Hartford's downtown renaissance took another step in June when construction began on the retail component of Adriaen's Landing. The project, Front Street, will feature 60,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space in addition to 115 residential units located on a 7.5-acre parcel of land that had been a manufacturing facility for Hartford Gas Co.

This redevelopment project is the result of a public private partnership between the Capital City Economic Development Authority (CCEDA), the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management and the local real estate firm H.B. Nitkin Group. Front Street, scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2008, required a $3 million brownfield clean-up effort by the state of Connecticut. In addition to the cleanup, the project will receive $12 million in housing subsidies from the CCEDA and an additional $9.75 million from the state. It will be part of the $656 million Adriaen's Landing revitalization initiative, which includes the finished 550,000-square-foot Connecticut Convention Center, a 22-story Marriott hotel and the Connecticut Center for Science and Exploration.

Hartford posted cap rates of 6.8 percent in the first quarter of 2007 and an average price per square foot of $149, below the national average of $176 per square foot, according to Real Capital Analytics, a New York-based firm that tracks the commercial real estate market performance.