Last hurdle cleared
Common Council OKs development pact for downtown Hartford hotel

By JOE VANDELAARSCHOT - Daily News

June 28, 2017

Seen is the most recent artist’s drawing of what a new hotel to be constructed in downtown Hartford will look like. Construction of the new 60-room Cobblestone Hotel is expected to begin soon after Aug. 1 on property at 110 East Sumner St. On Monday, the city’s Plan Commission approved details for the project, and Tuesday night the Common Council also signed off on the plans. Two buildings on the construction site are to be torn down by mid-July.
Submitted rendering

HARTFORD — Ground is expected to be broken on a new downtown hotel around Aug. 1. On Tuesday night the development agreement between the city and Cobblestone Hotel Development LLC was given unanimous approval by the Common Council.

“Existing buildings on two of the lots where the hotel is to be built will be torn down by around mid-July,” City Planner Justin Drew said.

As part of the details needed to be completed to allow the hotel construction to move ahead, both the city’s Plan Commission and Common Council approved joining several lots into one parcel for the construction site and approved other zoning and property issues. The developer, according to the agreement, will build a 60-unit hotel with an attached restaurant and an outdoor patio, indoor pool, meeting room, exercise facility and parking lot.

As part of the agreement Cobblestone Development agreed to pay the city $600,000 for the property acquired by the city for the site. In return the city agreed to pay the developer back $599,999 within five days of closing.

“The city will be able to be repaid that amount from the additional taxes that are generated in the TIF District that the hotel is included in,” Mayor Tim Michalak said.

The development agreement also calls for the city to pay the developer $650,000 when the hotel receives a permit for occupancy from the city’s Building Inspection Department. Cobblestone Development has other obligations in the agreement.

“The developer agrees that in the event the annual property tax payment associated with the property, but not including any Business Improvement District Assessments, is less than $100,000 the developer will make a payment in lieu of taxes in the amount of the difference between the $100,000 and the annual property tax payment for a period of 14 years,” said the agreement. “The developer must also submit all building and construction plans necessary to secure a building permit for the hotel by July 15.”

Drew said he believed the build-out value of the hotel and property when construction is completed will be “somewhere between $7 million-$8 million.”

The city also had to confirm to the developer that there is at least one available Class-B combination license for the hotel restaurant and bar.
 

Other parts of the agreement include:

A guarantee from the developer that there will be five guaranteed parking stalls at the eastern side of the development for general use by the nearby law office.

The developer agrees to pave the driveway and parking area behind 124 E. Sumner St. and to provide paved driveway access to the parking area.

Traffic will only be able to enter, and not exit the hotel parking area by use of Sumner Street. Traffic will have to exit using Park Avenue.

In other business, the Common Council approved the purchase of a new truck and related equipment for the Fire Department to replace a 1991 GMC pick-up truck. The cost for the vehicle and all related communication and emergency gear as well as putting decals on the vehicle will be about $58,300. The city had budgeted $70,000 for the purchase and also expects to receive about $5,000 for the old vehicle.