BREAKING: UConn signs deal to move Greater Hartford campus
Published: Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 19:09
UConn has signed a deal with developers to build the new Greater Hartford campus at the site of the old Hartford Times building in downtown Hartford, according to UConn officials.
The signing of the pre-development agreement takes the property off the market and allows UConn to begin working formally with the developer, HB Nitkin Group, on laying out plans and contracting consultants for the site.
According to the pre-development budget, UConn plans to spend $630,000 up front to assess the site and develop a blueprint for the campus and parking. The payment also calls for a traffic study to be conducted, giving the university a better idea of the impact it will have on downtown Hartford congestion.
“By signing this agreement, UConn is cutting down on the amount of time needed to get the project in place by taking care of what we can right now while the final development agreement is being drafted,” UConn spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz said. “It also shows our commitment to this site, which will be a terrific location for the university and help us contribute enthusiastically to Hartford’s economic and social vitality.”
The university approved a total of $1 million to conduct studies at the site before breaking ground.
Reitz said that UConn will spend the next few months negotiating the full project budget and a timeline of basic milestones in the project’s development. The university hopes to open the new Greater Hartford campus by the start of the 2016 fall semester.
Reitz also said the agreement included a variety of goals to be accomplished, including architectural renderings. The proposed development of the site includes plans for a 200-seat auditorium, two large 75-seat classrooms, 18 medium 50-seat classrooms and 12 smaller 30-seat classrooms. The plan also includes new offices for the department of public policy and several other academic entities.
According to the pre-development plan, the university will invest more than $13,000 during the pre-design phase specifically to target ways to make the campus environmentally friendly, following the trend in recent years by UConn to operate sustainable campuses. The Sierra Club recently recognized UConn as the most environmentally friendly university in the country.
The pre-development plan also includes provisions for an extensive traffic analysis and estimates for parking availability. According to the HB Nitkin Group, only an estimated 200 parking spaces will be available on the site, with an additional 650 spaces at the Connecticut Convention Center potentially available.
The updated online edition of the article includes the change that the university is investing $630,000 up front, as opposed to $437,000.