HARTFORD, CT — New York-based Shelbourne Global Solutions LLC plans to launch a shuttle loop for workers in its four office towers in downtown Hartford as part of its purchase of a parking lot on Allyn Street.
“We are trying to accommodate the needs of any corporate tenant,” Michael Seidenfeld, Shelbourne’s chief operating officer, said. One of the first things they ask is, ‘What is the parking like?’
The shuttle — perhaps a trolley — is aimed at providing another amenity for tenants in Shelbourne buildings to travel from parking to offices and elsewhere in the downtown area. Shelbourne is exploring the possibility of an app to track movements of the shuttle, Seidenfeld said.
The shuttle could be in service in 12 to 18 months. Potential routes are still in early discussions, Seidenfeld said.
The shuttle, Seidenfeld said, would be another component in encouraging the “walkability” of the downtown area.
In the last six years, Shelbourne has steadily become a prominent downtown landlord, acquiring such office towers as Metro Center One, the “Stilts Building” at 20 Church St. and 100 Pearl St. Earlier this year, Shelbourne partnered with LAZ Investments to purchase the iconic One Financial Plaza, the “Gold Building.”
Shelbourne would partner with LAZ Parking on developing the shuttle.
Shelbourne also is part of a development group that envisions reinvigorating the south side of Pratt Street with apartments and new retail.
Shelbourne acquired the parking lot, which covers a city block, from Tishman Realty for $3.9 million, according to city records.
“Meeting the parking needs of our tenants is our primary reason for making this purchase,” Benjamin Schlossberg, managing member of Shelbourne, said, in a release. “We also believe that Hartford is on the tipping point of a resurgence and as a major stakeholder in this revitalization, we felt the site had tremendous future development potential.”
The Allyn Street property is bounded by Allyn, Church and High streets. It has long been known as the Oakleaf site after a developer that went bankrupt trying to develop an office tower on the property in the 1980s.
In the 1990s, the property also was considered as a potential location for the Connecticut Convention Center, later built at Adriaen’s Landing. Its location just west of the Hartford Civic Center — now renamed the XL Center — also made it a possible site for a second sports arena.
The property was cleared of a car dealership, a gas station and other buildings when the skyscraper was envisioned. The parking lot replaced a dirt lot when the tower wasn’t built.
In recent years, it was proposed as a site for a new downtown UConn campus that was eventually built on Front Street. It also has been seen as a potential site for mixed-use development and better connecting Union Station with downtown.