Thursday, January 13, 2011

BID Cleaning Ambassadors Clearing a Path

The Hartford BID's Cleaning Ambassadors are busy today clearing snow and creating cut through areas for pedestrians. Yesterday's storm dumped more than 20" of snow in Hartford and made getting around the district a challenge. Our Cleaning Ambassadors will spend the next several making it easier for people to get around Downtown and Asylum Hill.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Grove Street Highway Entrances Reopen

The Capital City Economic Development Authority reports that the entrances to I-84 West and I-91 North will be open until further notice. The entrance ramps were closed as work continued on the Grove Street Pedestrian Bridge. That work is suspended for the winter and will resume in the spring of 2011. Completion is expected this spring.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Picture of the Day......November 19, 2010

Photo credit: Ben Pollard for the Hartford Business Improvement District

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Picture of the Day......November 9, 2010

Photo credit: Ben Pollard for the Hartford Business Improvement District

Big Belly has arrived

Have you seen the new solar-powered trash receptacles that have appeared in Bushnell Park? The City of Hartford recently rolled out a number of Big Belly Solar receptacles in time for the ING Hartford Marathon in early October. The receptacles use solar power to compact trash and can store more than 4 times the normal amount of a standard receptacle. To increase recycling, the City has paired the solar powered units with a recycling receptacle. Stop by Elm Street and give the new Big Belly units a try.

Monday, November 8, 2010

First Night Hartford Back for 22nd Year

Brand new, colorful banners were unveiled on Trinity Street this past weekend just in time for the Connecticut Veterans Parade. The banners are up early promoting First Night Hartford, the city's celebration of the New Year. Entering its 22nd year, First Night Hartford promises offers dozens of musicians, artists, performance groups and exhibits on New Year's Eve in Downtown Hartford. There are also two fireworks displays at 6 p.m. and midnight.

Only 53 days till New Year's Eve! See you there.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Picture of the Day - November 5, 2010

Photo credit: Ben Pollard for the Hartford Business Improvement District

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

BFDH General Membership Meeting to be held January 27th

Business for Downtown Hartford will hold its next General Membership meeting on January 27, 2010 at 8:30 a.m. The meeting will be open to all members and future members and will be held in the future site of the grocery store at Hartford 21, 226 Asylum Street.

The agenda will include an update from Northland Investment Company with an opportunity for questions and answers. There will also be a review of First Night Hartford. Tours of the future grocery store will also be available. RSVP to or call 860-727-1090.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Hub of Hartford Committee, in partnership with the Capitol Region Council of Governments, will host a Public Workshop on Thursday, November 19, 2009 at the Lyceum Resource Center on Lawrence Street in the city to discuss issues and opportunities related to the I-84 Viaduct and its role in the city and the region. There will be an informational open house from 3:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. to learn more about the project. The workshop will take place from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

The goal of the I-84 Viaduct Study is to identify an array of preliminary alternatives to reconstruct, replace or remove the viaduct and evaluate their ability to serve the many transportation functions of the existing viaduct, improve the quality of life and provide opportunities for economic growth in the Capitol Region.

For more information on the I-84 Viaduct preoject, please visit

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Small Portion of Asylum Street to be Closed for Paving

The City of Hartford has announced that Asylum Street from Main Street to Trumbull Street will be closed to vehicles to allow for repaving from Wednesday morning, October 28th through Friday evening, October 30th. Click here for the entire press release.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Downtown Streets Scheduled for Repaving

The Department of Public Works announced a paving schedule today for several Downtown Hartford streets. Portions of Main Street, American Row, Central Row and Pearl Street will be milled between September 29th - October 1st and repaved between October 3rd - October 4th. See the press release for all of the details.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Weekday Event at XL Center Promises Major Traffic Congestion

MAJOR TRAFFIC ADVISORY: Commuters and Ticket Holders for Seminar Should Prepare for Major Traffic Congestion/Parking Issues and Take Steps to Prevent Delays

Good – yet challenging – news for Downtown Hartford on Wednesday, September 9 as the nationally renowned “Get Motivated" Business Seminar scheduled to feature General Colin Powell, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former First Lady Laura Bush, and numerous other well-known figures (subject to change) will be held at the XL Center.

