Major milestone marked in development of Hartford’s ‘Bushnell South’ that has been decades in the making

The prospect of new housing, paired with shops, restaurants and entertainment venues on 3 acres just east of the historic and recently-renovated State Office Building on Capitol Avenue can’t come soon enough for some area residents. Now, the Capital Region Development Authority is seeking developers for the state-owned parking lot, the first of a half-dozen between Washington and Main streets, on both sides of Capitol Avenue. Those lots — some owned by the state, others privately controlled — plus other existing structures could be redeveloped as part of “Bushnell South,” a $500 million project envisioned to transform the 20-acre area over the next decade. How quickly redevelopment of the first parking lot will unfold will be heavily influenced by the ability to put together financing and the pace of leasing from a growing number of apartments in the downtown area. Michael W. Freimuth, CRDA’s executive director, said the quasi-public agency hopes to build a pool of funds from private corporations — traditionally involved in city projects — to help fund the construction of new housing in Bushnell South.

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