The Capital Region Development Authority, (CRDA) assumed the ownership of the Connecticut Regional Market (the “Market”), a 1950’s era property located in the South Meadows district of Hartford, in January 2019 under Public Act 18-154.
The Market is a 33-acre facility with over 185,000 square feet of warehouse and refrigerated space located at 101 Reserve Road in Hartford. It is the largest perishable food distribution facility between New York and Boston consisting of four distribution/warehouse buildings, one free-standing restaurant, office space dedicated to real estate management, Department of Agriculture (DoAg) and related federal agricultural services, and a farmers’ market pavilion. While promoting Connecticut Agriculture, the Market serves a dual customer goal by providing a facility for both retail and wholesale trade. At present, approximately 20 tenants are employing approximately 450 persons at the facility daily.
Additionally, a seasonal farmers’ market is held at the pavilion where members of the public can purchase products such as fresh vegetables, fruits, plants, eggs and honey from local farmers, nurseries, and agricultural merchants. The farmers’ market attracts nearly 150 vendors on weekends throughout the spring and fall and is managed for CRDA by CT DoAg. The hours of operations are 6 am to 9 am on Saturdays and Sundays from May through October. For more information on the market including stall applications visit the Department of Agriculture website.
Before Goman+York's involvement, the market had been neglected and needed to address deferred maintenance and operational issues. More importantly, the market had lost its fundamental competitive advantage - its excellent access to interstate highways and the lack of competitive refrigerated food storage facilities in Greater Hartford. Our recommendations were focused on stabilizing the fiscal and operational condition of the market and preparing it for potential expansion of its most profitable uses. Additionally, our consultants conducted extensive interviews with the tenants, evaluating their business needs, challenges and future plans.
Since being hired by CRDA, Goman+York recommended several improvements to enhance the experience for the tenants, vendors and visitors, including, the paving and striping of more than 200,000 square feet of surface and roadway, repairs to drainage systems, renovation of Building A’s boiler, mending and extension of the entrance fencing with the installation of two new automatic gates, development of new traffic flow and signage, the installation of additional LED spotlights at the pavilion, construction of a covered bus shelter, and the placement of picnic tables in the area in front of the café for outdoor dining. Additionally, Goman+York’s creative team developed a visual brand to identify the market with new signage and building murals, The murals are visible from both I-91 North, acting as a gateway to Hartford, and 1 Reserve Road at the entrance to the property.
Goman+York was able to work with the CRDA’s staff and the property’s management team to analyze the viability of the property. Our team was able to take a critical look at the “whole picture,” not only from the financial and leasing standpoint, but also realizing the affects it had on the property, its tenants, its consumers and the region. G+Y’s team focused on finding solutions that made sense from a multitude of aspects, offering both immediate and long-term economically-sound solutions, key to getting the property on track to realize its full potential.