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Downtown Hartford's Front Street In Line For Its First Tenant A Movie Theater

Kenneth Gosselin

November 09, 2010

For months, the Front Street retail and entertainment district at Adriaen's Landing in downtown Hartford has sat empty since construction was completed in the spring.

Now, the 60,000 square foot complex is getting its first tenant: a movie theater that also serves patrons meals.

HB Nitkin, Front Street's Greenwich-based developer, is close to announcing the plans for theater, which would be a lead tenant for the district, according to a source familiar with the plans.

It wasn't clear Monday when the theater would open.

Nitkin did not return a telephone call late Monday seeking comment.

The theater the first downtown in decades would fit the developer's vision for a district with restaurants and entertainment venues. Nitkin hopes to attract national, regional and local operators that form a combination not already established in the area.

Movie theaters that also act as restaurants have been growing in popularity nationally, building on earlier attempts at providing moviegoers with no-frills meals. The new generation of theater/restaurants are offering full menus and more services.

David B. Panagore, the city's chief operating officer, declined to comment on the theater. But, he said, Nitkin has been negotiating for several months with what it hopes would be two major tenants for Front Street.

In May, Nitkin said it was "close" in negotiations with two potential tenants.

The retail and entertainment district is the first phase of the Front Street development, costing $30 million, a third of which is being paid by the state. That cost doesn't include $13 million in state subsidies for a parking garage.

James Abromaitis, executive director of the Capital City Economic Development Authority, did not return a call seeking comment Monday.

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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