The sold-out event is expected to draw nearly 19,000 ticket holders to the XL Center – all during morning rush hour, when more than 75,000 regular commuters already are coming into the city. This additional traffic influx has the potential to cause one of the largest traffic jams in Hartford’s history.

► This surge of ticket holders traveling into Hartford for an 8 a.m. start (doors open at 6:45 a.m.) at the XL Center will certainly create major traffic issues during normal morning rush hour, and again during the afternoon rush hour, when the event concludes at 4:45 p.m.

► Commuters and event ticket holders alike should be aware that traffic congestion is expected to be at an all-time high. People expecting to park downtown may find lots and garages already filled to capacity. This has been the case in every city where the event has been held, creating massive traffic back-ups in Pittsburgh, Albany and Buffalo.

To try and reduce delays caused by large numbers of people and vehicles coming Downtown at one time, a consortium – including the XL Center, Hartford Hospitality Task Force, Hartford Business Improvement District, City of Hartford, State of Connecticut, Greater Hartford Convention & Visitors Bureau, Hartford Parking Authority, MetroHartford Alliance, and others – are working with event promoters to provide the public with commuting options, including special shuttle bus parking lots on that day. (In fact, the promoters report that Hartford is the first city ever to call them to try plan ahead and try to prevent greater traffic problems).

The corporate community is being contacted and urged to encourage staff to telecommute or to offer staggered work hours on that day so employees can avoid the morning and afternoon rush.

  • Commuters and “Get Motivated” ticket holders are encouraged to consider the following options for transportation on that day (or any day, for that matter):
  • Leave early for work or for “Get Motivated” event – doors open at 6:45 a.m.; event begins at 8 a.m.;
  • Carpool with another person, and use the H.O.V. lanes (reserved for vehicles with two or more);
  • Utilize public transportation, visit or call 860-525-9181 for schedules;
  • Park your car at a suburban Park & Drive lot with a CT Transit bus (if available), or park your car at a lot and carpool in with another person;
  • Use Amtrak. Two trains depart from Springfield, Windsor Locks, and Windsor early enough to arrive in Hartford by 8 a.m. –reservations are needed, or 1-800-USA-RAIL; or
  • Ticket holders may utilize one of two special “Get Motivated” Shuttle parking lots for $5 per vehicle and take a free Shuttle bus to the XL Center from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. that day. The two locations are:

  1. Hartford’s North Meadows-Exit 33 off I-91 [recommended for people coming from the North and the West]; and
  2. Rentschler Field in East Hartford-Exit 58 off I-84) [recommended for people coming from the South and the East];

  • If you are staying at a hotel, are going to the XL Center from work, or want to move around Downtown, hop aboard the Hartford Star Shuttle, a free service which loops the Downtown area every few minutes, stopping at major hotels and attractions.;
  • If you know a short cut, use it; or
  • If you have a bicycle, ride it.

Even with all of these actions, people still should expect significantly more rush hour traffic than normal. Please be patient and make every effort to provide lots of time for your trip into and through Hartford.

Information on driving/parking suggestions and “Get Motivated” shuttles will be posted and updated at


Recommended for people driving from the West (from Waterbury):
NORTH MEADOWS IN HARTFORD Take I-84 East to I-91 North exit (Springfield). Take I-91 North to Exit 33 – Jennings Road. Police officers will direct you to parking areas.

Recommended for people driving from the North (from Springfield):
NORTH MEADOWS IN HARTFORD Take I-91 South to Exit 33 – Jennings Road. Police officers will direct you to parking areas.

