After a few false starts and a court battle to remove the original developer, work is finally beginning on long-planned development surrounding Dunkin’ Donuts Park, home of the Hartford Yard Goats (Class AA; Eastern League).
When Dunkin’ Donuts Park was first planned, it was envisioned as the anchor of redevelopment in Hartford’s Downtown North area. However, a scheduled 2016 opening did not come to fruition as construction of the ballpark was marked by several delays and overruns, prompting the city to terminate its agreement with its original developers, Centerplan Construction Co. and DoNo Hartford LLC. In March the city and the Randy Salvatore-led RMS Cos. had signed an agreement for the development of Parcel C, an area beyond the ballpark’s right field wall that is set to receive 270 mixed-income apartment units, along with a parking garage, and 11,000 square-feet of ground-floor retail and flex space as part of a $50-million phase of development.
Yesterday work began on the development of Parcel C, anticipated as just the first part of what will end up as $200 million of new development surrounding the ballpark. While the COVID-19 pandemic will likely slow down development work in the short term, Salvatore said he expects all four parcels to eventually be developed. From the Hartford Courant:
“And our building is not going to be ready for occupancy for another 20 months or so,” Salvatore said. “By that time, a lot of the immediate issues will, I would assume and I don’t think it’s a long stretch, will be gone. We’ll have a vaccine and people will be back to somewhat normal lifestyles.”
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said Thursday the Downtown North project is transformative for the city.
“It’s also a significant vote of confidence that even as we battle this pandemic, investors still recognize the tremendous momentum we had coming into this spring and the tremendous potential we have for growth right now,” he said.
An official groundbreaking is expected in the next two weeks.
Rendering courtesy RMS Cos.
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