Another responsibility given to CRDA as part of the legislation creating the Authority is the oversight of state agency office relocation in the City of Hartford. That process is well underway with the purchase of Connecticut River Plaza and 55 Farmington Avenue. The purchase of the two buildings is part of the Malloy administrations plans to consolidate state employees from approximately 20 leased and aging state-owned properties in and around Hartford. The state estimates it will save about $100 million in lease costs and maintenance over the next 20 years, $200 million when adjusted by inflation by the consolidation. Both buildings are in need of renovations, with an estimated total cost of $123 million.
55 Farmington Avenue
The state purchased the high-rise for $18 million from The Hartford Financial Services Group in April of 2013. The 12-story, 287,000 square foot structure was built in 1990 and is located in the Asylum Hill area of the city. Financing for the purchase, as well as $19 million for the renovations, was approved by the State Bond Commission. About 1,100 employees of several state agencies have relocated from the state-owned building at 25 Sigourney Street to 55 Farmington. Those agencies are the Department of Social Services, the Department of Aging, the Department of Rehabilitation Services, IT workers for payroll and human services and the Criminal Justice Information System. The state has also purchased the garage at 50 Farmington Avenue to accommodate for parking for the employees.
450 Columbus Boulevard
CRDA continues to oversee the budget and large renovation of 450 Columus Boulevard. The property, also known as Connecticut River Plaza, is a 575,000 square feet two-building complex built in 1984 by former Whalers owner Richard Gordon. The state officially purchased the Class A office tower for $34.5 million in August of 2013. The tower was essentially empty since its previous major tenant, United Healthcare, moved its downtown Hartford headquarters to CityPlace. Eight hundred employees from the Department of Revenue Services and the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities moved to the 11-story South Tower in June, July and August of 2016. Over 1,300 employees from the State Office Building at 165 Capitol Avenue will relocate to the 15-story North Tower between November 2016 and March 2017. The relocating agenies include the Department of Administrative Services, Department of Agriculture, Consumer Protection and the Department of Education and Early Childhood. Two million dollars went towards renovations to the Morgan Street parking garage and to boiler and chiller replacement at 55 Farmington Avenue.