Recommended for people driving from the East (from Vernon): RENTSCHLER FIELD IN EAST HARTFORD Take I-84 West to Exit 58. Police officers will direct you to parking areas.

Recommended for people driving from the South (from New Haven): RENTSCHLER FIELD IN EAST HARTFORD Take I-91 North to Exit 25 (Route 3-Glastonbury). Bear left at end of Route 3 onto Route 2 West. Take Exit 4 to I-84 East (Boston). Take Exit 58 to Rentschler Field. Police officers will direct you to parking areas. OR Take I-91 North, pass the new CT Science Center in Hartford on your left, to Exit 33 – Jennings Road. Police officers will direct you to parking areas.

Recommended for people driving from Route 2 (Norwich): RENTSCHLER FIELD IN EAST HARTFORD Take Route 2 West. Take Exit 4 to I-84 East (Boston). Take Exit 58 to Rentschler Field. Police officers will direct you to parking areas.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Call for Hartford Artists - Awesomest Art Thing Ever

Supported by funding from the 2009 Hartford Arts & Heritage Jobs Grant Program, the Hartford BID announces a call for artists to submit creative proposals to fill unoccupied storefronts in downtown Hartford. The BID is looking for 6-8 exceptional proposals from artists and hopes to display a compelling and varied group of artwork in September 2009 that will enhance the vibrancy of downtown Hartford. Each winning artist or collaborative proposal will be awarded an honorarium of $1,500. Modest funds are also available for artist materials. Residents of Hartford, artists who maintain or lease studio space in Hartford, or students enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program in Hartford (including University of Hartford) are eligible to apply. Deadline for submissions is August 24, 2009, at 10 a.m. Please visit for submission guidelines, project FAQ, and to download an application. Artists may also request an application from

Monday, July 27, 2009

100 Pearl Street Gallery Opens New Show

100 Pearl Street has announced the opening of a show in their first floor art gallery.

Ilya Gotfryd presents Anastasiy Safari in
"Luminescence Framed"
Fine Art Photography show

The 100 Pearl Gallery and Ilya Gotfryd proudly present Anastasiy Safari’s “ Luminescence Framed" Fine Art Photography show. Inspired by the artist’s imagination, travel and current residence in Russia, these photos come to you from the many corners of the world.

We invite you to take this opportunity to recapture and celebrate the bouncing rays of light of Safari’s vision and imagination.

Anastasiy Safari’s “ Luminescence Framed"
Grand Opening Reception
Monday July 27, 2009
4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
100 Pearl Gallery
100 Pearl Street Hartford, CT

The show will remain open until September 25 during regular gallery hours: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday - Friday Saturday from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

For additional information please contact: Elizabeth Marsh (100 Pearl Concierge): (860) 293-3374

This past Thursday evening at the General Meeting of the Hartford BID, the following property owners or their designees were elected to a 5-year term on the organization’s Board of Commissioners:

Class A Commissioners: Six (6) largest Property Owners

Suzanne Kempf, Northland Investment Corporation
Hank Hoffman, The Hartford
Tom Luszczak, Travelers
Michael Algiere, CityPlace
Mike Marshall, Aetna
David Jakubowski, State House Square

Class B Commissioners: Four (4) of next ten (10) Property Owners

Peter Donohue, Capital Properties
Jerry Hayes, Phoenix
Mark Wolman, Waterford Group
Martin Kane, Talcott Realty Investors

Class C Commissioners: Three (3) of next seventy (70) Property Owners

Elizabeth Judd, Konover Commercial Corporation
Todd Lavigne, TJL Ventures
Bert Kaplowitz, LAZ Parking

Class D Commissioners: Two (2) of the remaining Property Owners

Christian ‘Red’ Wright, 103-105 Allyn Street LLC
Frank Lord, 266 Pearl Street

Class E Commissioners: Three (3) lessees (at least one retail operation.)

