Former UConn West Hartford campus could become apartment buildings, shops


WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — An eyesore in the center of a West Hartford neighborhood is intent on becoming much more.

The old campus of the University of Connecticut West Hartford is fenced, boarded up and has a cracked foundation. But, in the near future, a developer plans to bring six apartment and condo buildings, retail space, medical buildings, labs and an organic market to the site.

The extra traffic is something Julie Nosal, owner of Rosa Mexicano, welcomes for her new venture.

“We did the Halloween walk last Saturday,” Nosal said. “Over 3,500 people came to the square, and it was great. This is great for all of our businesses.

There are parallels between the old UConn campus and Blue Back Square. Blue Back Square has four- and five-story buildings, while the UConn site will have a maximum of three stories. There are 50 acres on the plaza and six acres on the UConn site.

But not everyone wants extra people passing through the area.

“I think traffic is a big issue, especially on Main Street, North Main Street,” Latacha Dennis said. “It’s a huge problem for people trying to quit their jobs and get out of their homes to pick up kids, run errands.”

City manager Rick Ledwith said the developers understand West Hartford and how it works. He said he wants to develop the area so that it blends in with the surrounding neighborhoods.

The project is in preliminary talks and there is no timeline for construction. The first works could start this summer.

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