Despite Economy, West Hartford's Blue Back Gamble Pays Off

Full story: Hartford Courant

Much of Barbara and John Hamill's life at Blue Back Square is self-contained, with the gym, shops, restaurants, movie theater, library and their condo-dwelling neighbors just steps away.
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Are_You_Kidding

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#1
Nov 16, 2008
 

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It's cute that BBS paid for this ad. Too bad it's all bs.
Ron

Winsted, CT

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#2
Nov 16, 2008
 

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Of course it's doing well...look at the income level that is targeted by the selection of shops and prices of housing. Those people are not hurt ny the failing economy...in fact I'll bet that many of them contributed to the problems that we are in now. I'll bet that you won't find anyone that works in theshops living there!
GEO

Newington, CT

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#3
Nov 16, 2008
 

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I been there, It made West Hartford much nicer.

"Get rid of the parking Meters" Thats so getto. The added Taxes from blueback infused alot more cash already. WH Town Hall old school mentality has to go - Make it Free Handicap Parking.
And Westfarms is closing

Glastonbury, CT

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#4
Nov 16, 2008
 

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Westfarms has been decimated by BBS. Not. They fought this project and created so much trouble.
Ooops

Vernon Rockville, CT

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#6
Nov 16, 2008
 

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Give it another year or so. When people who live there have the ARMS mrtges adjust and can no longer afford the places, when people stop paying 150.00 for a shirt from the trandy shops, etc. Then we'll see how much of a good thing it is.
Enough please

AOL

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#7
Nov 16, 2008
 

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My god, a condo in Blueback at 1.3 million for this nice older couple to enjoy all that Blueback has to offer. No wonder come tax time the old and young are at odds. I would sure like to see their property tax bill, by my calculation 70% of 1.3 million is 910,000 at a 35 mill rate that's a tax bill of just over $31,500 as well as all the others. I sure hope their grand kids attend the West Hartford schools they help fund.
Hey Mayor, this was all new money (Blueback, condo's, new business, etc.) called grand list growth and yet we still have tax increases imposed on property owners in excess of 5%, where did it all go?
How much of the tax burden are you and your out of control council going to be shifting from business to the residential property owner in the future. We still have 4 years of property revaluation phase in to deal with. How about another valuation to shift back some of the burden to the business owners if all is going so well for them?
WARNING - watch the next 3 to 4 years and what happens over these property tax issues. Don't say you were not warned.
Anon

Cromwell, CT

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#8
Nov 16, 2008
 

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People who can afford a $1.3 million condo are not the sort of people who are hurting in this economy. I hope that along with the personal trainer, Mah-Jongg games, and daily trips to Whole Foods, Ms. Hamill is donating her time and money to charitable organizations as well. Unfortunately, some upper-class people do absolutely no philanthropy despite the wealth they have been blessed with.

Don't get me wrong - I love shopping at Crate & Barrel, but I'll be going for stocking stuffers this year, not for major gift purchases.
xterby

United States

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#9
Nov 16, 2008
 

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envy, envy, envy...you can almost see the green smoke wafting from their comments
Dan

West Hartford, CT

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#12
Nov 16, 2008
 

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You're kidding, right? Go ask Joe V. if he is a leftist. I don't think you know who fought this project. Most people I know who are left of center were for this.

One last thing, you look like an idiot when you try to use anything you can to demonize "liberals" or "leftists". It may have worked 4 years ago, but it does not go far now. Neo-Con is carries a worse connotation these days.
Prosperity wrote:
So all the Leftist anti growth types were wrong?...how can it be now? To hear the flat earth types tell it the world as we know it was going to end if this project got built. Now it is a success.
Take a lesson.....when it comes to success....leftists don't know a thing.
Puffery

East Haven, CT

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#13
Nov 16, 2008
 

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mmmm. Another Puff piece from the Courant. let's all wannabe West Hartford with revaled, Board of Ed Budget driven, over the top property taxes for homeowners and the sweet tax subsidies for Bluebacks.
That's the real story.
jealous

Brockton, MA

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#15
Nov 16, 2008
 

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Don't like it? Don't move here.
Puffery wrote:
mmmm. Another Puff piece from the Courant. let's all wannabe West Hartford with revaled, Board of Ed Budget driven, over the top property taxes for homeowners and the sweet tax subsidies for Bluebacks.
That's the real story.
HC Here

Alexandria, VA

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#16
Nov 16, 2008
 

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Anon wrote:
People who can afford a $1.3 million condo are not the sort of people who are hurting in this economy. I hope that along with the personal trainer, Mah-Jongg games, and daily trips to Whole Foods, Ms. Hamill is donating her time and money to charitable organizations as well. Unfortunately, some upper-class people do absolutely no philanthropy despite the wealth they have been blessed with.
Don't get me wrong - I love shopping at Crate & Barrel, but I'll be going for stocking stuffers this year, not for major gift purchases.
BEfore you go ragging on her for having a nice lifestyle, did you determine if these people WORKED, SAVED, AND INVESTED to get where they are. If a couple million just fell into their lap (as has happened with so many Kennedys and Kerrys), I would call for them to donate a chunk of it and give back to the community, If they applied themselves all of their work lives, saved their money, and lived within their means for decades, then there is no call for envy or expectations they "give back".

I hope you are as angry about welfare recipients who give back nothing, or baby mamas who do nothing for the funds they receive.

