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CT Construction Digest Monday September 14, 2020

Stonington PZC holds Tuesday hearing on downtown Pawcatuck apartment building

Jow Wojtas  Stonington -- The Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a virtual public hearing at 7 p.m. Tuesday on a special permit application to construct an 82-unit apartment building on the former Campbell Grain building site in downtown Pawcatuck.

Information on accessing the virtual meeting is at https://www.stonington-ct.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif3851/f/uploads/9.15.20_nph_legal_virtual.pdf

Plans call for a five-story, 116,000-square-foot building building with parking under the building and on site and a riverfront walkway with public access. The almost two-acre site is at the end of Coggswell Street, is bordered by the Amtrak line and has 240 feet of frontage along the Pawcatuck River.

A total of 70% of the units would be considered affordable housing under state law. The means Winn Development Co. LP of Boston does not have to comply with the zoning requirements in place for the neighborhood.

In order to reject the application, the commission would have to prove that health and safety concerns outweigh the need for affordable housing.

According to a report planned for the commission by Town Planner Keith Brynes, the project does not comply with various requirement of the zoning regulations, among these being maximum density (16 units allowed compared to 82 proposed), maximum height (50 feet allowed compared to the 52 feet, 9 inches proposed) as well as setback requirements and maximum floor area ratio.

The Economic Development Commission, which has supported the $30 million project, has said affordable housing is needed here to meet a growing demand in the region. The EDC has also said the project will generate $500,000 in tax revenue for the town and will enhance downtown Pawcatuck as a walkable neighborhood with proximity to shops, restaurants, parks, the library, transportation, and other amenities.

The plan provides 92 on-site parking spots, 10 more than required. Brynes wrote in his report that the building would be the largest in downtown Pawcatuck in both height and scale.

“However, due to its location it is not particularly visible from West Broad Street or High Street in Westerly. The building is designed to generally be reminiscent of a mill building and is sited into the hill to reduce its perceived massing," wrote Brynes.

The Architectural Review Board is scheduled to review the application at its virtual meeting Monday.

Developers plan spring construction start for Manchester Parkade mixed-use development

Jesse Leavenworth MANCHESTER — The town’s approved developer for the Broad Street side of the Manchester Parkade is targeting a spring start for construction of a mixed-use revival of the vacant, long-blighted site.

On Wednesday, the planning and zoning commission recommended that the town sell its 27.38 acres — the bulk of which is the site of a former shopping plaza known as “the dark side” of the Parkade. The purchase price in a development agreement that the board of directors approved last month is $1.7 million. The parcels to be sold are 296, 324, 330, 334, and 340 Broad St., 418 Middle Turnpike West and part of Green Manor Boulevard, now a privately owned and maintained road. Assistant Town Attorney Tim O’Neil said the town charter requires that the board of directors approve the individual real estate sales.

The planned $140 million commercial project calls for 480 apartments, a 120-room hotel, 98,000 square feet of office space and 63,00 square feet of retail space. The development is intended to make the surrounding area – a 148-acre neighborhood now occupied by small businesses — a draw for greater commercial and recreational activity while increasing tax revenue.

The development "will create homes jobs and public spaces, generate tax revenue and become a vibrant addition to the Manchester community,” senior town planner Megan Pilla wrote in a memo to the commission before the vote.

“The sale of the property is consistent with the town’s goals as stated in the (town’s plan of conservation and development) and the vision outlined in the Broad Street Redevelopment Plan,” Pilla wrote.

Asked if the board of directors has to approve the sale, Assistant Town Attorney Tim O’Neil said the town charter requires that the board approve individual real estate transactions.

The long road to a development agreement began in 2009 when voters approved an $8 million bond issue to resurrect the blighted area. Since then, the town has purchased and demolished the decrepit shopping plaza, bought and demolished former automotive businesses on the other side of Broad Street, completed a $5 million reconstruction of Broad Street and bought and torn down a vacant restaurant to open a connection between Center Springs Park and the redevelopment area.

Last year, on the recommendation of the redevelopment agency, the board of directors voted unanimously to enter into a memo of understanding (MOU) with Manchester Parkade I. The company’s principals are Michael Licamele, owner of a New Milford-based development company, and Harry Freeman, a former economic development leader in Hartford and Windsor.

The project likely will be completed over six years, Gary A. Anderson, director of planning and economic development, has said.

