It was sold as a project that would spur development in Hartford’s Downtown North area, and despite the many construction woes that delayed its opening by a year, it appears Dunkin’ Donuts Park, home of the Hartford Yard Goats (Class AA; Eastern League) is fulfilling that promise.
Virtually all the headlines surrounding the ballpark in the last month has centered on the inability of developers DoNo Hartford LLC and Centerplan Construction Co. to open the ballpark on time and the subsequent firing of the firms. With the ballpark slated to finally open in April, attention is now turning to the reason why the city got involved in funding a new ballpark in the first place: spurring development in Downtown North.
And the news isn’t all bad. DoNo Hartford LLC and Centerplan Construction Co. are still the developers of record for the 16-acre ballpark site, and obviously the issues with the construction — as well as pending litigation — are clouding the issue. Past those 16 acres and there are signs of development in the area, per the Hartford Courant:
Meanwhile, however, the construction of the ballpark and the plans for the area are sparking new development outside the core Downtown North, or DoNo, area.
The owners of the nearby Radisson Hotel are combining guest rooms on the top nine floors of the 18-story hotel into apartments. The $19.5 million project will create 96 rentals, some of which will overlook Dunkin’ Donuts Park. The first apartments are expected to be ready by this summer.
Hotel owner Inner Circle U.S. said the apartment project was planned prior to the plans for the stadium, but the ballpark helped sell the idea of rentals to Inner Circle’s lenders.
One sign of success: parking may be scarce in the area.
RELATED STORIES: Hartford, Centerplan File for Mediation; Progress Made on Dunkin’ Donuts Park; Dunkin’ Donuts Park Part of Lawsuit Between Arch, Centerplan; Construction Resumes at Dunkin’ Donuts Park; Centerplan Documents Dunkin’ Donuts Park; Work May Resume; Centerplan Files Suit to Prevent Dunkin’ Donut Park Construction Work; Work to Resume Next Week on Dunkin’ Donuts Park; Developer Sued by Contractor in Hartford; Arch to Takeover Dunkin’ Donuts Park Completion; Audit Shows Rising Costs in Hartford; McEachern to Hartford: Finish the Ballpark!; Hartford Mayor: No Thanks to Solomon’s Financial Offer; Yard Goats Release 2017 Sched; Solomon Offers to Pay for Ballpark Work; IFG: Over 180 Issues With Dunkin’ Donuts Park;Contractor: We Could Resume Hartford Ballpark in September; Work Set to Resume on New Hartford Ballpark; Yard Goats Bring up Possibility of Leaving Hartford; Dunkin’ Donuts Park Will Not Open for 2016 Season; Finally: Dunkin’ Donuts Park Spat Ends Up in Court; Hartford, Team May Finish New Yard Goats Ballpark; Hartford Rejects Settlement Offer; Hartford Developer Pitches Ballpark Completion Plan; Fire Watch Unfolding at Dunkin’ Donuts Park; Yard Goats Lay Off Four in Wake of Ballpark Breakdown; New Hartford Ballpark Now Insured; Hartford Ballpark Uninsurable After Developer Booted; Centerplan CEO: City Recklessly Terminated Contract; Yard Goats to Play Two Home Series in Binghamton; Tensions, Schedule Changes in Hartford; Hartford Stadium Authority Cancels Contract with Developer; When Will Hartford Ballpark Be Done? No One is Saying; Legal Issues Could Prevent Hartford Ballpark Opening This Season