The Swift Gold Leaf Factory, which closed in 2005, was the economic heart of Northeast Hartford. Today, the local economy is still struggling and the area has been designated a HUD Promise Zone. Now, non-profit developer Community Solutions is transforming the site’s historic factory buildings and two homes into a community asset. The project aims to provide opportunities for job training, create jobs, improve health, and spur economic growth and entrepreneurial activity in the neighborhood.
The complex will include commissary kitchens for local restaurants, incubator kitchen space for fledgling local businesses, aquaponics growing spaces, a community health care clinic, and a shared office space for local entrepreneurs and start-ups.
The site presents an exciting design opportunity, with its variety of domestic and manufacturing structures dating from 1890-1948. Bruner/Cott is working with Community Solutions and the neighborhood to develop a unique community-based identity for the complex that balances its industrial past with modern aspirations.