Demolition grows near for hulking, abandoned Ames headquarters in Rocky Hill

With excavators and a bulldozer standing by, the developer planning apartments at the long-abandoned Ames headquarters in Rocky Hill has begun environmental remediation after buying the property for $2.3 million. Rocky Hill struggled for years to find a major retailer or office management company interested in reusing the 250,000-square-foot building after Ames went out of business in 2002. “A lot of people in Rocky Hill have memories from here — so many people worked at Ames,” said Marotta, who spent a summer after high school as a data entry clerk in a third-floor office. Hamden-based Belfonti Companies LLC this month paid $2.3 million for the property, and plans to build 213 apartments — one of the largest new residential projects in central Connecticut. Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration last year put $500,000 toward the environmental cleanup of the 1965 building and surrounding property. Marotta said the public-private partnership nature of the new development was key to starting progress.

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