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As State Spends Big on It, Hartford’s XL Center Looks for a Buyer

December 4, 2017 By Staff
As State Spends Big on It, Hartford’s XL Center Looks for a Buyer

Without a sale, state officials will have a costly decision to make.

Connecticut lawmakers are exploring the possible sale of the run-down XL Center. At the height of the budget crisis, Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.) had proposed $250 million in upgrades to XL Center.

While the XL didn’t receive the $250 million in upgrades, in November the state Bond Commission agreed to $40 million in upgrades:

“More than a billion dollars in borrowing was on the state Bond Commission’s agenda today. Among the items winning approval: 40-million dollars for upgrades at the XL Center in downtown Hartford.”

While that state struggles to balance the budget, heading into 2018 with a projected $200 million-plus deficit:

“The state comptroller is projecting a deficit of more than $207 million for Connecticut for the fiscal year 2018, which would require the governor to submit a deficit mitigation plan, and legislative leaders plan to meet with Gov. Dannel Malloy Wednesday to talk about what comes next.”

Some, like State Rep. Chris Davis (R-Ellington), have questioned the wisdom of $40 million in bonding for the XL Center, while the state is cutting Medicare and mental health services.

Michael Freimuth, executive director of the Capital Regional Development Authority, doubts there will be a “dramatic bidding process” for the XL Center:

“I think we’re fooling ourselves if we think it’s going to be a dramatic bidding process,” said Freimuth, noting the roughly 40-year-old structure is “dated and it’s tired” and still requires a major investment beyond the $40 million.

Without a sale, state officials will have a costly decision about what to do with the 40-year-old structure, needing millions in renovations amid a city far from being economically vibrant or stable.