Seeking fresh start for a failing section of town, East Hartford on verge of seizing rundown Silver Lane Plaza

Complaining of decades of decay at the Silver Lane Plaza, a series of East Hartford residents on Friday praised town government’s progress toward acquiring the property through eminent domain. A town panel voted unanimously Thursday night to pursue seizing the half-empty shopping center, and the reaction on social media was overwhelmingly positive the next day. Eminent domain allows the state or individual communities to take private property when there is a strong public interest being served. The government must be able to demonstrate that interest, and has to pay the owner a reasonable price in compensation. Don Poland, a senior planner with the Goman+York consulting firm, said Thursday night that the town’s redevelopment plan for the Silver Lane corridor includes less retail and more multi-family housing and mixed-use development. The plan clearly cites the plaza as one of the three key properties that need remediation, he said.

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