grow400
economy more prosperous

 
 
 
 
 
 

what we could become if we grew our population and economy: one of the nation's most prosperous regions

grow400: economy more prosperous 
We’ve long been a home for innovators, entrepreneurs, and inventors. Our centuries-old knack for invention has seeded a next-generation innovation economy that is growing fast; our colleges are expanding. We’ve upped our game on the talented workforce, job training, and “new economy” work settings. As we look to the 400th anniversary over the next 15 years, we must make sure that our people are connected to an economic opportunity that helps them become self-sufficient. We know we have strengths in financial services, insurance, health care, and advanced manufacturing. We must harness these strengths for the good of all, ensuring that we create an inclusive regional economy with a cohesive identity. We must grow our population and economy to thrive.
 

Areas of Focus: Innovation/Business, Knowledge/Workforce, Growth/Population

grow400 Projects

Opened

81 Arch Street Apartments

A residential addition to the Front Street District brought 53 studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments in a new building; it also has 11,000 square feet of

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In Progress

Downtown North

A new neighborhood is slated for construction north of I-84, centered on Main Street. This project entails the mixed-use redevelopment of parking lots surrounding Dunkin’

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In Progress

GastroPark

West Hartford’s food truck court is opening, located near the Elmwood Fastrak station. The location is populated with vendors, with hours and information available on

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Opened

Montgomery Mill

A major housing development has been completed in Windsor Locks in their downtown along the CTRail line. 160 mixed-income apartments were created in the conversion

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In Progress

Park Street Library

The Hartford Public Library is building a new Park Street branch on the site of the former Lyric Theater. The new 13,000 sq. ft. library

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Opened

Parkville Market

A food hall, like those seen in major cities, is now in Hartford on Park Street, which opened in late May 2020. This historic preservation

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In Progress

Pratt Street Redevelopment

Several downtown developers are coming together to elevate the profile of this cultural corridor. Updates and rehabilitation to numerous Shelbourne properties along Pratt & Temple

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Completed

Swift Factory

This project, spearheaded by Community Solutions, is the rehabilitation of a 80,000-square foot former factory building into a food incubator and job training center in

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Recommendations

Growth & Population

  • Grow population by targeted increased density: Hartford is not too small but too dispersed. The wide dispersion of mills along the river tributaries created population and work centers all across the valley. We need to promote higher density concentrations in order to create livable, walkable, sustainable centers, add population, create jobs, attract and retain talent. The region has very low density, especially compared to New York and Boston.
  • Leverage strategic location between Boston and New York: The region has not yet fully leveraged the value of its mid-point location between the megaregion’s two major metropolitan poles. The high cost of living and housing in Boston and New York positions Hartford as an attractive mid-size city with urban assets at an affordable price and room to grow. The Valley’s inland position will also be a growing asset as coastal cities contend with rising sea levels and shoreline loss.
  • Invest in projects that bolster communities: Invest in quality-of-place amenities throughout our region in order to retain and attract talent.
  • Fund investments holistically: Create a regional fund to drive investment in quality of place assets.
  • Develop our centers strategically: Continue preparing sites for development, through brownfields remediation and infrastructure projects; grow our urban centers to dramatically increase our urban population and density in walkable, vibrant centers near transit.
  • Connect downtowns and town centers: Increase actual and perceived connectivity of downtowns and town centers by having both housing and workplaces co-located in order to reduce travel demand.
  • Twin Cities: Develop Hartford and East Hartford as twin cities which grow together across the Connecticut River to 300,000 residents; develop a new riverfront city center with up to 100,000 people.
  • Attract new residents from outside the region: Promote the region as an affordable alternative with big city amenities without big city costs, as a place to stay and pursue a career, raise a family, and call home.
  • Promote our assets in drive local spending: Expand internal tourism and promote resident habits of visiting sites and centers around the valley to spur economy activity.
Resources: Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CRCOG 2019), Metro Hartford TOD—Connecting People, Places, and Jobs (HFPG 2019), State of Connecticut/City of Hartford proposal to Amazon (2017), Connecticut Main Street Center Four-Point Approach (2019)
 

Business & Innovation

  • Support small and large business: Draw on Hartford’s long history as a center for business innovation in insurance, manufacturing, aerospace, and medical technology. Support and create programs designed to encourage businesses of all sizes.
  • Create jobs: Create a wide range of jobs, including middle-income employment that facilitates upward mobility.
  • Encourage entrepreneurship and  innovation: Continue the Valley and Capital City’s recent resurgence as a center for innovation by encouraging imagination, ingenuity, and invention; build support entities for the entrepreneurial business cycle with safety nets for failure and restarts; and encourage venture capital activity around new and small business startups.
  • Connect to the region and the world: This could be accomplished through investing in high-speed internet, bolstering the airport with direct routes to national and international destinations, a new northeast rail corridor with higher or high-speed rail from New York to Boston. All of this is to encourage investment from sources outside the region.
  • Attractive, walkable, vibrant urban centers: This would attract the next generation of talented workers in order to grow our companies and help them thrive.
  • Strategically deploy private and corporate investment: Open up opportunities for insurance trusts, and leverage corporate investments to the mutual benefit of the regional and the company.
  • “Invest in the Vision”: Create a campaign to encourage companies and corporations, even those with a national or international footprint, to invest locally.

Resources: Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CRCOG 2019), Final Report of the Connecticut Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth (2018)

Knowledge & Workforce

  • Leverage the New England Knowledge Corridor: The Rift Valley is lined with a string of major educational institutions, from New Haven to Northampton. The Knowledge Corridor branding should be elevated to highlight the region’s pipeline of advanced research, innovation, and high-quality talent. We must attract and retain talent from the Corridor.
  • Need to train and develop talent locally: As the economy changes, the region’s educational institutions must be strategic and nimble enough to educate the future workforce for jobs the economy will need, based upon the region’s strengths and workforce prospects.
  • Invest in New Economy workspaces and jobs: Expand choices for co-working spaces, training centers, and accelerators. This will make the region attractive to startup companies looking for an affordable option with direct access to the numerous well-connected companies already in the region.

Resources: Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CRCOG 2019), Metro Hartford TOD – Connecting People, Places, and Jobs (HFPG 2019), Knowledge Corridor, Knowledge Corridor Rail Workshop (RPA 2016)

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