Hartford Business Journal

October 3, 2016

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G R E AT E R H A R T F O R D ' S B U S I N E S S N E W S w w w. H a r t f o rd B u s i n e s s . c o m For more B2B news visit OCTOBER 3, 2016 Volume 24, Number 44 $3.00 Subscribe online H A R T F O R D B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L Who are the best business-to-business companies in Greater Hartford? Go to HartfordBusiness.com/bobpoll to place your votes today! Polls Close: October 14th Index ■ Week in Review: PG. 6 ■ The List: PG. 9 ■ Deal Watch: PG. 10 ■ Movers & Shakers: PG. 17 ■ Town Profile: PG. 18 ■ Opinion & Commentary: PG. 20 Century Mark Bristol's Bauer Inc. has been around for 100 years, and innovation has been key to the company's evolution from a vendor of heating and refrigeration equipment and services to a producer of testing equipment and stations for U.S. manufacturers. PG. 3 Exchange Pressure Heading into its fourth open enrollment period, Connecticut's insurance exchange, Access Health CT, faces its biggest challenge yet. PG. 5 Next Hartford apartment conversion wave on deck By Gregory Seay gseay@HartfordBusiness.com T he next batch of new and converted Hart- ford apartments is on the drawing board, promising to further widen the inventory of downtown housing, as developers and plan- ners try to add to the center-city's vibrancy by luring more residents to live there. The Capital Region Development Author- ity (CRDA), which to date has provided sup- plemental financing for some 800 units of downtown apartments with a development value topping $192 million, is now working on five new housing proposals that would add an additional 264 units to the center city. The new projects, which have a collective development price tag of at least $53.4 mil- lion, come as rental-housing demand remains strong, with downtown's current vacancy rate hovering around 3.5 percent. It's a trend that could continue with the influx of more than 2,000 UConn students, faculty and staff next year, as the state's flag- ship university moves its West Hartford satel- lite campus to downtown Hartford. Perhaps as important is that Hartford, for CT pushes for 'wet-cleaning' adoption By Matt Pilon mplion@HartfordBusiness.com W hen Philip Cote was running West Hartford's French Cleaners with his father-in-law Michael "Mickey" Gas- sner in the late 1980s, he remembers Gassner getting dizzy after mopping up a sweet-smell- ing cleaning solvent that spilled on the floor. The chemical was perchloroethylene, or "perc," later deemed a suspected car- cinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency and linked to negative effects on the nervous system and senses. Gassner succumbed to cancer in 2013 at the age of 78. Cote, meantime, has suffered total hearing loss and is now clinically deaf, but able to hear with the help of cochlear implants (at least one study has shown that exposure to certain solvents combined with loud noise can increase the chances of hear- ing loss). Cote said it's impossible to know whether perc exposure played a role in his or Gassner's health conditions, but it did encourage him to stop using the chemcial. He's not alone. Perc use and the risk of worker exposure to it has been declining Continued on page 12 Continued on page 14 Scared to wash a suit in water? Fear not, says Phil Cote, who does it regularly at his West Hartford dry-cleaning business. Cote is a longtime proponent of environmentally-friendly "wet cleaning." Downtown Hartford's Radisson Hotel plans to convert some upper floors to apartments. H B J P H O T O | M A T T P I L O N H B J P H O T O | G R E G O R Y S E A Y

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