Axela Group Property Manager Andrew Chapman spoke with MetroHartford Alliance Content Manager Nan Price about Millennium Luxury Living, the company’s latest property in downtown Hartford.
NAN PRICE: Give us a little background about how the company started and how you became involved.
ANDREW CHAPMAN: Millennium Luxury Living is under the umbrella of Axela Management, which Yitz Rabinowitz founded more than 20 years ago, along with our sister companies Axela Construction and Axela Development Group. I became involved with Axela because I believe in their commitment to our capital city and the downtown region.
I moved to Hartford several years ago from a small town—so, from small town to small city—and I fell in love with it. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity help further develop Hartford to match what the city needs.
NAN: Why is it important to create housing opportunities for people in the downtown area?
ANDREW: We believe in the importance of building community in the downtown area. As we’re learning to navigate the pandemic a little better, we’re seeing more people moving back into the area as businesses are coming back. As more businesses return from remote work or choose a hybrid work model, and as the city fills, people are going to need housing. They’re going to need these sort of places with a community.
We also place importance on promoting the health and sense of community at our property. So, the Millennium will have a yoga studio, private dining rooms, and a movie theater. We’re currently looking for a restaurateur to take over the existing onsite restaurant. Additionally, we’re the proud owners of the only outdoor inground pool in the immediate downtown area.
NAN: How has the pandemic impacted your industry and how is it evolving?
ANDREW: Property management firms have felt it across the board. Nobody has been unaffected. But it’s given us the opportunity to be a little more flexible and attentive to what our community members actually need. We’ve felt the effects of the pandemic ourselves, but we’re thankful for the programs the state has put in place that allow community members who need assistance to get what they need.
NAN: What types of clientele is Millennium Luxury Living attracting? Are you seeing a specific niche of people who want to live downtown?
ANDREW: Not necessarily. It’s been a good mix people from all over who can find a home here, which is great. We’re drawing people in from all walks of life.
That’s part of why I like Hartford. It’s a really dynamic city that has something for everyone. If you love sports, we have Hartford Athletic, the Hartford Yard Goats, and the University of Connecticut Athletics. If you’re into the arts and sciences, the top-rate Connecticut Science Center is right here in our downtown area as well as the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and The Artists Collective right in the North End.
NAN: Your website notes that there’s potential for a coworking space, which I thought was interesting.
ANDREW: We’re building a coworking space out in the lobby of this property, which will serve the residents of the building for the time being. The Millennium is a large building that will eventually be home to probably 300 to 500 people. So, that’s something we’re excited to offer our future residents.
The concept is less of a think tank and more of a high-end airport lounge with working spaces for people to host meetings. We’re lucky, when you transform former hotels you end up with a lot of space for amenities. So, we’re going to be able to offer our residents meeting rooms, conference rooms, all sorts of things other places simply can’t provide due to the lack of space.
NAN: What’s next?
ANDREW: We’re excited about this new investment in Hartford. It’s Axela’s first foray into our capital city. We’re looking toward a bright future with Vicky King as our new President and we’re excited about our new partnership with Shelbourne Global Solutions, which is a leader in development in the City of Hartford.
Axela Management is always a looking for new projects. We’re always looking to the future brightly for whatever opportunities might come up. We’re open to expanding our footprint here and working to help bring Hartford into the future.