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Hartford Rejects Settlement Offer

Hartford Yard Goats

The City of Hartford has thoroughly rejected a settlement offer from Centerplan Cos. for the completion of Dunkin’ Donuts Park, continuing a tumultuous few weeks for the two sides.

Last week, Centerplan Cos. CEO Robert Landino publicly touted an offer in which his company would pay for the costs to finish the home of the Hartford Yard Goats (Class AA; Eastern Leage), provided that it was given the opportunity to recover those expenses through court. That offer amounted to mere “posturing,” according to mayor Luke Bronin.

The proposal received from Landino called for the city to cover all cost overruns beyond $63 million, while a binding arbitration clause would have restricted the city’s leverage in court. Additionally, the city would be required to go back on its termination of its contract with Centerplan Cos. and DoN, LLC. For DoNo, LLC, the provision also would have assured its standing to finish the proposed development around the stadium and to remove certain projects from the plan, including a grocery store.

None of this sat well with development director Sean Fitzpatrick and other city officials, who are hoping that a pending investigation from Arch Insurance will ultimately land in their favor. More from the Hartford Courant:

“Disappointingly, in light of Bob Landino’s repeated public statements that Centerplan stood ready to make up any shortfall in the funds necessary to complete the stadium over and above the [Hartford Stadium Authority’s] agreed upon contribution, the actual proposal makes it clear that Centerplan intends to hold the city liable for amounts over and above the original guaranteed maximum price (and additional amounts conditionally contributed by the HAS under the January 19 agreement),” Fitzpatrick said.

According to Fitzpatrick, the city is required under the development services agreement to meet with Centerplan to discuss the dispute.

“While the attached settlement proposal holds out little promise that Centerplan can be part of the solution here, we will continue to keep the pressure on Arch [Insurance] to complete its due diligence and meet its obligations to fund completion of the stadium under new construction management,” Fitzpatrick said.

Ultimately this represents another bump in the road for the completion of Dunkin’ Donuts Park. No firm completion timeline has been presented since the developer failed to meet the occupancy deadline of May 17—which would have allowed for May 31—and work has stopped on the project since the city terminated the contract early last month.

It is likely that the city will present a counterproposal to Landino, which could arrive this week.

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