Hartford Business Journal

March 25, 2019

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4 Hartford Business Journal • March 25, 2019 • www.HartfordBusiness.com Briefs Airport Authority IDs funding source for $210M ground transportation project Bradley International Airport has identified a funding source for its long-planned $210 million ground transportation project. The Connecticut Airport Authority plans to use revenue bonds to finance the project, which will include a new consolidated rental car and ground transportation facility with 830 parking spaces. The project, which could start construction this year, will put all rental- car companies in one space on-site and eliminate shuttling to rental sites. The revenue bonds will be repaid by customer facility charges, which will apply to customers who rent cars at the new facility, according to Fitch Ratings, which recently reviewed the Airport Authority's financing scheme. Nexstar to divest Hartford's Fox 61 Nexstar Media Group Inc. has agreed to sell 11 of its local television stations, including Hartford-based WTIC-TV (Fox 61), to Virginia broadcaster TEGNA Inc. for $740 million. The companies announced the all-cash transaction March 20 as Nexstar was being forced to make certain divestitures to comply with regulatory ownership limits amid its recent $4 billion acquisition of Tribune Media Co., which included the purchase of WTNH-TV in New Haven. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) forbids a single owner from operating multiple television stations in the same market, so Texas-based Nexstar decided to divest its Hartford outfit. Manchester OKs Raymour & Flanigan warehouse expansion Manchester's Planning and Zoning Commission has approved plans to allow retailer Raymour & Flanigan Furniture to build two new facilities at its local distribution warehouse. The town's unanimous approval gives the New York-based company authority to build a 199,466-square-foot warehouse addition and 8,400-square-foot recycling facility at 61 Chapel Road. Raymour & Flanigan currently has a 300,650-square- foot distribution hub on-site equipped with about 50 loading docks. The warehouse addition will provide Raymour & Flanigan with another 16 loading docks in the Northwest corner of the 29.55- acre site, which faces Hartford Distributors. State House Square's debt woes return Downtown Hartford's State House Square skyscraper is close to defaulting on the balance of its renegotiated $88 million mortgage, two realty debt-trackers say. Commercial-mortgage tracker Trepp LLC and corporate-debt monitor Fitch Ratings, both based in New York, released separate data reports, one of which indicated the $87.55 million loan that was refinanced down to 4 percent and extended three years through Feb. 2020 was current as of March. However, Fitch Ratings reported in its survey that the note has been transferred back to special servicing, citing "imminent monetary default." The office complex at 10-90 State House Square, that counts Travelers Insurance and UBS Global Real Estate among its largest tenants, ran into trouble two years ago and landed in "special servicing'' while its owner pursued a "workout'' with the lender. At that time, Travelers had notified its landlord that it planned to shrink its office footprint in the 837,225-square- foot office complex located across the street from Constitution Plaza. In late Week in Review TOP STORY Before biz crowd, Lamont defends min. wage, paid family medical leave I t wasn't the softest room to walk into. At the Legislative Office Building (LOB) March 20, a packed room of Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA) members were airing frustrations and concerns about proposed legislation that would raise the minimum wage and create a mandatory paid family medical leave program. Those initiatives are key pieces of the policy agenda for Gov. Ned Lamont, who entered the LOB committee room just before CBIA lobbyist Eric Gjede wrapped up a Q&A session, part of the group's annual Business Day at the Capitol. Lamont joked that Gjede would be available for any additional tough questions, before launching into a 19-minute speech that led off with the recent news that S&P Global Ratings had upgraded the state's credit outlook, to positive, citing improved reserves and Lamont's proposed "debt diet." It was the first outlook upgrade from a major ratings agency in 18 years, according to State Treasurer Shawn Wooden. Lamont's mention of it drew applause from the CBIA crowd. Lamont also defended the need for highway tolls to improve the state's roads and transportation infrastructure, detailed his proposals aimed at avoiding a "fiscal cliff" in the payment schedule for the teachers' pension fund, and promised gradual improvement in the state's IT systems, which could make it easier for companies to do business with the state. It wasn't until a Q&A session after the speech that Lamont defended his support of paid family leave and a higher minimum wage, arguing he doesn't think those initiatives will put employers here at a competitive disadvantage. BY THE NUMBERS 122 The number of New England Motor Freight employees who lost their job after the bankrupt truckload carrier shuttered its Meriden trucking terminal. $140,000 The unpaid rent Hartford-based First & Last Tavern owes on its Middletown restaurant, which faces eviction. 870 The number of solar jobs that are located in Hartford County, according to the Solar Foundation. 197 The number of new housing permits that were issued in January, which was well below the 297 permits is- sued in the year-ago period, accord- ing to U.S. Census Bureau data. TOP 5 MOST READ On HartfordBusiness.com • 1. Middletown to evict First & Last restaurant for unpaid rent • 2. Airport Authority IDs funding source for $210M ground transportation project • 3. NJ trucking company shutters Meriden site, 122 jobs lost • 4. Raymour & Flanigan seeks major Manchester expansion • 5. Before biz crowd, Lamont defends min. wage, paid family medical leave STAY CONNECTED For breaking and daily Greater Hartford business news go to www.HartfordBusiness.com HBJ on Twitter: @HartfordBiz HBJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/HartfordBiz HBJ on Linkedln: www.linkedin.com/company/ the-Hartford-Business-Journal Daily e-newsletters: HBJ Today, CT Morning Blend www.HartfordBusiness.com/ subscribe Weekly e-newsletters: CT Health Care Weekly www.HartfordBusiness.com/ subscribe Gov. Ned Lamont speaks at CBIA's Business Day at the state Capitol. PHOTO | CONTRIBUTED

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