Officials: Ansonia ‘Recharged’ over growing economic development

Jean Falbo-Sosnovich  ANSONIA — There’s plenty to get “charged” up about when it comes to new projects on the horizon in the city.

And residents and prospective business owners now have an easy way to see at a glance what’s happening in terms of economic development. That’s thanks to the release of the newly updated “Ansonia Recharged” economic development map, which features an aerial view of completed projects and ones nearing completion, along with several new proposals.

The overview map features more than 20 new proposed and ongoing projects happening around the city and can be viewed online at www.ansoniarecharged.com. The city originally published the map in 2017, showing about 25 projects in the works at the time. Most of those have been completed, according to Mayor David Cassetti, which is why an update of the map was in order.

“These maps showcase the many projects proposed, completed or ongoing under my administration in just the past three years,” said Cassetti. “It offers a full, aerial overview on everything from new businesses, construction projects and so much more.”

Corporation Counsel John Marini said having a map to keep track of all of Ansonia’s new development is a handy tool. “The map allows residents to better visualize the big picture of the progress being made, from new businesses to redevelopment projects such as the Bella Vista apartment project at the ATP and Palmer Buildings,” Marini said. “We’ve also used the map as a marketing tool for Ansonia, showing it to potential investors to highlight the considerable economic opportunities our city has to offer. Ansonia Recharged is more than a slogan. ... There is activity everywhere. The map allows us to show all of that at a glance.”

Some of the projects completed since the original map came out include Stani Yogurt, the Greek-style yogurt maker on Howard Avenue; RugPad USA, which occupied 173,000 square feet of the former Farrel Corp. downtown, adding 90-plus new jobs; and several additions to Main Street’s restaurant row, including Relish Wine Bar and The Hub.

Proposed projects include a new hotel/restaurant and banquet hall at the former Molto Bene property on Wakelee Avenue; a $14 million indoor/outdoor soccer and sports complex slated for the former Olson Drive apartment complex; and a Zuppardi’s Pizza frozen pizza distribution center at the former Cook Nail Clippers building on Beaver Street. Word from city officials is that the famous West Haven-based pizzeria may open a restaurant here, as well.

Projects “charging forward” on the map feature the new Police Department/community center/senior center to occupy the former Farrel headquarters at 65 Main St. and the conversion of the long-vacant ATP and Palmer buildings at 497 E. Main St. into 100 market-rate apartments and retail space.

Marini credited Cassetti for the continued progress.

“Mayor Cassetti has made economic development an absolute priority in Ansonia, and it’s always exciting to see that effort pay off in new businesses, jobs and developments,” Marini said.

Economic Development Director Sheila O’Malley said the city is growing despite the current pandemic.

“We have been working hard over the course of seven years to recharge and now reopen Ansonia, and I believe this is the true test of our efforts,” she said. “Despite the health crisis, the city of Ansonia continues to grow and change for the better. I believe we have a strong foundation that can sustain the climate. Mayor Cassetti wants Ansonia to flourish and I think this map is evident of that.”

Zoning change sought at mall to allow ‘luxury’ units

Tom Ebersold  MILFORD — A proposed zoning regulation change to allow for a 300-apartment “luxury residential community” at the Connecticut Post Mall comes before the Planning and Zoning Board with a 7 p.m. public hearing Tuesday, Sept. 15.

The meeting will take place on Zoom. The agenda with the meeting link and links to all proposals for the meeting are available at https://www.ci.milford.ct.us/planning-and-zoning-board

Dallas-based mall owner Centennial Real Estate proposes constructing the apartment building at the location now occupied by the closed Sears Auto Center on East Town Road, near I-95. The rectangular building with an interior courtyard would have 135 one-bedroom units, 135 two-bedroom units and 30 three-bedroom units.

The application filed by Attorney John Knuff is only for the regulation change. There is no site plan to accompany the regulation change, only a conceptual map with a drawing of the building.

“Additional components of the mall will also be redeveloped in the future to transform the mall into a modern, mixed-use property,” according to application from the Centennial.

Centennial Real Estate purchased the mall from Westfield Corporation in 2015. The property is 74.9 acres with 1.75 million square feet of retail space.

In the application, Centennial states that the mall has experienced a 20 percent drop in visitors during the past five years. Since 2017, more than 25 tenants have left the mall. The company also notes that many retailers filed for bankruptcy in 2020.

According to Centennial, the mall’s assessed value dropped from $176 million in 2010 to $149 million in 2019. Adjusted for inflation, the 2010 value is equal to $207 million.

