UConn Moves Forward With Sale of West Hartford Campus
Posted to: Economic Development, The Economy, Technology sector, Financial Sector, Education, West Hartford
HARTFORD, CT — The University of Connecticut Board of Trustees unanimously approved the sale of its West Hartford campus to Seven Stars Cloud, a financial services and technology firm.
The university agreed to sell the campus to the company for $5.2 million. The closing for the 58-acre campus in West Hartford is expected to happen in September.
The company is expecting to build a $283 million headquarter on the site with $10 million in help from the state. The state will forgive the $10 million if the company creates 330 jobs over the next five years.
Last year the university moved into a new downtown Hartford campus and no longer had any use for the West Hartford property.
The town of West Hartford had considered purchasing the property for $5 million, but decided against it due largely to the environmental contamination.
There is some disagreement about whether the town would still be given the first right of refusal now that a buyer has been found for the property. The town and UConn disagreed over the issue several months ago.
The property is still zoned residential with a special use permit for an education facility.
Seven Stars Cloud may have to request a change of use with the town. However, if some of the buildings are used as a training facility, then it’s possible a change of use would only be necessary for part of the property.
“Once the sale is complete, the company will take all of the risks to work with the town in permitting for the use they intend for it,” Scott Jordan, UConn’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, said Friday.
The company is expected to purchase a liability insurance plan on behalf of the university in the meantime in case any more environmental contamination is found.
The insurance premium of $250,000 will be paid for by Seven Stars Cloud and will cover about $25 million, according to Jordan.
The cost of environmental remediation would be around $8 million if all the buildings were demolished. However, Seven Stars Cloud said last week that it plans to rehab and renovate some of the five buildings on campus.
Jordan said it costs the university about $500,000 a year to maintain the campus.
“We’re very pleased we were able to pull this together and avoid those costs in the future,” Jordan said.