Hartford stadium developer wants another chance - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Hartford stadium developer wants another chance

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Centerplan wants to finish stadium in Hartford. (WFSB) Centerplan wants to finish stadium in Hartford. (WFSB)

After being fired from the project, developer of Hartford’s new ballpark said they are willing to come back and finish the job.

Construction at Dunkin Donuts Park came to a halt earlier this month when the city lost confidence in the developer Centerplan.

Centerplan officials said they want to give the city another plan on Friday to outline what still needs to be done and how much it will cost.

It could take months to finish the ball park. Stadium developer Jason Rudnick said the city should let them come back and get it done sooner.

There have cost over runs and several missed deadlines. The city became so fed up that they fired Centerplan.  

"At that point we had no option,” Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said. “We really tried to work with the surety and the developer together without terminating them on the project"

Bronin insisted firing the developer and calling in the insurance company to finish the job was the right thing to do.

Bronin and Rudnick were on NPR giving their versions of what's turned into a real mess.

"The development team that was selected was just in over their heads,” Bronin said. “They've never built a baseball stadium."

"The concept of it being over our head when we're 96, 97 percent done is a little curious to me,” Rudnick said.

Meanwhile, Arch Insurance, which holds the surety bond, was back at the ballpark on Thursday afternoon. They have not said publicly whether they’ll finish the job. They must decide whether there was a breach of contract or if the developer was wrongly terminated.

Hartford is paying $46,000 for an insurance policy to cover potential damages and $6,000 a day for firefighters to watch the stadium because there are combustible materials.

"We have three members of the fire department here conducting fire watch," Hartford Fire Chief Reginald Freeman said. "That's 24 hours until we can get the sprinkler system operable hoping by next week."

The city and the developer disagree on many things.

"I don't know what 97 percent complete means," Bronin said. "Does it mean to be building code compliant? That's disingenuous to say its 97 percent compliant."

Rudnick said the ballpark is very close to being done.  

"To terminate if we were 30 percent complete, we would understand that," Rudnick said. "But do it it at this point really makes no sense."

Now a new development, Centerplan said it's willing to come back.

"You had opportunity to bring everyone together and try and be responsible about it and have conversations,” Rudnick said. “Put egos aside and see if there was a way to figure this out and finish the stadium."

It could take millions more to finish the ballpark. Although Centerplan isn't saying how many millions or how long it will take.   

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