The company estimates the mall will depreciate by an additional $58 million over the next 10 years, resulting in a tax revenue loss to the city of $160,000 every year. It notes that the mall is Milford’s largest taxpayer and generated $3.8 million in taxes in 2019.

With the COVID-19 virus, Centennial projects that this depreciation will accelerate. with the mall possibly depreciating $58 million within three years, causing Milford to face a loss of up to $1.6 million in yearly tax revenue.

The application offers the rationale that the apartment project is needed due to changes in shopping habits that are leading to the closure of department and retail stories, resulting in the shutdown of malls. According to the company, an estimated one quarter of malls across the country will close in the next three to five years.

Explaining the reasoning for the apartments, the company notes that there is not demand for other types of uses in Milford as there is already sufficient space available in the city for general offices, medical offices, hotels, and commercial/industrial flex space. Other options it does not see as economically feasible include recreation options like a trampoline park, incubator space or co-work space.

Regulations Change Proposed

The Connecticut Post Limited Partnership is requesting changes to the regulations for the Shopping Center Design District to allow the project to be built. With changes to the zoning regulations, the board is acting in a legislative capacity, giving it full discretion to make a decision.

This zone change would affect the three properties in the district: the mall, the 47.5-acre Milford Crossing property at 1357 Boston Post Road and the 10-acre Stop & Shop property at 1360 East Town Road.

The proposal calls removing the requirement that mixed uses in this zone conform to the limitations of Section 3.3 medium density multi-family residential districts (RMF-16).

The proposal adds a section under 3.9.3 Accessory Uses, section “Recreational buildings and uses accessory to Multi-Family Dwelling Units, including swimming pool, clubhouse and exercise facilities.”

Under Section 3.9.4, Lot and Building Requirements,, Minimum Lot Requirements, the Lot Area with dwelling units is proposed to change from 20 acres to four.

Under Section, Building Requirements, paragraph (3) Height, the proposal is to remove the requirement “that multi-family dwellings shall comply with the applicable height provisions for RMF-16 Residential Districts”, which limits buildings to 35 feet in height, and change this to state “multi-family dwellings units shall not exceed 5 stories or 85 feet in height.”

Under this same section in paragraph (4) Spacing, the wording would change from “the minimum distance between principal and/or accessory buildings shall be equal to or greater than one third the sum of the heights of the affected buildings” to “shall be equal to or greater than one third of the heights of the affected taller buildings.”

In this same section the proposal drops paragraph (7) Dwelling Units/Business Floor Area, which requires that a maximum of 40 percent of aggregate floor area be used for dwellings and a minimum of 50 percent of floor area be used for business and/or office uses.

The proposal substantially changes the wording of Paragraph (8) Dwelling Units, which becomes paragraph (7) with the deletion of the existing paragraph (7). The existing regulation covers multi-family housing that is not part of a mixed-use development, limiting density to 16 to 24 bedrooms per acre with a maximum building height of 35 feet. The new wording would be “The maximum number of units within the zone shall be 300.”

The application change was accompanied by a 53-page document entitled “Connecticut Post Regulation Change Application.” This document explained that the RMF-16 regulations “are consistent with a garden or townhouse style development within a more residential zone.”

The proposal states, “In the mixed-use context of the Post property, residential designs need to be compatible with the surrounding larger commercial structures and wide variety of uses from restaurants to a theater.”

Along the same lines, it states the higher height limitation is needed because “the existing height limitation is impractical for this context given the existing development” and that the higher limits remain well below the overall height limit and is consistent with the rest of the mall property.

The document explained, “The reduction in minimum acreage is designed to facilitate the residential development,” which may need to exist as a separate parcel for “financing, tax, and other needs.”

Other changes are explained as clarifying the regulations with regard to building spacing, and specifically stating the maximum number of units, rather than using the existing formula, which could result in more than 300 units.

The proposal also calls for modifying the minimum parking requirements from two spaces for an efficiency or one-bedroom unit and three spaces for a two- or three-bedroom unit, to 1.5 minimum spaces for any unit from an efficiency unit up to a three-bedroom apartment.

“This regulation ensures adequate parking for the community, but without minimums that exceed demand and cause unneeded impervious surface, particularly in light of the readily available parking on the Post property,” is the given explanation for the change in parking requirements.

