April 29, 2005
By ANN MARIE SOMMA, Courant Staff Writer
WFSB-TV, Channel 3, is moving to Rocky
The Hartford broadcast station announced
Thursday it plans to build a $23 million, 65,000-square-foot
broadcasting facility in the Corporate Ridge office park.
The announcement seals the deal with Rocky Hill, which joined
a long list of cities and towns that tried to woo the broadcast
station when it began looking to leave Hartford.
"It's a historic day in Rocky Hill. For me it boils down
to what Rocky Hill has to offer," said Mayor Todd Cusano. "It's
about location, location, location."
Elden Hale, senior vice president of the Meredith Broadcasting
Group and General Manager of WFSB, said Rocky Hill's proximity
to I-91, Route 9, Route 2 and I-84 was a crucial element in the
"The main reason for choosing Rocky Hill was that the site
allowed us to build the kind of facility that we needed, and
the location is excellent. News is what we do and Rocky Hill
provides excellent access to Hartford and the state Capitol," said
Hale, who lives in Rocky Hill.
Cusano said that for more than a year he discussed with Hale
what Rocky Hill could offer the station and drove him around
town to various sites.
Meanwhile, in August, WFSB reached a deal with Hartford to relocate
from its home at Constitution Plaza to a $20 million facility
on a 3.3-acre site known as 12B on the northern fringe of downtown.
But it backed out of the agreement last month, saying the site
was too small.
"The city put an attractive deal forward," Hartford
Mayor Eddie Perez said. "We wish them well."
Hale said the station needs to move out of its nearly 50-year-old
home at 3 Constitution Plaza. It would have stayed in Hartford
had it found a suitable location, he said. The Rocky Hill site
is more than twice the size of the site Hartford offered the
"We are excited about Rocky Hill, there is a vibrancy,
it's growing, and its infrastructure is strong," Hale said.
The new two-story facility at Corporate Ridge will be designed
from the ground up to be a digital television station, according
to the station.
The station plans to purchase about 7 acres on the site to build
two broadcast studios, three control rooms dedicated exclusively
to news, a separate production control room, an expanded repair
and maintenance facility, a garage for large news vehicles and
a helicopter pad.
Construction of the site will begin this summer. The site is
expected to open in the summer or fall of 2007.
"We are thrilled - they are a great addition to Rocky Hill's
corporate community. I look forward to seeing the trucks throughout
town," Town Manager Barbara Gilbert said Thursday.
Cusano couldn't estimate the increase in tax dollars the deal
will bring to town coffers, because the town and the station
are discussing an incentive package that includes tax abatements.
The town council must approve the incentive package.
The corporate office park is home to Loctite, Nationwide Insurance
and Cingular Wireless and is adjacent to the Hartford Marriott
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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