Demolition Begins on Hartford Housing Development

The Hartford Courant – 10/28/2011 – by Jenna Carlesso -- HARTFORD -- Demolition has begun on the 157-unit, army barracks-style housing development known as Nelton Court, the last federally subsidized public housing still standing in the city. Work began on Tuesday and will continue through mid-January, said Marilyn Rossetti, chairwoman of the Hartford Housing Authority Board.

The demolition was projected to begin in 2010, but was delayed several times due to "financing complications," Rossetti said. She did not elaborate. As demolition continues in three phases, work will begin in late November to rebuild Nelton Court, which sits between Acton and Main streets in the Northeast neighborhood. The new development will feature 80 two- and three-story, townhouse-style units with individual entrances. They will be rental units for people with low incomes.

The developer plans to start putting in foundations for the new buildings in December and framing is to begin in April. The $19.3 million project will be paid for with replacement housing funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and by the Hartford Housing Authority. The new units have not yet been filled, Rossetti said. "We anticipate as each phase is completed and we receive certificates of occupancy, residents can move in late 2012 or early 2013," she said.

Alan Green, executive director of the housing authority, said the project is expected to add about 90 jobs to the region. Simon Konover Development is the developer and the Farmington-based KBE Building Corp. will serve as the builder for the project. The last of Nelton Court's remaining residents were relocated in October 2010.

The complex, built in the early 1940s, had deteriorated and grown a reputation for violence before it was shut down. Three other federally subsidized public housing developments in Hartford — Dutch Point, Charter Oak Terrace and Stowe Village, built around the same time as Nelton Court — have been knocked down and rebuilt. "Together we will build new memories and stories of hope as these buildings are replaced with units that are safe, clean and affordable," Mayor Pedro Segarra said in a statement. "Most of all, the quality of life for the families who make houses homes will be enhanced."

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