HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — It was just two weeks ago that the mayor and the city council president announced a deal to bring the Rock Cats baseball team to Hartford.
A big negative ripple has already been felt.
There had been a plan to build a supermarket complex with apartments above on a vacant lot behind the Radisson Hotel just off Main Street.
But now because the city wants to build a minor league baseball park on a vacant lot right across the street, the guy who wants to develop the supermarket is backing out, saying that supermarkets and baseball don’t mix.
And his logic is quite logical. With over 70 home games tying up all the available parking in the area, who would want to go food shopping on those days and have to fight the traffic?
“I think we pivoted to talk about entertainment and the point of our conversation today is that we want to have that fuller discussion about ‘DoNo’ as a whole,” said Hartford City Treasurer Adam Cloud.
Both of the lots are in an area called “DoNo,” the northern edge of downtown which abuts the city’s North End, long overlooked for development. The only supermarket in town is on the southwest side of the city.
“We do have a problem with a ‘food desert’ and it’s something that a number of us care deeply about and so going forward that will remain a priority,” said Hartford City Council President Shawn Wooden.
The city development director issued a statement saying: “This is not an either/or situation. Simply because we have a ballpark does not mean we will not have a supermarket in (the area). We’ve gotten several inquiries since the announcement.”