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Latino Plans Hartford's First Downtown Condos In Over A Decade

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Developer Jose Ramirez. Photo credit: Hartford Courant/Monica Jorge

Since early 2015, renters have moved into hundreds of new apartments downtown, the majority of converted buildings now boasting occupancies of 90 percent or better.
But is downtown ready to take the next step into condominiums?

 Developer Jose Ramirez says he has no doubts, as he nears the end of a two-year quest to secure financing to convert long-vacant space at 289 Asylum St. into eight condos. The units would be on the upper floors of a building that once hosted Mayor Mike’s restaurant.

The $1.4 million “Hartford Lofts” project would convert the space that was a hotel and rooming house and would be the first residential condo project in downtown in more than a decade.
“We understand that there is a desire for an ownership product but we also recognize that the condo market has been weak,” Michael W. Freimuth, executive director of the Capital Region Development Authority, said. “This project is modest in size and aims to produce a unit that would cost, on a monthly basis, essentially the same as a comparable rental but offers an equity and investment opportunity.”
CRDA has committed $400,000 in loans to the project along with $850,000 from the Hartford Community Loan Fund. The balance of $150,000 is from Ramirez and investors he has assembled. Historic tax credits will later also play a key role in the financing.
Ramirez said he is encouraged because he sees Hartford on the same kind of upswing that his old neighborhood in New York — Washington Heights — saw, beginning in the 1980s. Ramirez sensed it as early as….
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