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Just another multi billion dollar development in the frenzied Hartford development landscape. This is a very exciting proposal for East Hartford that I have been following but now seems like it is becoming more real. If all of the proposed CT developments become actual developments I think our economic rebirth will be astounding enough to get the nation's attention.

Here's the article from the Hartford Courant today.

Rentschler Dream Presented

Developer Captivates Council With Vision

Courant Staff Writer

April 20, 2005

EAST HARTFORD -- The master plan for Rentschler Field envisions a $2 billion mixed-use development that will produce 6,000 to 8,000 new jobs, $57 million in annual local taxes and $40 million in state revenue, a developer told the town council Tuesday.

Dan Matos, president and founder of the Matos Group, disclosed some details of the proposed project that his development company plans to submit to town officials within the next month or two.

Matos said the project would take 18 years to complete and be a "world class legacy" of its owner, United Technologies Corp.

"We want this project to look ahead 100 years," Matos said.

UTC, which owns the 700 acres comprising the project, named the Matos Group in November as the master developer.

The University of Connecticut football stadium occupies about 75 acres of Rentschler Field, but about 600 acres remain unused. Officials have been trying to develop the land since Hartford-based UTC closed the former Pratt & Whitney airfield in 1995.

The master plan calls for a mixed-use development that would fill the market demands for high tech companies, offices, a medical center, conference hotel, residential, retail, sports and entertainment components, Matos said.

"We're master-planning a community," one that would act as a catalyst for growth in the region, Matos said.

Trying to put the project in local perspective, council Chairman Richard Kehoe said the annual local taxes projected from the completed project would about equal all of the current local revenue.

"This is exciting. The possibilities are endless," said Stephanie Labanowski, a Republican council member.

"We've been led to the altar quite a few times," she said. "I'm just thrilled. It feels very real. That something is going to happen."

The Matos Group is the fourth master developer of the project, but Matos said his company is different than the previous developers because he is home-grown.

"I was born and raised in Hartford County," Matos said.

Matos received his law degree from the University of Connecticut and was until a couple years ago a lawyer with Day Berry and Howard, which handled real estate transactions for more than 20 years for UTC.

"Matos is well known to us," Michael O. Brown, executive vice president of UTC's real estate arm, said when the Matos Group was named developer of Rentschler Field.

The Matos Group was founded in 1984 and is a commercial real estate investment and development firm with offices in New York and San Francisco, and at 111 Founders Plaza in East Hartford.

A cornerstone of the project would be a world-class research and technology center, complementing Pratt & Whitney and the United Technologies Research Center already located there.

Matos worked with the previous developers and has an intimate knowledge of the work they had done, which he hopes to build on.

"The plans were in many ways good plans but not organically East Hartford," he said. "The developers brought their own views of East Hartford from outside East Hartford and that's why they didn't succeed."

Matos vowed to work with town officials to develop the land as the town wants.

"We view ourselves very much as your developer," he told the council.
Copyright 2005, Hartford Courant
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