Hartford’s Windsor Street Building Proposed for UConn Campus Relocation
by KENNETH R. GOSSELIN
March 19, 2013
The former bank data processing center on Windsor Street in Hartford is another of the 13 sites proposed for the relocation of the University of Connecticut’s West Hartford campus to city.
A broker representing the owner of the bunker-like building at 150 Windsor St., north of the central business district, confirmed for me that the now-vacant structure would get a complete makeover if chosen by UConn.
“It would be taken right down to the steel,” Colleen Sheridan, a broker with O,R&L Commercial in Rocky Hill, told me.
Sheridan said there is space to park 300 cars on the site, with two levels of underground parking. The roughly, 193,000-square-foot building has large, 40,000-square-foot floor sizes and room, if needed for an addition. The building occupies an entire city block between Trumbull and Pleasant street and has a back-up generator.
The appearance of building, now windowless except for a row on the top floor, would be completely altered if chosen by UConn, Sheridan told me. Hartford-based Amenta/Emma Architects, P.C. has completed renderings for the makeover.
The building’s owner, Irving Bork, and a group of investors have proposed leasing the building to UConn but that could change, Sheridan said. Sheridan declined to identify the investors and said there are no firm estimates on how much the makeover would cost.
The work would likely take about 18 months to complete, Sheridan told me.
The building was constructed in 1971 and has been the site for a long line of bank data processing operations. It has been vacant for nearly five years, since Bank of America moved out.
The proposal is the latest to emerge, joining ones for One Talcott Plaza on Main Street; the Front Street development near the convention center; the former Broadcast House property on Constitution Plaza; and a city-owned parcel just north of the central business district.
After UConn announced that it would relocate its Greater Hartford campus in West Hartford to downtown Hartford late last year, it approved spending $243,000 to study the former Travelers Education Center on Constitution Plaza. But in late January, UConn decided to widen its search seeking proposals.
UConn has not commented on any sites it has considered, and has declined to release the study on the education center. Today, spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz declined comment on the 150 Windsor St. proposal.
A UConn committee reviewing the proposals is expected to meet Wednesday and establish a timeline for a decision.
UConn said it would be less expensive to move to downtown Hartford than renovate its aging West Hartford campus. UConn also said it wanted to participate in the revitalization of the city.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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