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A Bitter Development

Hartford Courant Editorial

September 01, 2008

Developers are notoriously impatient with rules, a trait that can fray relations with the officials who regulate them. Relations between city officials and developer David Nyberg appear to have gotten threadbare lately. We hope they'll soon be on the mend.

City officials showered Mr. Nyberg with more than a dozen cease-and-desist orders last month for a project involving a dozen apartment buildings in the city's Asylum Hill neighborhood. They accuse Mr. Nyberg of failing to inform them about key elements of the project. Specifically, that he created dormitories without proper approvals, failed to get permits for historical work, and created parking lots, demolished structures, and did exterior work without authorizations.

Mr. Nyberg intends to convert the buildings into housing for 160 students at the Connecticut Culinary Institute this fall. The city's action has put a large dent in that schedule.

Mr. Nyberg's lawyers say the orders are riddled with inaccuracies and describe officials' concerns as "only aesthetic and historic."

We find that oddly dismissive. Mr. Nyberg has built a very good reputation renovating several buildings in the downtown area, including the former SNET building, the HELCO building and the old American Airlines building.

Surely he doesn't mean the city shouldn't care what the buildings look like? Or that officials shouldn't care about Hartford's architectural heritage?

Mr. Nyberg has accomplished important projects in Hartford without relying on public money. His relationship with the city has been beneficial and profitable.

For the sake of that relationship and 160 students at the culinary institute, who were expecting to move into apartments this fall we're hopeful the city and Mr. Nyberg will find a way out of this impasse,

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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