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Sage-Allen Site Will House 136 Students

U Of H, Developer, Announce Agreement

February 15, 2005
By JEFFREY B. COHEN, Courant Staff Writer

With financing finally wrapped up and demolition well on its way, a useful future for the former Sage-Allen building on Hartford's Main Street came one step closer to reality Monday with the announcement that the building's developer and the University of Hartford have agreed to house 136 students there by September 2006.

"I think the idea of bringing young people downtown ... adds a whole dimension of life," said developer Marc S. Levine of 18 Temple Street LLC. "And hopefully we'll give these young people a transition point into downtown and it will contribute to our ability to retain some of the best and brightest in Hartford."

The Sage-Allen project - next to the rehabilitated Richardson Building, home to the Marriott Residence Inn, and two buildings down from Capital Community College's home in the former G. Fox building - is intended to bring student housing, a parking garage, and 12,000 square feet of retail space to Main Street. It would also reopen Temple Street, a one-way passage between Main and Market streets.

Financing the project has caused a few bumps along the way, but the $50 million package is now complete. Roughly $40 million will come from a loan from the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority; $4.68 million will be a low-interest loan from the Capital City Economic Development Authority; $750,000 will come from the Connecticut Development Authority in the form of a sales tax exemption; and the rest will be paid by the developers, Levine said. Walter Harrison, president of the University of Hartford, was enthusiastic about the project, to be called Temple Street.

"It's astonishing to see all the activity in downtown Hartford," Harrison said. "I think it's going to be a terrific prospect and a great opportunity for students to learn about the city and think more strongly about staying here."

The university is interested in the project for several reasons, Harrison said: It makes sense to give upperclassmen an off-campus environment in which to live; the university is committed to bringing new life to downtown Hartford; and the university's demand for student housing exceeds its supply.

The Market and Temple street sides of the project will be the site of a parking garage and 42 four-bedroom townhouses, at least 34 of which will be for student use, Harrison said.

Harrison would have preferred the project be completed by fall 2005, but he understands that these things take time, he said.

The Sage-Allen building is central to the downtown revitalization effort, as it should reconnect vital parts of the city that have long been disconnected and bring foot traffic to city streets, said CCEDA spokesman Dean Pagani.

"It's a really crucial link to everything else," Pagani said.

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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