Hartford Foundation awards $287K grant for Albany Ave. restoration

BY Joe Cooper

The Hartford Foundation has awarded a $287,000 grant to the overseer of a revitalization project on Albany Avenue in the Capital City's north end.

The grant, distributed over three years, will allow Upper Albany Main St. Inc. (UAMS), which supports and promotes 125 businesses, to expand its staff overseeing the improvement project in the area's commercial district of more than 100 small businesses.

The foundation said Albany Avenue has needed infrastructure improvements for decades as the area has suffered from high rates of blight and crime.

"It is our hope that this collaboration will create a 'complete street' that will improve the quality of life for all those who live, work, and visit this historic and diverse community," said Herman Todd, chairman of the UAMS board of directors.

The funds will also increase Upper Albany's collaboration under the Micro Business Incubator (MBI) program, a joint partnership between the nonprofit and the University of Hartford's Barney School of Business. MBI provides UHart students an opportunity to pitch new strategies in business planning, marketing and technology to local businesses.