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.