SOUTH MEADOWS NEIGHBORHOOD STUDY
TPA is currently working with the City of Hartford’s Department of Development Services (DDS) to study the physical and economic conditions within the South Meadows neighborhood to provide a recommendation for establishing a Municipal Development Plan (MDP).
Using a variety of data sources obtained from City records, State of Connecticut agencies, and proprietary sources, TPA built a database of information mapped to the specific parcels. But because not all of the data was available in compatible formats, TPA was required to find a method to efficiently merge the different sources through use of Excel’s sorting capabilities and ArcGIS’s spatial join tools.
TPA conducted fieldwork in January 2019 to confirm actual vacancies in the neighborhood A mix of driving around the neighborhood, review of commercial leasing websites, and phone calls was used to gather data and map it to corresponding parcels.
Heat maps of real estate and personal property taxes help delineate important taxpayers in the neighborhood as well as define the amount of land area held by exempt entities such as the City of Hartford, Brainard Airport, the Metropolitan District Commission, and the Materials Innovation Recycling Authority. Gradients of building conditions, impervious surface coverage, brownfield conditions, vacancies, wages, and employment figures support TPA’s recommendation to pursue a Chapter 132 framework for the MDP.
TPA worked with DDS to study the feasibility for redevelopment of several prominent parcels in the study area. Using neighborhood data, TPA analyzed land uses by their corresponding employment, hourly wage, and tax receipt impacts and provided recommendations on highest and best uses for the special study parcels given environmental, land easement. and other constraints. A concept plan illustrating a build-out for each special study site for each use was included to assist DDS in securing assistance for a future MDP.
Rail connectivity was a major consideration for DDS. The study area is separated by an active mainline for the Connecticut Southern and Providence & Worcester freight railroad. The City of Hartford was interested in understanding how businesses currently make use of the railroad -- and opportunities to expand activity. TPA contacted the dispatch office for the parent railroad and summarized its findings as part of one of the special study sites.