EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — On a beautiful Tuesday morning, Connecticut’s Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz toured East Hartford, an area that the state is investing in to redevelop underutilized parts of town.  

“This is an opportunity not just for East Hartford, but for our state to help East Hartford grow their grand list, to grow jobs and to build new housing,” Bysiewicz said. 

The so-called Control Tower project is a 25-point plan that would create nearly 1,500 new jobs and about 1,200 apartments.  

Mayor Mike Walsh said East Hartford has a reputation of being a blue-collar town.

“Some people go, ‘Oh, that’s East Hartford. We don’t want to be there.’ That doesn’t deter us,” Walsh said. 

The projects include Concourse Plaza, home of the old Showcase Cinema. Walsh said nearly 400 apartments will collect $34 million in new tax revenue over the next three decades.   

Those apartments are expected to bring foot traffic to Silver Lane Plaza when that site is redeveloped into new retail space.   

Founders Plaza, along the Connecticut River, is expected to be a live, work and play development with at least 300 luxury apartments.   

Church Corners Inn on Main Street is being gutted and built into new apartments, which will revitalize a site that has a reputation for crime.   

And the National Development project will be a mega warehouse site with $2.5 million square feet of land, creating more jobs.   

Walsh said some funding will come from the American Rescue Plan, along with the CRDC and bond money already ready to go.

Residents have mixed reactions about the campaign.  

“I think it will make it better,” said Stephen Stulpin, an East Hartford resident. “It will be a lot better for reputation-wise because the development itself is great.”

Barry Baskerville had questions.

“It’s not so much that these new projects are not good; but when you have old projects and you don’t maintain them, you don’t take care of them, how do you expect people to get behind you?” Baskerville said.

Walsh said demolition should begin in the next few months.