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Monday, May 23, 2016


900 Broad Street, an urban renewal project proudly owned by the Zaaco Group, LLC of Freeport NY

 A $1.00 Success story courtesy of the City of Hartford?
On April 30th I posted what will probably be the first of many chapters in this saga.

For years, the City of Hartford has been reckless in the way it does business. Will it change under a Bronin administration? Who knows, but only time will tell.

Here are a couple more troubling examples.

On May 28, 2015, by a Council resolution, the City turned two properties over to a New York state developer, the Zaaco Group LLC.

Despite information from community members about the dubious reputation of the Zaaco Group, the transfer took place

The deed transferred from the City of Hartford to the Zaaco Group, LLC on May 29, 2015 and  had specific restrictions regarding the timeline for rehab of the property to prevent it from sitting empty as a blighted property.  To date, almost exactly a year later, nothing has happened

As you can see from the deed below, rehab of the property was supposed to commence "promptly" and Zaaco was supposed to pursue the renovations of the property "diligently" and conduct "diligent efforts"  to lease the property to bona fide tenants. Legal talk for fix the blighted property.

The Zaaco Group, LLC was also required to pay al taxes and keep the property current, which they have not.

These sweetheart deals to people that have no connection to Hartford and who could care less about the damage a blighted property does to a neighborhood, need to end. At the very least Mayor Bronin should be instructing the Corporation Counsel to commence legal action to take the building back so possibly it could be put in the hands of someone who is actually going to do something with it before it collapses from neglect.

It is not too hard to figure out how the Zaaco Group, LLC earned their place on the Nassau County New York contractors Hall of Shame.

The next chapter later this week, 97 Williams Street, another $1.00 Property, still burned out and blighted a year later.


concerned hartford citizen said...

Thanks for all your research Kevin - Keep shining the light !- What is the common denominator here? Who in Development Services is signing off on these properties and proposing them to the Council as a great idea? First this = then 175 Tower - how many are there? Great = a blighted property that gets sold to a developer and stays blighted - shameful . How many properties have been on the blighted list forever ? I know there is one on the corner of Wethersfield Ave and Shultus that has been really bad for years - why is this? This hurts neighborhoods and is unacceptable . I know the Mayor hired new people for Development Services - what is their experience? I pray they know what they are doing.

Anne said...

This Broad Street property came before city council twice, and then went to P&Z. These NY scammers boasted of their big "revitalization", "rehab", and "restoration" plans: Beautiful,all new, top-of-the-line apartments on the upper floors, and their high-end cabinet and countertop business downstairs. They wanted the property declared "blighted" so they could buy it for $1, which they got. Their developers' license had been revoked in Suffolk County, NY and they were on the "Wall of Shame" there. They had no business cards on any of their visits to Hartford! And they had more pie-in-the-sky plans to buy the flatiron building at Main & High Streets, with more fabulous apartments upstairs and a "high-end nothing you've ever seen before!" at street level. And in the year they've owned it, they've never paid any of their property taxes. I'm sure they haven't even been back in the state since the sale went through.

So who in Development Services set up this deal for them? We all know they're just waiting to flip it, a la SAMA and 95 Park Street!

Bill Katz said...

I have made inquiries to buy and rehab with my own money yet I have been unable to receive any encouragement and cooperation from the city. Recently, I approach d Glen Gethers and his response was, "not now." And I live here. I have been trying to motivate a former neighbor who moved out of her house almost 18 years ago to sell. I have begged her to sell it to me or anyone. Just sell it so the house can be rehabbed. I have no problem with flippers. As long as they (we) restore the house. That is the reward for making a house like new again through hard work.

My neighbor lives in a nice house on Ridge Road in Wethersfield. And I have begged her to allow my neighborhood to stop continued blight conditions. Age can do a number on you and one is the inability to make a decision.

Anonymous said...

Kevin, John Bazzano seems to go unscathed after decades of serving along side some of the most incompetent ,corrupt and destructive politicians in Hartford. Is he that honorable and honest? And if so,WHY ISNT HE THE MAYOR???????

Anonymous said...

And Zaaco's local business "agent" was Tomas Nenortas



If you knew John and the operation he runs, I think you would be able to answer your own question. John had huge shoes to fill after he took over after the sudden death of Dan Carey, and he has done an admirable job in managing the Clerk's Office. I hear a lot about City Hall, but I have never heard John's name mentioned in a negative light. I honestly think he enjoys where he is at and doesn't have any aspirations for higher office.



If you would like, you can contact me privately with details and I can see what I can find out. "Not Now" is not an acceptable answer from a City employee

Bill Katz said...

Kevin, a Mia Culpa to you and to Glen. In my haste, I misquoted Glen Gethers. He did not say "not now." He did say that activities had been placed on hold for re-evaluation and this is not a quote but very close to his response. He responded in this manner after the controversy over the Tower Ave property came to light on this blog. So I want to be very clear that he did not rebuff me personally. But I have been frustrated in a general way, when I tried, and maybe not tried hard enough, to seek distressed properties in Hartford. Frankly, I am less sanguine about buying in Hartford realizing the many more issues with Hartford-based investments. I should have my head examined. But I will participate in all things in Hartford including fighting the good fight over small and large issues to help stabilize a fundamentally unstable community, while I live here.

Anonymous said...

@Bill Katz: Did Glenn Geathers also tell you that he had been reprimanded, and then disciplined (which was noted in his personnel file), for the role he has played in moving along unvetted applications from spurious "developers" who want to buy city properties? Did he mention the lies he put forth at a public hearing and an NRZ meeting in order to assist one of those so-called developers? I don't know about any other Development Services activities that have been put on hold, but I'm quite sure Mr. Geathers' "activities" have been.