December 4, 2005
By JEFFREY B. COHEN, And DAN UHLINGER Courant Staff Writers
Residents began moving into the Trumbull on the Park apartments on Saturday, bringing to a close an important downtown housing project delayed roughly a year partly because of construction problems.
"I'm absolutely excited to be moving in," said Greg Sweeney, a University of Hartford graduate student who works in the city.
"It's a great building. Everybody I've talked to is really excited about what's happening in Hartford and this is a big part of it," Sweeney said.
Martin J. Kenny, the developer, said the new building was worth the wait.
"This has been really grueling to pull this all together," he said. "Obviously, the challenges we've had with the construction have made an already difficult process harder."
"Now that we can tell people, `We're open and, if you want an apartment, you can move in tomorrow,' that's going to make a huge difference," he said.
The apartments at 100 Trumbull St. received a $6 million subsidy as part of former Gov. John G. Rowland's Six Pillars initiative to bring more housing downtown. Kenny got $23.2 million from the federal department of Housing and Urban Development, $14.8 million from the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, and $1.5 million in private investments, as well as a phased-in tax deal with the city, he said.
The tower's opening has been delayed in part by the financial problems of Klewin Building Co., the Norwich-based contractor in charge of the job, Kenny said. Klewin has declined to comment.
After those construction delays, the space was to have opened in November, but a fire alarm problem held things up a month; tenants who expected to occupy the space last month but couldn't were housed in hotel rooms, Kenny said.
Sweeney, who has been living in a nearby hotel, said he was happy the day had finally come to move in. Sweeney grew up in Pomfret and worked in Rhode Island before moving to Hartford for a new job.
"This is something Hartford really needs," Sweeney said.
The building has 88 apartments - from 450-square-foot studio units to two-bedroom, 2,100- square-foot units. They range, with parking, from $950 to $4,000 a month, Kenny said. The parking garage has been open since Jan. 3. Another 12 apartments on Lewis Street will be open by the end of the year, Kenny said.
Ronald Guala, a retiree who also began moving in Saturday after residing in Rocky Hill, said that living in downtown Hartford answered many of his needs and desires.
"I don't drive anymore and there's no transportation in Rocky Hill, except for Dial-A-Ride. Here you have all the buses, the doctors. It's perfect," he said. "This is a nice location. You have everything here. I like Hartford. It's coming back."
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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