There’s more than $1 billion in proposed CT spending. Will Hartford apartments, West Hartford affordable housing and the Heublein Tower get help?

Rebuilding affordable housing in West Hartford, preserving the Heublein Tower in Simsbury and renovating Hartford’s Fuller Brush headquarters into apartments are just a few of the projects expected to get a boost Friday from the state Bond Commission.

Dozens of organizations and causes ranging from state colleges and brownfields reclamation jobs to town police departments and new housing projects are on the commission’s list for funding.


Most of the several hundred million dollars is planned for long-term state highway and transit projects around the state, including $143.6 million for rail and bus facilities, $65 million for road and bridge repairs and $30 million for aid to local street projects.

There is also $20 million allocated for new technology to prevent wrong-way crashes on divided state highways, $10 million for open space preservation, $9 million for repairs at state college campuses, $16 million to make various state buildings more energy efficient, and $25 million to bolster the fund to assist eastern Connecticut residents with crumbling home foundations.


There are also dozens of targeted municipal initiatives around the state, including the renovation of two buildings in the former Fuller Brush Co. factory complex in Hartford’s North End into apartments. The state will put $5.5 million toward that project, which the city sees as critical to neighborhood revitalization.

The $36.2 million renovation would convert buildings facing Main Street into 153 apartments, with a third building to be used for amenities. A city development fund also is contributing $3 million to the project.

The developers, Shelbourne Global Solutions LLC of Brooklyn, New York, downtown Hartford’s largest commercial landlord, view the apartment conversion as strengthening the connection between downtown and northern neighborhoods in the city. Shelbourne bought the property in 2020.

The city also has emphasized the importance of transforming the massive, 10-building campus. In its 15-year plan of development in 2020, the city listed Fuller Brush as a key component in the revitalization of Terry Square and one of the 10 projects that could transform the city by 2035.

Shelbourne hopes to win a historic building designation for the 1922 structure to secure historic tax credits to help finance the apartment conversion. Construction could get started in the spring, according to the Capital Region Development Authority, which will administer the state and city funding, both structured as loans.

Near the town line with Windsor, Fuller Brush’s distinctive tower with Gothic and Tudor arched openings crowned with corner turrets and a parapet is a familiar site to motorists on I-91.

Fuller Brush moved out of Hartford in the 1960s, survived a bankruptcy and is now corporate owned and based in Kansas. Two generations ago, its name was synonymous with door-to-door sales by Fuller Brush men and women, celebrated in movies, cartoons — Disney once depicted the wolf in the “Three Little Pigs” as a Fuller Brush salesman — and popular songs.

The bond commission also will consider funding a $3 million loan as part of financing a planned $18.7 million conversion of the long-vacant Travelers Education Center into apartments. The center at 200 Constitution Plaza would be converted into 101 apartments, adding to the 190 rentals created in the redevelopment of the former Sonesta Hotel on the plaza in 2015.


The developers — Biagio Barone of Stratford-based Barone Properties and John Guedes of Primrose Cos., based in Bridgeport — have been active for years in redevelopment projects in Fairfield County. This would be their first venture in Hartford.

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The nonprofit HRA, a social services agency serving New Britain and five nearby towns, is up for $1.1 million to make its lobby safer by restricting access, securing ground-floor windows and giving security staff a better line of vision.

“This is an important project that, when completed, is designed to increase safety by serving as a physical barrier from potential danger while supporting a healthy learning environment,” state Rep. Manny Sanchez of New Britain said in a statement this week.

The state would provide 50-year, interest-free loans to several developers, including $2.8 million to CP2 Owner LLC, which is building a 34-unit apartment complex in Newington with 28 of them set aside for affordable housing.

Westbrook V Housing LLC would get $4 million to finance construction of 58 apartments, including 34 affordable units, in the Village at Park River Phase V project in Hartford. Another $4 million is planned for 20 Starkel LLC, which is preserving 65 affordable apartments on Starkel Road in West Hartford while it rebuilds the half-century-old West Harford Fellowship Housing project.

The state department of energy and environmental protection is scheduled to get $15 million for construction and preventive maintenance at parks, state forests and wildlife management areas. About $6.5 million of that is specifically earmarked for restoring and preserving the iconic Heublein Tower at the Talcott Mountain State Park in Simsbury. Built in 1914, the 165-foot-tower is popular with hikers on Talcott Mountain, and officials estimate it gets up to 100,000 visitors a year.


Other projects across Connecticut range from $4.5 million for a new headquarters for Branford’s police department, $6.5 million toward a new National Guard center in Putnam and $1 million for upgrades and building repairs at Rentschler Field in East Hartford and the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.

Gov. Ned Lamont is scheduled to convene the commission for votes Friday at 10:30 a.m. at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.