Hartford officials close on land for new parking lot
Businesses, city team up to buy residential land to meet downtown need

By Joe VanDeLaarschot

Aug. 22, 2019

 This overgrown lot with the deteriorating house, at the corner of Mill and Park avenues, has been purchased to become a new city parking lot. The total cost of the project after all reimbursements from the Cobblestone Hotel, the Mineshaft and the Hartford BID, would be about $193,000. The city closed on the property’s purchase earlier this month.
Joe VanDeLaarschot/Daily News Staff

HARTFORD — The city is now the official owner of a residential lot at the corner of Mill Street and Park Avenue after closing on the property’s purchase on Aug. 9. Current residents of the home are expected to be moved out by Aug. 30.

City workers will move in shortly after that and begin dismantling portions of the home, which will be the site of a new parking lot to serve customers in the downtown area. Officials said earlier they hoped the lot can be ready for use sometime in October.

The purchase of the property along with the cost to construct the new public lot will be divided between the city, the downtown BID group, the Cobblestone Hotel and the Mineshaft Restaurant. The site currently has a dilapidated two-story home and garage on it along with a yard heavily overgrown with weeds, trees, shrubs and other undergrowth.

The site is also directly across the street from the Jack Russell Memorial Library.

“Demolition will start the week of Sept. 9 and they will have until Oct. 31 to complete the project,” said City Administrator Steve Volkert. “If in the event, that due to unforeseen circumstances, the demolition takes longer than expected, the actual blacktopping of the parking lot might be done in spring.”

As part of the deal, the hotel and the Mineshaft will have overnight use of several parking stalls in the new lot, the Mineshaft’s adjacent gravel parking lot will be paved and parking stalls will be striped.

“The net estimated total cost of the project to the city is $193,000 after all reimbursements are collected for the three other parties,” Volkert said earlier. “These funds would come from the originally allocated $1 million the city approved for downtown improvements in 2015.”

Volkert said the new lot will give the city about 42 additional parking spaces and with the spaces available in the other lot, owned by Masters, there should be a total of 86 parking stalls. Part of the agreement with the hotel is that eight stalls are to be reserved for overnight parking by hotel customers.

Before the home is finally demolished officials had hoped members of the Fire and Rescue Department could use the old home as a training site, like many departments do with old buildings before they are eventually demolished.

Police Chief David Groves said plans are still being finalized for training by members of his department as well at the old home.

Increased parking for downtown customers was one of several goals included in the city’s downtown redevelopment plan that was put into motion about three years ago.

<<EARLIER: Hartford council approves deal for new downtown parking lot