June 10, 2005
By JEFFREY B. COHEN, Courant Staff Writer
The owners of the historic Colt facility closed on their $28 million
mortgage with Sovereign Bank Thursday, bringing construction at the
complex's south armory one step closer to reality.
"The paperwork is signed and we're just waiting for the transfer
to come in," said Rebekah MacFarlane, director of communications
for the Colt Gateway project Thursday.
The bank and the Colt's owners, Homes for America Holdings Inc.,
announced in late March that they had reached an agreement on the
mortgage deal. The $28 million is to be used to renovate the south
armory and the east armory - the latter of which is the building
visible from I-91 beneath the blue onion dome.
Together, the two Hartford buildings make up more than 70 percent
of the remaining unrestored square footage at the complex, Colt officials
Major construction on the south armory will start in about 30 days,
The first "draw-down" of the mortgage should be in the
bank Friday morning, she said. "A lot of that is being paid
to contractors [for work that is already completed], and the remaining
is for the construction," she said.
"The whole thing was committed to, but they're not going to
borrow the whole thing on day one," said Kevin Flaherty, a market
president for Sovereign Bank. "They'll borrow it as they need
Colt soon will send notices to tenants in the south armory, letting
them know that they will have to vacate their apartments, MacFarlane
said. The notices will also inform tenants that they can either occupy
one of the new apartments, which will have been completed, or that
they can get help from the company in finding a new apartment elsewhere,
Upon completion, the two armories will have up to 300 loft apartments
and roughly 100,000 square feet of commercial space, Colt officials
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at