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Rebuilding the Neighborhood: Modernizing Park Terrace

4.01.2017

Catherine McKinnon is the executive director of Mutual Housing of Greater Hartford, the organization that purchased these seven Park Terrace properties in 1988. The buildings were renovated and provided homes for 42 low income families and individuals. By 2013, however, the properties were worn and needed major improvements to make them modern, healthy and efficient. New roofs, mechanical system upgrades and sustainable, environmentally friendly features like wood floors and granite counters were added. The challenge was compounded because the properties were occupied, necessitating careful sequencing of work and shifting of residents.

“The location is key because Park Terrace is a major thoroughfare with access to many community amenities. Keeping the property in good shape is important to the neighborhood and to long-term tenants. We are preserving a piece of history, since the streetscape is intact, and we were happy to enhance the beauty of the buildings. We were required to raise the rent on some units, to be at market rates, and we had no trouble at all renting them because it’s a good product. We are careful to screen tenants to ensure we get stable residents, which helps retain people who have other options.” - Catherine MacKinnon

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Success:

When and where: Mutual Housing originally developed Park Terrace I, located at 222-248 Park Terrace, in 1988. Located across from a large park with significant recreational facilities, and between two major commercial arteries, it offers convenient access to transportation and entertainment.

What: The units, in historically significant brownstone buildings, were substantially updated in 2015-16. There are 42 apartments, most of which are affordable family rentals, with twelve market rate rentals. The recent upgrades include high efficiency boilers, roofs, wood floors, new kitchen appliances, cabinets and bathroom fixtures.

Why and how: LISC provided a green planning grant, along with capacity building grants for a staff accountant, real estate consultant, construction manager and technology improvements. LISC also provides annual operating support through the Hartford Neighborhood Development Support Collaborative.

Who: Funders and investors for this development were the State of Connecticut Department of Housing, State Historic Tax Credits and NeighborWorks Capital. We sincerely thank them all for their support of this important effort.

Thanks to the funders who support LISC’s work in Hartford

Bank of America
Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation
Bissell Foundation
Charles Nelson Robinson Fund
Citizens Bank
City of Hartford – CDBG
Connecticut Department of Economic & Community Development
Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA)
CHFA/IOREBTA
Ensworth Charitable Foundation
Farmington Bank
First Niagara Bank
Fisher Foundation
The Fund for Greater Hartford
George and Grace Long Foundation
Hartford Foundation for Public Giving
JP Morgan Chase
People’s United Community Foundation
Prudential
Santander Bank
TD Charitable Foundation
U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development
United Way of the Central and Northeastern Connecticut
Webster Bank