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U Of H Housing Behind Schedule

March 17, 2006
By JEFFREY B. COHEN, Courant Staff Writer

Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez will have to wait awhile longer to get undergraduate feet on the street, as plans to house students from the University of Hartford at the Sage-Allen development project on Main Street are behind schedule, officials said Thursday.

The project originally called for 136 students to be housed there this coming fall, but university President Walter Harrison said he learned this week that the units won't be ready until year's end. That means the earliest students could move in would be the beginning of the spring semester, in early 2007.

"I'm not frustrated," Harrison said. "I know enough about construction to know that things rarely go right on schedule."

The $50 million, publicly subsidized Sage-Allen project is intended to bring student housing, market-rate apartments, a parking garage, and roughly 12,000 square feet of retail space to Main Street. It will also reopen Temple Street, a one-way passage between Main and Market streets.

The project, next to the rehabilitated Richardson Building, and two buildings down from Capital Community College's home in the former G. Fox building, hasn't suffered from any one specific delay, said Marc S. Levine, the project's developer.

"It's just an incredibly complex project; it's a very tight site," he said. "This isn't a positive financial thing, but it's not dire, either."

Levine said that the garage should be open by July, the market rate apartments and retail should be open around September, and the student housing will be done by year's end.

The delay means that the university's housing situation will continue to be tight. It has roughly 5,500 undergraduate students and 3,600 beds on campus. Those beds were at 103 percent of capacity this fall, Harrison said. That means some double rooms became triples.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
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