777 Main Street, Hartford, Connecticut
In 1963, Hartford National Bank hired famed west-coast architect Welton Beckett to design an iconic building across from Connecticut’s historic old state house. As the years passed, ownership changed, and eventually this 26-story tower stood vacant, a tangible reminder of the struggles the city of Hartford, Connecticut had endured. The city of Hartford and the state both wanted to convert this prominent - and iconic- vacant business tower to residential use.
In 2014, Becker + Becker began the process of transforming it into a residential tower. Conversion of the vacant building to residential apartments cut downtown Hartford’s commercial vacancy rate significantly, while boosting desirable housing, a key component in the city’s vision of a revitalized and vibrant downtown. The tower now houses 285 rental apartments—a mix of market-rate, moderate-income, and affordable units—with a full level of resident amenities, as well as substantial retail on the ground and basement levels.
The building is listed on both the Connecticut and National Historic Registries; with the retrofit, it also achieved LEED Platinum certification. This attention to environmental factors was a major attraction for BlueHub Loan Fund, then named Boston Community Loan Fund. BlueHub Capital, said a spokesman for Becker + Becker, "isn’t just looking at our pro forma. Yes, they want to see financial success, but they have a deep interest in the social and environmental goals inherent in the project—our efforts to reduce blight in downtown Hartford and to reduce the environmental load of a building this size. It’s a striking difference," he concluded, between BlueHub Capital and other funders.