Thursday, March 31, 2011
IS CAPEWELL HOPELESS ?
In classic Hartford economic development style, it looks like the city is ready to let the former Capewell Nail Factory collapse into the street rather than push to market its redevelopment.
Barricades have been set up on the north side of the former mill and factory and the sidewalk has been blocked, apparently to try to keep pedestrians and motorists from being in the collapse zone when the building finally gives up.
This property would have made great housing if rehabbed or even great retail style use for something creative like an outlet mall. The building featured high ceilings, hardwood floors and even some great architecture, especially the main entrance and what appears to have been the main office at one time.
If Hartford really understood what economic development was all about, this project would have been a great tie-in to the Colt's Building, the new Dutch Point housing as well as being only a couple block walk to the Connecticut Science Center, Convention Center and the still vacant and undeveloped Front Street retail.
The picture below says a lot about the Front Street development, which is still vacant. The first tenant to announce their move to the project apparently backed out and a new tenant recently announced plans to move in there, but as of today there was still no activity to be found on the property.
Next week I'll be posting about many of the "announced" projects that were hyped with press releases and photo ops and never moved forward. Was it because of corruption, incompetence, the economy or maybe a combination of all three? Plaza Mayor, WFSB's Main Street move, Northland and the YMCA building, Calos Mouta and 95-101 Pearl Street and even a little known project on Tower Avenue that received hundreds of thousands of dollars in government funding and a shovel was never put in the ground.