February 2024 Meeting will be HYBRID!


Our February 21, 2024 meeting will be our first hybrid meeting using our new Owl camera and projector, acquired through the City and Hartford Next's Community Outreach funds. We hope more neighbors will be able to join us this way, especially as there are so many new projects planned for our community.

Our February guests from Spinnaker Real Estate and the City Department of Economic Development will share development updates on some of those projects that are already in the works: new apartments at 525 Main Street and the empty lot behind it that faces Pulaski Circle, the soon-to-be-opened apartments at 55 Elm Street, and the parking lot at 63 Capitol Avenue. Plus, representatives from the Greater Hartford Mobility Study will share some highlights from their report.

Our next meeting is Wednesday, February 21 at 6:00 pm at First Presbyterian Church of Hartford, 136 Capitol Avenue. Enter through the small white building to the right of the main church.  Or join us online on Zoom.

We look forward to catching up on neighborhood news with you!

Check out the rest of the February newsletter here.

(Photo above is of the late Ani Mal Chin on Hudson Street, during a past snowstorm.)

January 2024 SoDo Meeting


Collage of SoDo's 2023-24 Capitol Avenue Winter Lights installation. Photos by Robin Zaleski.

Have you seen the winter garlands lighting up Capitol Avenue?

In February of 2023, the SoDo NRZ submitted a proposal for a Love Your Block grant to beautify a high-visibility area in our neighborhood for the winter season by installing reusable, pre-lit LED evergreen garlands on the Victorian-style street lamps on Capitol Avenue. The grant was awarded by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving that summer. Our neighbors at First Presbyterian kindly stored the garlands until they were hung up last month by SoDo volunteers and some staff members from Riverfront Recapture. The plan is to leave the garlands up until March, to help brighten the streetscape during the winter months.

Speaking of Capitol Avenue, Bushnell South (aka Capital Avenue redevelopment) and other SoDo developments were again in the news recently, as part of some year-end round-ups of Hartford development. There are a lot of new projects planned in and around SoDo, so it is perfect timing that this year one of our major goals is to update our Strategic Plan. We will simultaneously be drafting an official Neighborhood Plan with the city. Representatives from the Department of Economic Development and their planning partner FHI Studios will be the guest speakers at our next meeting, Wednesday, January 17 at 6:00 pm at First Presbyterian Church of Hartford, 136 Capitol Avenue. Enter through the small white building to the right of the main church. We look forward to catching up on neighborhood news with you!

Holiday Happy Hour


The Board of the SoDo NRZ invites our residential and business neighbors to join us in celebrating the season!

Wednesday, December 20
5:00 - 7:00 pm
Social Republic*
10 Capitol Avenue
Cash Bar

For those who are driving: on-street parking (free after 6 pm) and a paid lot on Linden & Hudson. 

Please note, this event is in lieu of our December meeting. Our regularly scheduled monthly meetings resume January 17, 2024. 

*formerly known as Republic at The Linden

Pulaski Circle, Bushnell South, and Other Neighborhood News

Autumn leaves on Capitol Avenue looking east.

When the Greater Hartford Mobility Study included Pulaski Circle and its related safety issues in its list of potential future projects, the online chatter about the “Circle of Death” caught the attention of local media. Recently, a few SoDo members were interviewed for CT Insider and NBC Connecticut. You can read more about the GHMB study in this Courant article (gift link). Read more about SoDo’s attempts to slow traffic in the area here. The GHMB’s next public meeting is this Thursday.

As well, Bushnell South (aka Capital Avenue redevelopment) was also in the news this past week (gift link), as it seems the parking lot on the southwest corner of Hudson and Capitol is a hot commodity — three developers want it: Spinnaker, The Bushnell, and possibly the government for a new federal courthouse. We have links to three years’ worth of articles about Bushnell South on our website. Speaking of Cap Ave development, Brandon Lira from Spinnaker Real Estate is the guest speaker at this week’s SoDo NRZ meeting, with an update on renovations at 55 Elm.

We next meet on Wednesday, November 15 at 6:00 pm at First Presbyterian Church, 136 Capitol Avenue (enter through the small white building to the right of the church). Our meetings are open to the public and we especially welcome new residents, businesses, and organizations to attend and meet your neighbors! Please join us!

SoDo Neighborhood Blood Drive Survey

The South Downtown NRZ has partnered with First Presbyterian Church of Hartford to sponsor an American Red Cross Blood Drive. We need to make sure we have enough people to donate blood before we can commit. We support and encourage you to take time to give blood; a simple way to make a difference in someone's life. Your one blood donation can help save up to three lives.  

Have questions about giving blood? Visit the Red Cross website here. Any other questions? Contact SoDoNRZ@gmail.com.

The survey closed on October 30, 2023. Thank you for your interest.

Love Hartford 2023 Neighborhood Cleanup


UPDATE: Our Love Hartford Week Neighborhood Cleanup that was scheduled to take place tomorrow (Saturday, October 22) is postponed due to weather. Our neighborhood can always use the love, so we will plan another one for later this fall. Last year we had a dozen volunteers and picked up over 250 pounds of trash! 

If you aren't already on our email list, please sign up for our newsletter so you stay in the know for this and other events!

Mark your calendar for Saturday, October 21 from 9 am to 11 am for a neighborhood cleanup, part of the City and Knox Foundation's Love Hartford Week.

RSVP here so we know how much equipment is needed.

Meet on the northwest corner of Main & Buckingham Streets, in Buckingham Square Park. Gloves, trash bags, water, etc. will be provided. Following the cleanup, all participants are invited to a celebration at Pope Park from 11-2 for refreshments.

September Meeting Wednesday 9/20

This week brings the Autumnal Equinox, and the first SoDo NRZ meeting of the 2023-24 year, Wednesday, September 20 at 6:00 pm at First Presbyterian Church (136 Capitol Ave., enter through the white building to the right of the main church). Please join us!

Our meetings typically include reports from Hartford NEXT, Community Garden, and the Outreach and Social Committees (check out this month's newsletter for info in the return of SoDo’s Progressive Dinner!), reports from HPD and HFD on activity in the neighborhood, and updates from various City offices such as Community Engagement, Planning & Development Services, and Sustainability. We occasionally have special guests who share information relevant to quality of life in the neighborhood/city.

It feels like Hartford activities are back up to pre-2020 levels: live music, festivals, yoga in the park, and non-profit fundraising events. Not sure where to start? Visit the new “Things To Do” page of our website, or the Hartford.com website.