Land purchase for Hartford hotel to close this week
Homes to be torn down on site before end of month


July 19, 2017

Traffic moves along Highway 60 near a sign advertising Cobblestone Hotel at the site Tuesday afternoon in Hartford.
John Ehlke/Daily News

Two homes still standing on the construction site of Hartford’s new downtown hotel will come crashing down soon.

That’s the latest word from City Administrator Steve Volkert. The developer, Cobblestone Hotel Development LLC, can’t tear down the homes until they officially own the property.

“They will be taking ownership of the property this week. They are to be closing Wednesday (today) or Friday. They have their permits for the demolition from the city and they will be looking to do that before the end of this month and then start construction late August of early September,” Volkert said. “The goal obviously is to try to get the whole thing enclosed by snowfall so they can work inside over the winter.”

The developer, according to the development agreement with the city, will build the hotel with an attached restaurant and an outdoor patio, exercise facility and parking lot.

“Our special downtown hotel product in some cases includes a pool and there will one in the Hartford hotel,” Cobblestone Hotels President Brian Wogermese said. “There will also be some meeting rooms.”

Shown is an artist’s drawing of what the new hotel to be built in downtown Hartford will look like when construction is completed next spring. Cobblestone Development LLC is expected to close on the purchase of property from the city that will be the site of the new building by Friday at the latest. Two existing buildings on site will then be torn down before the end of the month so construction can begin in August.
Submitted rendering

BriMark Builders, who is part of Cobblestone Development, will build the four-story, 60-room hotel. The project also has another, less obvious, connection to Hartford. BriMark Builders President Jeremy Griesbach said he’s excited about the Hartford project because he graduated from Hartford Union High School about 25 years ago.

“A business class hotel would create additional business opportunities for shops, restaurants and bars within the downtown,” City Planner Justin Drew said.

Volkert calls the hotel project the first of a big piece of the puzzle in the downtown.

“The next piece will be the North Bookend project which we are working on with someone right now, Volkert said. “We feel very confident that this is going to be a great project too for downtown.”

The North Bookend project area is located in the area of State and Main streets where an old grocery store used to be.

“That whole block basically,” Volkert said. “Downtown apartments are being looked at for that project, much like what was done at the Hilt building. There is a developer that we’ve been working with for the last year or two years and now they are bringing somebody else in the mix.”

Volkert said those involved with the project feel they have some good leads for this project.

“If we see some work on that begin yet in 2017 we’re going to find that 2017 was a very successful year for downtown development,” Volkert said.

There has also been some positive discussions on development of the Millstream building which is on Main Street and located almost directly across from City Hall.

“We have some interested parties involved. We’re trying to find a party to purchase the building or talking to the existing owners and getting them into a lease situation with somebody,” Volkert said. “The other part of that is finding a restaurateur if that is the way this goes with putting a restaurant in the bottom floor or the bottom two floors.

“And then if its going to be a brew pub, actually getting a micro-brewer to come in and work with this,” Volkert said “That could also turn out to be completely different — it could turn out to be three levels of apartments or three levels of retail — or whatever that could end up being.”

Volkert said the projects being discussed are “some big catalysts for the entire downtown.”

“After that it’s somewhat gravy by then by going after the individual buildings that are vacant and try to improve on those,” he said.

<<EARLIER: Common Council OKs development pact for downtown Hartford hotel