The regulation also seeks to change the mall’s parking requirements from one space for each 250 square feet of gross buildable area to three spaces for each 1,000 square feet of leasable area. The proposal explains that the mall’s parking use typically peaks at 60 percent of available spaces with a peak of 69 percent use during the holidays.

Fiscal Impact Discussed

The fiscal impact report was prepared by Donald J. Poland, Ph.D, senior vice president and managing director, urban planning, for Goman + York, Planning and Design of East Hartford.

Poland estimates the project would annually generate $642,974 in net positive tax revenue. This includes the cost to educate the estimated 72 school-age students who would live in the apartments.

Poland also estimates the 300 apartments would create or sustain 372 construction-related jobs in the first year and an additional 117 permanent jobs in the second and following years. He estimates the community would generate a $1.2 million increase in local consumer spending.

Other Public Hearings

The board will conduct two additional public hearings. The owners of the 8-30g 12-unit affordable housing project at 328 Meadowside Road are seeking approval to modify the original special permit and site plan review to convert four of the 12 units from one-bedroom to two-bedroom. The owner is 328 Meadowside LLC, which lists Warren K. Field and Christopher F. Field of Milford as managers.

Lexmar Realty LLC, which lists Carter Mario as a member, is seeking approval for an amendment to the special permit and site plan review for the mixed-use parcel at 100 Plains Road.

In an Aug. 27 memo to the board, City Planner David B. Sulkis commented that the original plans called for 1,059 plants with 31 varieties to be planted, but only 345 plants with 18 varieties were actually planted. Sulkis also noted that the tree sizes “do not appear to be zoning compliant in all cases.”

Bethel elementary renovations ‘beautiful,’ despite some delays

Julia Perkins  BETHEL — Students moved into upgraded classrooms last week , but—as has been typical for some local projects—the renovations to two elementary schools faced some delays.

The $65.8 million renovations to Rockwell and Johnson elementary schools are mostly complete, but work continues on spaces including the gyms and cafeterias.

Those areas should have been complete by the start of the school year, but school officials note those spaces are not being used anyway, due to coronavirus precautions.

“I would be more frustrated if we were (otherwise) able to occupy the space,” Superintendent Christine Carver said. “They still need to work on the schedule and making up some of that time.”

The construction company cited the pandemic as among the reasons for the delays.

The construction, remains on budget, although more money has been used for Rockwell than expected. Johnson has cost less than planned, so far. Some contingency money remains available. A state grant covers 45 percent of eligible costs.

Occupied spaces still have some issues—called punch list items—that must be addressed, Carver said. The building has a temporary certificate of occupancy.

Everything should be completed by mid-December per the construction company’s contract with the district, said Tony Rizzo, CEO of Rizzo Corporation, the construction company.

“That was always the goal of the project,” he said. “Through COVID and everything else that’s occurred, we’re still on track for that.”

First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker said the delays were unsurprising due to the pandemic and he praised the look of the buildings.

“I’m very happy to see the progress they’ve made so far,” he said.

Carver called the classrooms “beautiful,” adding they are “a thousand times better” than before. Rockwell was built in 1971, while Johnson was built in 1980.

“Compared to what they (teachers and students) had, they’re thrilled,” Carver said. “The classes are bright, with lots of natural light. The technology has improved so much. The functionality of the spaces are significantly better.”

Delays and challenges

Crews found more hazardous materials than expected at Rockwell, which caused costs to increase and led to construction delays, Rizzo said.

Problems like this are common in renovation projects, he said.

“When you’re dealing with existing facilities, again, there is a lot of unknowns that surface, that you didn’t know about it until you open up a wall, you don’t know about until you take a test, you don’t know about until you take down a ceiling,” Rizzo said.

Construction continued throughout the pandemic, but the workforce was stretched thin and some supply deliveries were delayed. Some workers could not come in due to fears of getting sick or subcontractors testing positive, Rizzo said.

“COVID-19 had more of an impact than people think on construction,” he said.

The company adjusted its construction sequencing due to this and focused on priority areas, Rizzo said.

The August tropical storm led to workforce problems, too, because crews called out due to issues at home, he said.

At Rockwell, work will continue through September in the gym, cafeteria, faculty dining, music room and some other areas, according to the latest monthly report. Construction is ongoing through October at Johnson’s gym, cafeteria, health classroom, physical education offices and other spaces.

Playgrounds are scheduled to be installed the week of Oct. 19.

The kitchens are done in both schools. Students eat in their classrooms during the pandemic.

“Most of the challenges and obstacles are behind us now,” Rizzo said.