Another person said the people who work in the stores cannot afford to live in the community SO? Is this required. A lot of policemen and teachers can't afford to live in Greenwich, Darien, or Stamford, and nobody says anything.
DID YOU FIRST ASK: Are those people who work in those stores well-educated and sufficiently dilligent that their contribution tothe workforce merits pay which would entitle them to live in an upscale environment. Standing behind a cash register counting out coins in an amount the register tells you to pay out does not merit the same salary as that of the person who designed the buildings, performs surgery, or creates the marketing plan. Rather than grumble that life is not fair, ask this: "Why do I (or those who work in those stores for below-average wages) lack the skills and desirability the marketplace covets to command a salary which will enable me to live there?"
Puffery

East Haven, CT

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#17
Nov 16, 2008
 

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Puffery wrote:
mmmm. Another Puff piece from the Courant. let's all wannabe West Hartford with revaled, Board of Ed Budget driven, over the top property taxes for homeowners and the sweet tax subsidies for Bluebacks.
That's the real story.
Ah! You go right ahead and pay those hefty taxes. But try to save enough for lattes for your putties. Oh, to remember: its actually the DNA that counts.
father of two

Guilford, CT

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#18
Nov 16, 2008
 

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Interesting. On the same day Kovner reports of $1.3 million and $1.6 million BBS condo sales on Page 1, another Page 1 story mentions the "perilous economy" and how a state university at $7,000 a year for a commuter is a bargain (that's 228 annual commuter scholarships for the price of one $1.6 million condo.)

Then today's Courant CT Consumer section front page tells me how to improve my household's economy, and another front-page section story tells me how to stop my "money drip" by doing things like actually mailing in rebate forms.

Anyone see the huge disconnect here?

There is a strata of CT that is completely immune to the fiscal crisis and will spend disposable income willy-nilly to shop at the fabulously overpriced Whole Foods just to play a little mah jong.

It's WAY PAST time for a progressive income tax in CT, folks...
Cedric

West Hartford, CT

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#19
Nov 16, 2008
 

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Nothing but a big promo for BB square. Its not doing that great lately, but I will concede that the condo sales went better than I expected as they sold most of them prior to the economic downturn. Selling those last fourteen may prove very tough.
Business at the retail areas has slowed dramatically over the last several months due to having to pay to park and the high prices being charged. You would think the town would validate parking if people purchased something. 2009 should be very telling. If they do well in 2009, then they will probably make it, otherwise there will end up being a lot of empty store fronts two or three years from now.
opinion

South Yarmouth, MA

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#20
Nov 16, 2008
 

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Alarmist abound. Despite the naysayers, we as a society continue to flourish. The economoy is bad?? I couldnt get into a mall parking lot the other day, it was so crowded.

We dont know true hardship. And shame on all the whining pampered masses who cry their imagined travails. Its good to see this development flourish. Im happy to be a part of this great community.
Middle Class Fool

Klingerstown, PA

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#21
Nov 16, 2008
 

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father of two wrote:
Interesting. On the same day Kovner reports of $1.3 million and $1.6 million BBS condo sales on Page 1, another Page 1 story mentions the "perilous economy" and how a state university at $7,000 a year for a commuter is a bargain (that's 228 annual commuter scholarships for the price of one $1.6 million condo.)
Then today's Courant CT Consumer section front page tells me how to improve my household's economy, and another front-page section story tells me how to stop my "money drip" by doing things like actually mailing in rebate forms.
Anyone see the huge disconnect here?
There is a strata of CT that is completely immune to the fiscal crisis and will spend disposable income willy-nilly to shop at the fabulously overpriced Whole Foods just to play a little mah jong.
It's WAY PAST time for a progressive income tax in CT, folks...
Your answer is to raise Taxes even higher?. This will not make anyone more successfull, it will only make some less so.
The biggest budget item at our house is taxes in all their forms. Add up all the income tax and property taxyou pay and divide by 12.
At my house that number exceeds $3000 per month. Meanwhile I am driving a Subaru and scrimping to pay for a retirement before age 67 when the Social Security pittance kicks in.
Don't punish me any more please....
M Jodi

Windsor, CT

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#22
Nov 16, 2008
 

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Today I'm proud to announce an exciting new State program which will purchase the 14 unsold condos in BBS and move in our neediest State residents from Hartford to further enhance our commitment to DIVERSITY! I'm sure all of you will be pleased to join me in this wonderful celebration!
May or Eddie

Windsor, CT

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#23
Nov 16, 2008
 

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Thank you, M Jodi,

I'm sure crime will be down even further in Htfd!

Ju be ju life!
Stan Simpson is an idiot

West Hartford, CT

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#24
Nov 16, 2008
 

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Story is full of crap. Go look at all of the empty spaces in West Hartford Center, turnover is huge. Hard to make a living paying over $40 a square foot, triple net in West Hartford, I feel sorry for all the small shops that gave West Hartford Character.

Kauod is an idiot putting a bank on South Main Street, as is Mahoney putting all the other financial places on Farmington Ave. All that will be left are restaurants and financial service companies, and then we will soon see return of the lean years of the Center like in the 1980s.

Blue Back merchants ( paying way more than $40 a square foot) are also not making the money to justify having a store. LaPerla will be the first to go, and you can guess the others who will follow by looking at the people in the stores. How the hell is Munsons going to sell enough chocolate to cover rent in Blue Back? 3-5 years from now Blue Back will be in just as much trouble as the rest of the center.

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