Developer Offers Master Plan For Former Site Of The Hartford In Simsbury
The former site of The Hartford office complex on Hopmeadow Street is one step closer to becoming a mixed-use residential site.
The zoning commission on Monday formally received a master plan for the site from New Jersey development firm The Silverman Group. A public hearing on the application is scheduled for Nov. 21.
The plan is on file in the planning and land use office in town hall.
The proposal was designed using The Hartford-Simsbury Form-Based Code, a document created by the town in collaboration with The Hartford in August 2014.
Form-based code provides a developer with the town’s expectations in the scope of use. The code’s purpose, according to the 63-page document, is to “implement a long-term, sustainable redevelopment strategy for the Hartford site.”
In the master plan document, The Silverman Group says the project will replace an “obsolete suburban corporate office asset that no longer is viable with a master planned mixed use community.”
The proposed development, The Ridge at Talcott Mountain, is described as a “compact and walkable … mixed-use neighborhood with embedded green space and appropriate pedestrian accommodation,” with a “decidedly New England style.”
The submitted master plan details 125 townhouse units with various layouts and facades, each ranging from 1,240 to 1,435 square feet. Also suggested are 156 luxury apartments with elevators, a club house, a 120-bed assisted living facility and 8,000 square feet of retail.
It also describes an interior walking and bike trail.
About 46 percent of the 40-acre property will remain open space, according to the plan.
In a traffic study included with the plan, engineers projected 186 net new vehicle trips during the weekday morning, 263 new trips during the weekday afternoon and 263 new trips during midday Saturdays.
T.J. Donohue, the attorney representing The Silverman Group, said the applicant is eager to receive the commission’s approval of the master plan before developing individual site plans for the property.
Donohue said a more detailed presentation will be given at the public hearing.
Last month, the developer revealed concept plans for the property and announced it would file a formal application in October.
Zoning commission members did not oppose the concept, but voiced concerns of a surplus of residential development in town.
The 172-acre property was sold for $8.52 million in late December, including 641,000 square feet of building space and the 40 acres of farmland to the north.
The Silverman Group filed an application for demolition at the site with the conservation commission in February and the buildings were torn down in May.
Earlier this year, Thomas Cooke, town director of administrative services, estimated that the town would lose about $1.5 million from the demolition and removal of personal property, but “conservative estimates of revenue from other developments in town, including construction planned by The Silverman Group, is likely to offset this loss in a couple of years.”
The Hartford contributed roughly 2 percent to the town’s tax base as one of the largest taxpayers in town and, as of spring 2014, contributed $1.6 million annually. It’s not known how the new development will affect the grand list.
The Silverman Group announced last summer that it was proposing commercial and residential development at the site.
The Silverman Group is not new to Greater Hartford. It owned the 18-story office tower at 100 Pearl St. in Hartford before selling it in March 2015 for $36.85 million to Shelbourne Global Solutions LLC.
Overall, the firm owns and manages more than 6 million square feet of office, industrial, retail and aviation properties, as well as 5,000 multifamily units throughout the country, according to figures released this summer.
Original article here.