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New, Smaller Plan For Former Broadcast House Site In Hartford


June 17, 2013

The builder who owns the former Broadcast House site in downtown Hartford is scaling down plans for an apartment tower on the property.

Abul Islam now envisions a 10-story, $18 million tower with 40 apartments and 18,000 square feet of commercial space at the Constitution Plaza site, Michael W. Freimuth, chief executive of the Capital Region Development Authority, told me today.

CRDA is considering the downsized proposal for $3.2 million in funding, including a loan and a private equity investment. The apartments would be a mix of market-rate and units affordable to low- and moderate-income households.

The commercial space would be occupied by Islamís firm, AI Engineers, Inc., now located in Middletown.

Islam did not return telephone calls or an email seeking comment.

In addition to possible CRDA financing, Islam hopes to obtain funding from the state affordable housing program, Competitive Housing Assistance for Multifamily Properties, or CHAMP, Freimuth said.

About half the cost, $8 million, would be private financing.

The tower as now proposed would be about 70,000 square feet in size. The one- and two-bedroom apartments would range in size from 800 to 1,200 square feet. Market-rate rents would be between $1,520 to $2,280 a month.

Islam most recently hoped to construct a 15-story, 195-unit apartment, costing $50 million, also with commercial space. Those plans also called for a mix of market-rate and rent restricted units, plus space for his engineering firm.

The larger proposal also sought funding from a state program promoting affordable housing. A first attempt at securing financing from the state was not successful.

Previously, Islam proposed an office tower, but scrapped those plans because of the cityís weak office market. He also offered the site as a location for the University of Connecticut, as it considered sites in downtown Hartford to replace its regional campus in West Hartford.

Islam purchased the former Broadcast House site in 2008 and demolished it a year later, at a combined cost of $2 million.

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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