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What Was That Truck At Front Street?

Theater Project Beset By Delays

Kenneth Gosselin

February 23, 2012

At last, a construction truck is parked near what would be the entrance to Spotlight Theatre at Front Street in downtown Hartford -- but it's not necessarily the sort of truck you'd want to see.

The truck was from an Ellington company that specializes in lead and asbestos removal. A worker for Bestech at the site Wednesday morning told me the concern was for mold that might have developed because of a leak near a drain.

A project manager for Whiting Turner construction also was at the site Wednesday, squirreled away in a makeshift office area at the back of the space. He declined to discuss the project, referring all questions to Greenwich developer HB Nitkin Group.

Peter J. Christian, Nitkin's director of development, said construction on the long-awaited theater is indeed getting underway and activity will be increasing in the weeks ahead.

Christian said the multiscreen theater is expected to open this summer, but he declined to be more specific about a date.

Good news? Maybe. Nitkin has given timetables before, and they haven't panned out. We'll have to wait to see more than the three workers at the site.

The theater project has been beset by delays and is now on its second operator, Spotlight Theatres Inc. Originally, it was supposed to open last June. Spotlight had first targeted Thanksgiving, then January and now, this summer. Construction should take four to six months once it gets underway, Spotlight has said.

Spotlight's president and chief executive, Joseph Paletta III, didn't return emails seeking comment.

*Kenneth R. Gosselin's Property Line blog on commercial and residential real estate can be found at www.courant.com/propertyline.

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.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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