In May 2000 the Connecticut legislature approved a Master Plan for various municipal, economic and development bodies to transform 30-acres of land into a publicly funded multi-use complex. The site is bordered by Prospect Street to Travelers Plaza Building in the west, Columbus Boulevard/ Arch Street to the south, State Street and Riverfront Plaza to the north and the Connecticut River and I- 91 to the east.
The mission: to boost the economic driving factors of tourism and business into the city and state.
The project was named Adriaen’s Landing, after the Dutchman Adriaen Block, who in 1614 was the first white man to venture into the Connecticut River Valley. The components are the Convention Center, Hartford Marriott Hotel, Connecticut Science Center and Front Street District .
Connecticut Convention Center ( CTCC)
The 540,000-square-foot CTCC, is the largest, full-service convention facility between New York and Boston. It is the anchor of Adriaen’s Landing, offering 140,000 sq. feet of exhibit space; 40,000 square foot ballroom; 25,000 square feet of meeting space; and 2,339 attached parking spaces.
It has achieved its ongoing mission to attract top quality events to Connecticut. Many shows have made the Connecticut Convention Center the permanent home for their annual event: XRX-STITCHES-East, Owners and Pilot Association, National Greek Leadership Association, ConnectiCon, Mary Kay, Inc., Tree Care Industry Association, National Association of Campus Activities, LEGOs KidFest, Northeast Utilities’ FIRST Robotics and Price Chopper.
The CTCC hosts sporting events such as New England Regional Volleyball and boxing matches and showcases original events such as a regional bridal show. It was transformed into a red carpet affair for over 1,000 attendees at Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s Inaugural Ball.
Its value as an economic driver is proved by the creation of almost 300 jobs at the CTCC alone, for residents from Hartford and the surrounding towns. Events generate business for area hotels (room nights and parking revenue) and city attractions.
Hartford Marriott Downtown
Adjacent to the CTCC, its scale and traditions are based on the “Grand Hotel” design by Brennan Beer Gorman. Its 22 stories contribute an iconic, distinctive addition to the Hartford skyline.
The 409 room hotel is linked to the convention center at the ground floor adjacent to the main lobby, and at the terrace level, the hotel ballroom and convention center exhibition hall are connected by an exterior access.
The Grove Street pedestrian bridge completes the complex by connecting the Riverfront, Connecticut Science Center and the Convention Center.
Connecticut Science Center:
June 12, 2009 saw the opening of this facility. Projected attendance was surpassed in the first week, fulfilling its promise as a major feature of Adriaen’s Landing.
Its 200 exhibits in 10 galleries covering a wide variety of subjects disseminate information and stir curiosity and fancy : space and earth sciences, physical sciences, biology, the Connecticut River watershed. The hands-on, interactive experience immerses visitors into science, while at the same time being enjoyable, hands-on and interactive .
Other features include Connecticut inventors, innovations, and a children’s gallery. Four educational labs, a 200-seat 3D digital cinema, function room, gift store and café round off the physical amenities of this state-of-the-art development. Programs include ongoing events and lectures for all ages.
Front Street District
The name harks back to the nostalgia of the original location, a bustling riverfront thoroughfare from the late 1800’s through the 1950’s. Aligned with the revitalization approach , today this entertainment/residential/retail complex includes the pedestrian street that anchors the development and the district encompassing Arch Street and the Hartford Times Building.
Historic portions such as the grand balcony facing Prospect Street are being preserved for integration into the new construction.
Phase I, completed in November 2010 will house its first tenant, Spotlight Theater, from Greensboro, Georgia. A unique and luxurious movie venue, it is planned for the southeast corner at Columbus Boulevard and Front Street. Inauguration is planned for the fall of 2011, in time for the holiday season.
Phase II, which will include apartments, is in the planning stages.
This is a wonderful validation of the much-desired objective of attracting out-of-state businesses into Connecticut.