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MAYOR BRONIN, COMMUNITY MEMBERS KICK OFF HOMESTEAD DEMOLITION

MAYOR BRONIN, COMMUNITY MEMBERS KICK OFF HOMESTEAD DEMOLITION

HARTFORD, CONN (May 3, 2018) – Today Mayor Luke Bronin and community members kicked off the demolition of three prominent large, vacant, and blighted industrial properties on Homestead Avenue covering 3.5 acres, an essential step toward redeveloping them for productive use.  The oldest building is approximately 100 years old and hasn’t been in use since the end of the last century.  All of the properties need significant environmental remediation before they can be repurposed.  The remediation and demolition costs are covered by a $200,000 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant and a $2 million State Department of Economic and Community Development grant.

“We’re tackling blighted properties big and small, and this is a really big one,” said Mayor Bronin. “These buildings have been vacant and blighted for decades, and they’re on a very important avenue in Hartford. Our goal isn’t just to take these blighted buildings down, our goal is to clear the way for new development that brings jobs back to Homestead and the Upper Albany corridor, and we’re going to keep working hard to do that.”

“Properties that have been vacant for decades cause blight, drain local resources, and negatively impact our unified efforts to improve communities and grow jobs for area residents,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy.  “By making smart investments to renew properties such as the one here on Homestead Avenue, we can add value to our neighborhoods, spur growth, and increase private investments.  I am glad that the state could partner with Mayor Bronin and the City of Hartford on redeveloping this area that has been in need for so long.”

“These properties have been an eyesore for residents and visitors traveling through the City of Hartford for far too long,” said City Council President Glendowlyn L. H. Thames.  “I applaud the efforts of the city and our partners for aggressively pursuing demolition and paving the way for redevelopment of these parcels.  This is a tremendous opportunity to activate a main artery in the adjacent neighborhoods of Asylum Hill, Clay Arsenal, and Upper Albany.”

The property at 367 Homestead Avenue, built in the early twentieth century, was the site of the Philbrick-Booth & Spencer Company, which operated as a metal factory until 1999.

The current building at 393 Homestead Avenue was constructed in 1930 by what was then known as Empire Hartford, a company that produced glassware.  Later, the space was used by several companies in the automobile industry.  From 1990 to 1999, Philbrick-Booth & Spencer used the property as a storage facility for equipment and waste.

The third property at 424 Homestead Avenue, built in the 1940’s, was a sales and service center for Clayton Motors until 1972.  It also served as a repair shop for Earl Scheib Paint & Body.  Most recently, the building briefly served as the home of Hartford Modern School of Welding, and then became a vocational school for auto repair.

The City has identified more than a dozen environmental hazards at 367 and 393 Homestead Avenue, including contaminated building materials and soil, and groundwater contaminated with petroleum compounds and metals.  Based on its history, 424 Homestead Avenue is likely to have similar environmental hazards. 

Going forward, the City plans to abate PCBs and asbestos from all three parcels, remove abandoned oil tanks from 393 and 424 Homestead Avenue, complete demolition of all the structures, and complete basic site restoration in preparation for future redevelopment.

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