April 20, 2011
REP. ROJAS WELCOMES STATE
MONEY FOR BROAD STREET REDEVELOPMENT
By Jesse Leavenworth, Hartford Courant
MANCHESTER — Redevelopment of Broad Street between Center Street and West Middle Turnpike will move forward, probably this summer, with the help of state money.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Wednesday that next week's state Bond Commission agenda will include $3 million for the reconstruction and streetscape project. The town intends to kick in $2 million from an $8 million bond issue that voters approved for redevelopment of the Broad Street commercial district in 2009.
Reconstruction will include work on the roadway, sidewalks, lighting and landscaping, town General Manager Scott Shanley said. The $5 million job will go out to bid within the next several weeks and the town's goal is to start work this summer, Shanley said.
The board of directors recently approved purchasing the parkade property for $1.85 million, and plans are moving forward to demolish the crumbling buildings that once housed a supermarket, department store and other shops. Demolition is estimated to cost about $2 million.
"Not only will this funding for redevelopment and construction create new jobs now, but as we make this area more attractive to businesses, we can help grow more jobs down the line, as well," Malloy said in a prepared statement. "This is a great example of a state and local partnership which will help create jobs and spur private investment, too."
The project will reconstruct the area between Middle Turnpike and Center Street by creating uniform traffic land widths, establishing curb cuts for all properties to better manage traffic, providing uniform sidewalks on both sides of the street, and eliminating storm water drainage problems, according to a press release from Malloy's office.
The street reconstruction is one part of the overall Broad Street redevelopment plan, which has a goal of eliminating blight and repositioning the district as a mix of residential, civic and retail uses.
"This $3 million is a wonderful investment in our community, the redevelopment of Broad Street and its old Parkade Plaza," said state Rep. John Thompson, D-Manchester. "Because of the foresight of Governor Malloy and our state leaders, this area of Manchester where many people, including me, used to shop, will flourish again."
"I'd like to thank the Governor for his support of the Broad Street Redevelopment initiative," said state Rep. Jason Rojas, a Democrat who represents part of Manchester. "Town taxpayers and the board of directors have committed resources and energy to the project and this appropriation will make the project a true state and local partnership which will help the town reach the goals that we have for improving this major commercial corridor."
"I want to thank former state Rep. Ryan Barry, the entire Manchester delegation and especially Governor Malloy for their leadership," said state Representative Geoff Luxenberg, D-Manchester. "This funding is exactly what Broad Street, the Parkade and Manchester need to enter into a new phase of economic development and prosperity. Tim Devanney, Chairman of the redevelopment gency, and the agency members have done an outstanding job as well. A brighter, better Manchester is now within our reach thanks to Governor Malloy."
The state Bond Commission is scheduled to vote on the item at its April 29 meeting at 10:30 a.m. in Room 1E of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.
This section of Broad Street between Center Street and West Middle Turnpike is to be reconstructed, with new roadway, sidewalks, lighting, drainage improvements and plantings.