Historical challenges

In the past, Bethel projects have hit delays or run over budget because actual costs became greater than early estimates.

The library took 13 years to complete, with the town raising money and earning a state grant to finish the second floor. Features of the high school, Berry Elementary School, Stony Hill Firehouse and municipal center projects were sacrificed to keep them within budget.

The tipping point was in 2018 when voters needed to approve an additional $889,000 to finish the new police station after it went over its $13.5 million budget.

Close to two years after officers moved into the station, they still cannot use the firing range. Rainwater seeps through the brick and experts disagree on why or how to fix it.

The initial budget did not include money for range equipment, but the town does not want to purchase it until the leaking is fixed.

The town hired a third-party engineer last month to determine what’s wrong and address conflicting reports from the construction company and subcontractor’s experts.

“Taxpayers are not going to pay to fix it,” Knickerbocker said. “This is the responsibility of the contractors who constructed it.”

But the elementary school renovations are much larger and “more ambitious” than other projects, Knickerbocker said. Not only were two schools renovated, but construction occurred while students and teachers were in the buildings, he said.

“It’s really impossible to compare,” he said. “They are sort of like a dingy versus the Titanic.”

Still, the elementary renovations are doing far better than the renovations to the high school, which began in 2007, dragged on for years and spurred lawsuits, Knickerbocker said.

“From that perspective, the current school renovation projects are going extremely smoothly,” he said.

The selectmen have discussed revising the town’s charter to require Bethel to obtain completed construction plans before voters approve a project costing more than $1 million.

Rizzo said towns should spend money up front to get the most thorough designs and investigate potential issues.

“It limits the cost later on,” he said. “A cost that may seem significant in the initial design phase pails in comparison when you’re midway through a project and the problem surfaces.”

But Knickerbocker said future projects should have an owner’s representative—an expert who oversees the project and advises the town. As required by the state, Bethel had an owner’s representative for the renovations.

Carver said she was skeptical of the need for the representative, but the person helped with a myriad of tasks, such as coordinating, processing paperwork and overseeing the furniture.

“It would be completely unmanageable without having that service,” Carver said. “It’s just too complicated.”

The Public Site and Building Committee does a great job overseeing projects, but they are volunteers and construction regulations and requirements have become complicated, Knickerbocker said.

“We really have to look for a different model because I don’t think it's realistic to expect to find citizens with that kind of construction background to adequately manage a construction project of that magnitude,” Knickerbocker said.

‘Impressive’ upgrades

Visitors are not permitted in the buildings due to the pandemic, but those that have been inside have raved about the upgrades.

“The learning spaces are very well designed,” Knickerbocker said. “They’re impressive. They’re flexible.”

He said he was particularly impressed with the new science, technology, engineering and mathematics space at Johnson.

The school board started studying the need for renovations in 2010. Officials have said the buildings had various issues, including hot classrooms, crowded office spaces and an inadequate number of electrical outlets for the technology teachers and students use.

That’s changed.

“The technology is state of the art, which is really important for the 21st century learner,” Carver said.

The buildings are meant to encourage critical thinking and teamwork among students, she said. The latter is difficult due to coronavirus restrictions.

“The spaces were designed to do something that we actually can’t do right now, which is really designed to incorporate collaboration on projects,” Carver said.

In update to Northwest group, DOT deputy says traffic has been down since start of pandemic; most staff working in person

Ruth Epstein  GOSHEN — State Department of Transportation Deputy Commissioner Garrett Eucalitto gave members of the Northwest Hills Council of Governments an overview of how the 3,000-person agency is operating during COVID-19.

Most employees are working in person because their jobs can’t be done from home, he said during a Zoom session Thursday.

As expected, traffic is down since the start of the pandemic because of the decrease in workday commuting, but cases of speeding and fatal accidents are on a record pace for the year, Eucalitto said.

One benefit of less traffic is DOT has been able to accomplish more work on state roads, he said. Connecticut was the first state to take advantage of federal waivers that were issued.

“Our staff is ready to respond to tropical storms to help clear roads,” he said.

There also are plans to move all DOT public informational meetings to a virtual platform.

Eucalitto also touched on public transportation, saying the Federal Transit Administration has provided $488 million to the state for public operations. Bus transportation statewide was running at 75% during the height of the pandemic, he said. However, rail service was significantly pared back due to the drop in work commuting to New York City. Eucalitto said DOT continually stresses the importance of all riders wearing face masks when taking public transportation.

