court. (You can see the interview here.)

One of the selling points Landino is citing for his proposal, which could be presented as early as today, is that allowing Centerplan Cos. to resume the project will enable an earlier completion, as Centerplan would pick up operations within 60 to 90 days of the offer’s acceptance. However, when given the opportunity to discuss Landino’s pitch, Hartford mayor Luke Bronin offered a noncommittal response. More from the Hartford Courant:

“We’re always willing to discuss any proposals that are real, but we can’t comment on something we haven’t seen,” he said in a statement late Thursday afternoon. “Before terminating Centerplan, we repeatedly asked them to show us that they had a sound plan and adequate financing to finish the job, and they either couldn’t or wouldn’t. We’ve been told for weeks now that a proposal is coming, but we haven’t seen anything yet.

“If we get a serious proposal,” he said, “we’ll take it seriously.”

There has been much consternation between the city and the developer since the city terminated the contract between the two sides in early June. The city has continually contended that it was justified in taking action because of poor performance by the developer, which in early June stated that it would need at least 60 more days to finish construction. The counterpoint from Landino and others on the development side is that the city is to blame for issuing too many design changes, and Landino even aimed criticisms at the Yard Goats in an opinion piece a week after the deal was voided.

Whether the two sides will be able to work together again remains to be seen. Even if the city accepts the offer, it will not be finalized until it is approved by Arch Insurance, which is investigating a performance bond claim from the city.

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