With its low self-esteem and high urban blight, Hartford is the ultimate underdog city. Sad City Hartford documents the joys, sorrows and eccentricities of New England's Rising Star.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hartford Abandoned Lot

The corner of Woodland Street and Albany Avenue is always busy. (Sad City gets extra kewl points by already being retro with the Eddie Perez sign.) It is so busy that it almost needs extra lanes to relieve the clogging at the light if you are coming up Woodland. In the immediate area there is a post office, a mini-strip mall with a pharmacy and grocery store, and a great Jamaican bakery. The University of Hartford is just a mile down the road. St. Josephs College and UConn Law aren't much that further away. So why isn't this site desirable?

It's the old chicken and the egg problem that plagues Hartford and other similiar cities. The space is not desirable to invest in because the crime is high in the area. The crime is high in the area because it is not finacially desirable to invest there and buildings sit vacant. So it is difficult for an individual to take a huge financial risk in the area. What a government could do, instead of lining their friend's pockets, is pick up some trash, and fix a broken window or two. These small investments could attract private monies and start a trickle up effect on investment into the city. It is this type of investment that is much more crucial to the city's survival then an empty strip mall.


  1. Do a little investigating as to why the city even owns this lot. They took it over by eminent domain a few years back. There used to be a gas station there - so who knows what kind of environmental cleanup needs to be done before anything is even built on it. They also forced out Woodland moving and storage, as well as taking over some other buildings (including the then Democratic town committee chair's small restaurant - wonder how much they gave him?). Didn't seem like a logical thing to do, given the already vacant spots on Albany Ave, but then who knows the politics behind it all...

  2. http://www.hartford.gov/Development/eco-dev/pdf/New_Folder/HRA%20-%20061109.pdf

    Also, do a search on the city website under woodland redevelopment.

  3. I was able to find that they are still trying to define the plans for the site. Doesn't seem to make sense to me either. That's a pretty high traffic area that could be put to a much more useful purpose than City officials bumbling around while it sits empty.

  4. I hope they don't make YET another subsidized housing unit...as they can put a store there with all the traffic coming in and out of there...and hopefully you DON'T get shot or stabbed there. The Northend is kinda scary though. could be the workers are just trying to fly through there as fast as they can after reading about the latest Shooting on the Courant, LOL