SAMA Says $4.7 million Available for Park Street Improvements
by Phil Knecht
February 21, 2013
Julio Mendoza, Director of the Spanish American Merchants Association (SAMA) recently announced that $4.7 million dollars will be available for a major physical improvements to several properties on “Calle Park” from Main Street to Park Terrace.
Ken Anderson, a staff member, will help organize the planning, and choose the designs and developers in what will be a huge team effort.
Anderson is a veteran planner for SAMA and other organizations. He has brought together Federal, State, and city funding to make this project work. The construction and improvements should “bring a stronger business/retail atmosphere to attract more people to shop Park Street,” said Marisol Monserrate, SAMA?Marketing Assistant. She added that Park Street did a “volume of $70 million dollars of business last year - one ot the most prolific retail/business districts in the state of Connecticut.”
Anderson explained that there will be three different facets to the program.
1. Facades - repairs and improvements to 35-40 buildings to be chosen by a developer.
2. Fence-gate project, approximately 1800 linear feet of attractive fencing with Knox Parks designed flower box arrangements along the way. The projected cost of this part is estimated at $300,000.
3. Installation of 64 security cameras, locations to be chosen by Hartford Police Department.
There is a map to show the community the streets to benefit by these additions.
Several arrangements according to Anderson, have been made in selecting people to do the the construction.
A. 12 Architects were chosen from a pre-approved list of experienced professionals that have succeeded in past efforts for the city of Hartford.
B. Developers will all have to bid for the jobs so as to "get the best price" and stretch the dollars as much as possible.
C. Eight have been chosed to lead the way to bring successful results and maximum efficiency to the overall design of these projects.
D. All chosen architects and developers will agree to work together to accomplish the goals of the 4.7 million dollar program. It should be noted that the $4.7 million will be bonded by through the municipality of Hartford. Some of the architects will be Tecton Architects - Hartford based, who will partner with 3 other firms to do the job
SAMA?recently celebrated the grand opening of a new CVS?Pharmacy at the corner of Park and Washington Streets. The 13,000 sq. ft. store will provide approximately 30 new jobs for the community. The "El Durado" across from SAMA’s offices at 95 Park Street will have new windows, exterior store repairs, fences, and demonstrat how attractive a building can be. This will be the first building to have repairs in the new program. All along the street, old-look brick buildings will be washed and repaired if need be. Some buildings will have new metal awnings and new lighting for signs. Energy efficient products will be used to replace older materials.
There is no question that the addition of 64 security cameras will be a tremendous asset to walking traffic along the entire street. For this part of the plan. the City of Hartford received a grant from the Federal Department of Justice. In addition to the cameras, there will be two police officers to walk the streets from Main and Park Terrace.