Brooke Baran, Connecticut Culinary Institute
Jim Lewis, Harvey & Lewis Opticians
Mike O’Connell, O’Connell, Flaherty & Attmore

These elected Commissioners will be joined by appointed Commissioners in Class F and Class G.

Class F Commissioners: City of Hartford Mayor or his designee and City Council member

TBD - Mayor’s Office
TBD - City Council

Class G Commissioners: Alliance, Arts Council, and BFDH

Oz Griebel, MetroHartford Alliance
Kate Bolduc, Greater Hartford Arts Council
Stathis Manousos, Business for Downtown Hartford

Congratulations to all who were elected or have been appointed to serve on the BID Board.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Mayor Calls General Meeting of Property Owners

In accordance with Article XIII, Section 28-229a of the Hartford Municipal Code, Mayor Eddie A. Perez has called a General Meeting of taxable property owners of the Hartford Business Improvement District (BID) for Thursday, July 23, 2009 at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at Hartford City Hall, 550 Main Street, Hartford, 2nd floor, Function Room.

The purpose of the meeting is to elect a new Board of Commissioners to govern the Hartford Business Improvement District. The BID was reauthorized in a municipal referendum that concluded on June 25, 2009. The election of Commissioners will take place following a review of the election process and a call for nominations to serve on the board.

For more information about the Hartford BID or specific questions about the general meeting and election, please call Michael Zaleski at 860-728-2274.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Parking Changes Coming to Pratt Street

The Public Works Department has notified property owners and tenants on Pratt Street of upcoming changes to on-street parking regulations. Effective July 20th, there will now be loading zones at each end of the street, two hour metered parking in two sections and one handicapped parking section.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Hartford BID Reauthorized for New 5-Year Term

Taxable property owners in Downtown and Asylum Hill overwhelmingly voted in a city referendum to reauthorize the Hartford Business Improvement District (BID). Hartford City Clerk Dan Carey announced the results early Thursday evening after the ballots were opened and counted. Support from more than 50% of the actual properties representing more than 50% of the assessed value was needed to pass the referendum. According to results released by Carey, 73% of the properties in the District voted in favor of renewing the BID. These properties represented more than 85% of the assessed value of the District.

The Hartford BID is now reauthorized for a 5-year term, commencing with a general meeting of the property owners that will be held later this summer.

BID Executive Director Michael Zaleski thanked the taxable property owners of the District for their support and noted that the results surpassed the results from the original referendum in 2006. Zaleski stated, “The property owners of Downtown Hartford and Asylum Hill showed in this vote that they believe in what the BID is doing. We received the endorsement of property owners large and small are humbled by this overwhelmingly show of support.”

Zaleski noted that strong support from the City of Hartford, specifically Mayor Eddie A. Perez and members of the Court of Common Council, made the successful referendum possible. He also cited the strong relationship that the BID has developed with the Hartford Police Department and Department of Public Works.

Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez called the vote an, "enthusiastic endorsement of the progress that is being made and a strong investment in Hartford’s future.”

Lawrence R. Gottesdiener, Chairman, Northland Investment Corporation stated, "As downtown's largest property owner, Northland was pleased to vote in support of the city referendum to reauthorize the Business Improvement District. Through the BID's partnership with major stakeholders in the city, we are confident they will continue to improve the pedestrian experience, cleanliness and most importantly the safety of the urban core."

Business improvement districts are public/private partnerships that provide enhanced services within a defined commercial area. More than 1,000 cities nationwide have turned to the BID model to provide supplementary clean, safe and promotional programs in their business district. In Connecticut, Stamford, Danbury, New Haven, Bridgeport, New Britain, Manchester and Hartford’s Park Street all have viable business improvement districts.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Community Honors Jack Hale for Two Plus Decades of Service

Mayor Eddie A. Perez (right) is joined by Councilman Matt Ritter (left) in congratulating Jack Hale

Last Friday, more than 100 people gathered at the Elizabeth Park Pond House to honor Jack Hale for his service to Knox Parks Foundation and the city of Hartford. Hale, the former executive director of Knox, recently left after more than 20 years leading the non-profit horticultural organization. Speakers saluting Jack included Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez, Hartford BID Director Michael Zaleski, former Councilman Bob Painter and community leader Nancy Macy.