During the comment period, Hartland First Selectman Magi Winslow said there are four wells in her town that have been destroyed because of the use of straight salt on roads during the winter season. She said cars, trucks and the town’s infrastructure are being ruined.

“The state doesn’t talk about that much,” said Winslow, who noted she is getting a lot of calls from people with well problems.

Eucalitto said DOT’s maintenance staff had planned to do some presentations on that issue, but then COVID-19 struck. Eucalitto’s associate, Kimberly Lesay, said there are controls on trucks to regulate salt use. She said anyone with concerns about specific sites should contact her.

Barkhamsted First Selectman Donald S. Stein said he wonders about the preparation of state roads before snowstorms.

“I see those pre-treated white lines days ahead and sometimes the storm doesn’t even come,” Stein said. “Why is it put down so early when it may not be needed?”

Eucalitto said the crews try their best to get out ahead of storms, but he’d be willing to talk with those who have concerns.

Hartford developer completes $32M Wethersfield apartment development

Joe Cooper  A Hartford apartment developer is cutting the ribbon Wednesday on the second completed phase of a new $32-million apartment complex on Silas Deane Highway in Wethersfield.

Lexington Property Management LLC, an arm of area developer Martin J. Kenny’s Lexington Partners LLC, this summer debuted a five-story, 111-unit apartment building at 1178 Silas Deane Highway as part of the larger mixed-use development known as The Borden.

Construction on The Borden started in 2018. The development is named after the former dairy farm site that previously occupied the property for many years.

A grand opening ceremony to commemorate the development's completion was scheduled Wednesday at noon. Kenny is expected to be joined by Mayor Michael Rell and other town and economic development officials.

Wednesday's unveiling comes less than a year after the first residents moved into the community's first residential building at 1160 Silas Deane, which has 39 studio and one bedroom units that are all nearly leased, Kenny said Wednesday. An 11,000-square-foot retail space there currently houses Berkshire Hathaway real estate and Dolan Dental Group.

Kenny, who was a Wethersfield resident for about three decades, said that 86 of the 111 studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units have been leased at 1178 Silas Deane since its initial opening in June. A restaurant to be named later will be occupying most of the 8,000-square-foot retail space there, he said.

Keller Williams Realty, he said, has also signed a lease for 3,600 square feet of commercial space at 1178 Silas Deane. Construction on the commercial unit will begin in the next week or so, and the real estate franchise is expected to begin occupying the space in early 2021, Kenny said.

Kenny said he was hoping to debut the second phase of The Borden in April. However, the project was delayed several months because COVID-19 safety restrictions limit the number of construction workers on-site.
“Putting in all the finishes you can only have so many people in the apartment at the same time,” he said.All of the 150 apartments are market rate, and the entire development is home to amenities including rooftop and ground-level lounge spaces, a community room, pet spa, dog park, fitness center and electric car chargers. There are nearly 200 surface parking spaces on site for residents.

Units are also equipped with an air purifier and filtration unit meant to clean air and remove viruses such as COVID-19, officials say.

According to a leasing map, apartments ranging in size from 481 square feet to 1,608 square feet are renting between $1,100 a month up to $2,995.

In 2017, Wethersfield officials helped push the project forward granting Lexington Partners a $1.4-million tax abatement to redevelop the then vacant 6-acre property.

Kenny said the state also provided $5 million in funding for the project. Those funds were managed by the quasi-public Capital Region Development Authority due to its experience in Hartford with market rate and multifamily housing developments, he added.

Half of the funding was grant money for infrastructure, and the other half is for the state’s equity position in the project moving forward, Kenny said.

Since 2008, town officials have been encouraging mixed-use development with a residential component. However, they don’t have a concerted plan to add more rental units, and the projects that have come online have been driven by developers not town planners.

Meanwhile, Lexington Partners has been actively developing apartments in Greater Hartford in recent years.

Kenny built the 100-unit former Trumbull on the Park apartments in downtown Hartford, now Spectra on the Park, at 100 Trumbull St.

In West Hartford, he is underway with converting a convent at Prospect and Park roads into a $65-million luxury apartment community, One Park. Kenny is also partnering with Hartford parking magnate Alan Lazowski and New York landlord Shelbourne Global LLC in the $100 million makeover of downtown Hartford’s Pratt Street commercial corridor.

His firm has also erected hundreds of luxury apartments in Bloomfield, Glastonbury and Windsor.