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Long-awaited launch of development around Hartford’s Dunkin’ Donuts Park cheered in Thursday’s groundbreaking
HARTFORD — In the midst of pandemic and recession, the city of Hartford and its developer Thursday celebrated the start of construction of apartments, restaurant and entertainment space and parking around Dunkin’ Donuts Park, a development intended to reconnect downtown with northern neighborhoods.
“We didn’t get to play any baseball in the ballpark this year, but we still get a big October win,” Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said during a groundbreaking ceremony. “And like a lot of the folks here, we’ve all had a chance to throw some shovelfuls of dirt. But speaking for myself, I don’t know if I’ll ever throw a more satisfying shovel full of dirt than this one after the battle we fought to get here.”
Thursday’s ceremony for the first, mixed-use phase of Downtown North comes more than two years after the city chose Stamford-based RMS Cos. as its new developer. The groundbreaking also come in the aftermath of a bruising court battle with the previous developer to regain control of the four, city-owned parcels around the ballpark. The previous developer had been terminated on both completion of Dunkin’ Donuts Park and the surrounding area.
Dunkin’ Donuts Park opened for its first season in 2017, but the home team, the Yard Goats, did not play there in 2020 because of the pandemic.