The Knox Parks Foundation grows and maintains the Hartford BID's more than 275 flower planters that beautify the Downtown and Asylum Hill. Jack Hale has started his own consulting business that focuses on successful green programs.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Picture of the Day.....6.16.09

More than 275 flower planters are being delivered throughout the Hartford BID,
including these four in front of the Greater Hartford Welcome Center on Pratt Street
Photo credit: Michael Zaleski for the Hartford BID

Friday, June 5, 2009

Picture of the Day.....6.05.09

10th Annual Black Eyed & Blues Fest last night in Bushnell Park
Photo credit: Michael Zaleski for the Hartford BID

Reauthorization Ballots in the Mail

Ballots for the referendum to reauthorize the Hartford Business Improvement District were mailed out by the Hartford City Clerk on Thursday. The ballots were mailed to owners of the 255 taxable properties in the District. Property owners have until close of business on Thursday, June 25th to return the ballots to City Hall. The returned ballots will be opened and counted that afternoon and the results will be announced.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Delivery of BID Flower Planters One Short Week Away

Hartford BID flower planters in Knox's Laurel Street greenhouse
Photo credit: Michael Zaleski for the Hartford BID

Crews from the Knox Parks Foundation are busy making final preparations for the delivery of almost 300 flower planters to the streets of the Hartford BID. The Hartford BID contracts with Knox to grow, deliver and maintain the flower planters that are located throughout the entire District. Knox grows the flowers from seed in their two greenhouses located on Laurel Street just outside of the BID boundaries. Delivery is expected to commence early next week.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Picture of the Day.....5.27.09

Front entrance to Aetna on Farmington Avenue
Photo credit: Amy Lord for the Hartford BID

Friday, May 22, 2009

Press Conference Promotes Destination Hartford

Jordan Polon of the Hartford BID speaks at the Destination Hartford press conference
Photo credit: Sarah Barr, Mayor's Office

Mayor Eddie A. Perez held a press conference on Thursday outside the Hilton Hartford Hotel to promote the city of Hartford as a ‘staycation’ destination for the summer. With the Memorial Day holiday weekend upon us, Mayor Perez was joined by representatives of the Hartford Business Improvement District, the Connecticut Science Center and the Greater Hartford Convention and Visitors Bureau to promote the many great attractions and destinations that Hartford has to offer. The Rising Star Committee has worked to package 8 weekends throughout the summer to help attract visitors to Hartford. These are weekends that loaded with events and have the potential to bring in thousands of people to the city.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Facade Work Continues at 410 Asylum

Construction work continued on the facade of 410 Asylum Street today. The building, currently being renovated by Common Ground, is expected to open later this summer with street level retail and more than 60 apartments on the upper floors.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Asylum Street Streetscape Progressing

Construction crews have almost completed the north side of the new sidewalk installation on Asylum Street. Construction of the new sidewalk on the south side will start later this summer.

Picture of the Day.....5.15.09

Taken today, McKinnon's Irish Pub on Asylum Street sporting a
new sidewalk, decorative fencing and blooming geraniums

Photo credit: Michael Zaleski for the Hartford BID

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Picture of the Day.....5.14.09

Travelers Tower
Photo credit: Awilda Maldonado for the Hartford BID

Hartford City Council passes amended BID ordinance

This past Monday, the Hartford City Council unanimously passed an ordinance amending Chapter 28, Article III of the Hartford Municipal Code. The amended ordinance allows for a reauthorization referendum to take place among taxable properties in the Hartford BID.

The referendum, which is tentatively scheduled for early June, must be held within 60 days of May 11th. Taxable property owners in the BID will receive additional information on the reauthorization effort next week.