Hartford's Swift factory redevelopment wins key funding


PHOTO | John Stearns
PHOTO | John Stearns
The U.S. Department of Commerce awarded a key piece of financing for renovation of the Hartford Swift factory building Thursday.
A proposed $32.4 million redevelopment of Hartford's former M. Swift & Sons gold-leaf factory is moving forward thanks to a pivotal $2.8 million federal grant, officials said Thursday.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said the department's Economic Development Administration has awarded the grant to the New York-based project developer, Community Solutions International Inc. (CSI), to help build the Swift Community Food and Business Development Center at 10 Love Lane in Hartford.

The redevelopment of the former factory site in the city's North End federal "Promise Zone" is expected to create a food business incubator, manufacturing facility, office space, and health and economic initiatives for the community.

Dave Foster, CSI's director of real estate development, said the federal grant was the missing piece needed to supplement the project's state and federal funding.

"This award is a direct reflection of the leadership at the city, state and federal level to bring the federal Promise Zone to North Hartford, enabling this tremendous project to move forward," he said.

According to CSI estimates, the project is expected to create 125 jobs and spur $9.75 million in private investment. CSI is a nonprofit dedicated to ending homelessness.

Committed financing includes federal new market tax credits, federal and state historic tax credits, a $3 million loan from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, and a $4.3 million loan from the Capital Region Development Authority, Foster said.

The financing is expected to close by mid-October, followed by 14 months of construction. The buildings could open by the end of 2018, Foster said.