Front Street, Former Hartford Times Building Proposed For UConn Campus Relocation

The long vacant former Hartford Times building at Front Street is included in one of 13 proposals for relocating the University of Connecticut¿s West Hartford campus. (Kenneth R. Gosselin)

Could the relocation of the University of Connecticut's West Hartford campus form the final phase of downtown Hartford's Front Street?

Front Street developer HB Nitkin Group has proposed using the long vacant Hartford Times building on Prospect Street as the centerpiece of the relocated campus, a source said today.

The proposal is one of 13 received by UConn after it widened its search for a downtown Hartford location in January.

The Times building would be renovated and expanded under the proposal to accommodate the space needed by the university, the source said. Parking would be provided, at least in part, by existing parking garages at Front Street, the source said.

A bookstore could be located in the Front Street entertainment district, the source said.

The Times building is part of a third phase of Front Street and had previously been targeted for conversion to apartments. No timeline for the redevelopment had been established.

Construction on the second phase of Front Street — 115 apartments and ground-level retail — is expected to begin in early fall.

Nitkin's director of development Peter Christian did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. UConn declined to comment.

The university also has spent $243,000 to study the former Travelers Education Center on Constitution Plaza as a possible site. But questions about UConn's intentions for the education center were raised after it widened its search.

In addition to Front Street, details have emerged on another proposal by LAZ Parking's Alan Lazowski for Main Street just north of the G. Fox building. That proposal includes the renovation of One Talcott Plaza and its parking garage. In addition, the proposal calls for the renovation of One Talcott Plaza and its parking garage.