West Hartford Town CouncilUnanimously Approves 294-Unit Apartment Development on Park Road

Jan 8, 2019 | News

Plans for One Park Road, a new 294-unit apartment development at on the 22-acre Sisters of Saint Joseph property at the intersection of Park Road and Prospect Avenue in West Hartford, were approved by the West Hartford Town Council Tuesday night.

The approval, which followed a nearly three-hour public hearing that included an extremely detailed description of the plans submitted by Lexington Partners LLC on behalf of the applicant LEX-LAX West Hartford, LLC, was unanimous.

Mayor Shari Cantor thanked the Sisters of Saint Joseph, many of whom attended the packed public hearing, for their contributions to the community and commitment to maintaining the green space with their choice of the plan for the development. She said it was a great application, from start to finish, and welcomed the developer and all associated with the project to West Hartford.

In his presentation, Marty Kenny, president and principal with applicant Lexington Partners, LLC, noted that the Park Road area had a “Brooklyn cool” vibe, and Cantor echoed that in her praise for the project. “I agree it’s sort of the Brooklyn of West Hartford,” she said, and the design for the development brings that all together.

“We are going to be excited to cut that ribbon,” Cantor said.

One Park Road will include 294 apartments, through renovation of the existing property as well as new construction. Kenny said that the total investment in the property will be approximately $60 million. The tax revenue to the Town of West Hartford should be at least $1 million for the real property, plus the revenue from personal property in common areas and renters’ automobiles.

The project is estimated to take 18-22 to months to build.

In addition to the 294 rental apartments, there are 36 units where the sisters will continue to reside. The sisters will continue to own their space, which is legally a single condominium unit.

There will be a total of 477 parking spaces at One Park Road, 70 of which will be covered. They are not actually garage spaces, but are below-ground due to the elevation change in the property.

The mix of units includes 158 studio apartments, 99 one-bedroom units, 33 two-bedroom units, and four three-bedroom units.

Much of the existing landscaping will be retained, and some additional elements will be added to bring back some of the original features of the Olmstead-designed property, Kenny said.

This is not the first time that the Town Council approved a project for the site. Back in January 2016, the Council unanimously approved a Special Development District for the Arcadia Crossing project, to be developed by Center Development Corporation at that same site. Arcadia Crossing was to include 310 apartment units, 509 parking spaces including a 270-space parking garage, and a variety of common area amenities as well as a “west wing” – a 36-bedroom complex and other facilities for the Sisters of Saint Joseph – who would continue to own that property and live there for as long as they like.

Center Development Corporation was unable to secure financing for Arcadia Crossing, and the project was not built, but the zoning changes that were approved for that project remained in effect.

Attorney Robin Pearson of Alter & Pearson LLC, who represented the applicant, noted at the beginning of the public hearing that the Town Council had already approved unanimously approved Arcadia Crossing. It did not go forward she said, because the project “turned out to be too expensive to build and too difficult to finance – it just couldn’t work.”

One Park Road “has been carefully costed out,” Pearson said, meets the guidelines of the town’s Plan of Conservation and Development, offers historical preservation, attractive apartments, and has a smaller environmental impact.

Kenny said in an interview in advance of the hearing that rents at One Park Road will begin at $1,000 per month for the studios, which will range in size from 450 to 600 square feet. Sizes, and rents, for the other apartment units will vary as well. One-bedroom apartments will rent for $1,300-$1,700 per month, and two-bedroom units will rent from $1,800-$2,600 per month. The four three-bedroom apartments will rent for upwards of $2,800 per month.