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Housing advocates call for Hartford to investigate developer after tenants speak out

Center for Leadership and Justice is asking the city to investigate Andeleeb Properties

HARTFORD, Conn — Andaleeb Properties of Bloomfield is set to move forward with several major developments along Albany Avenue. Now, housing advocates are calling for an investigation, but they say they don’t want that to stop a project that’s taken more than a decade to get off the ground.

“I remember being a child driving by the police substation. I am 39 years old and I am still driving by the same deplorable, depleted police substation,” said the Rev. AJ Johnson, senior pastor, Urban Hope Refuge Church.

Irving Street homeowners fed up with drug activity, loitering, fighting, stabbing, and shootings surrounding an old police sub station sought help from the city and advocates with the Center for Leadership and Justice. 

After meeting with city officials and advocates, a solution became prioritizing development of the old police sub station at 614 Albany Avenue

But now the Center for Leadership and Justice is calling for an investigation before projects move forward with Andaleeb Properties of Bloomfield nearly a week after a FOX61 exclusive report showed tenants living  in a unit condemned by the city last year and dealing with sewage, mold, and other issues.

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At a press conference Monday, Johnson said, “What we seem to have here is a developer connected to many LLCs with a complex family ownership structure. This has been true of the slumlord cases we have dealt with over the last 6 years.”

Bronin said Ace Andeleeb was the only developer to bid on the latest project. 

Johnson want to know why.

“We want to know what developers are citing as barriers and then want to see a plan for addressing those barriers,” Johnson said. 

Keisha Dickenson, Upper Albany NRZ Chair and Irving Street resident added, “We would like to see the tenant issues and complaint resolved and better handling of complaint issues within the city.”

Bronin said the city is prioritizing the project and looking into its preferred developer. 

“We’re going to look across that whole portfolio,” Bronin said, adding in a statement Tuesday morning:

We have not entered into any agreements with Andaleeb for these two properties, and we'll continue to do our due diligence before we do so. We worked proactively to encourage a number of developers to consider tackling these properties on Albany Avenue, but Andaleeb was the only firm to respond to the RFP. The community has long wanted to see progress on these sites, and we've worked hand in hand with the neighborhoods throughout the process.  We would like to get these developments moving as soon as possible to build on the progress and investments we've made on Albany Avenue, but we take the concerns that have been raised very seriously.

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 Samaia Hernandez is a reporter for FOX61 News. She can be reached at shernandez@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, X, and Instagram.


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