Developers looking for suburbs CT, Shoreline for new apartment projects

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In recent years, residential developers who have built apartments in Connecticut have focused on the state’s urban centers: Stamford, New Haven, and Hartford – towns with restaurants, services, commuter train services and entertainment venues, with many apartments within walking distance.

But over the past two years, interest has grown in building apartment complexes large and small in the suburbs of New Haven and beyond. The latest proof of this trend is “The Bradley”, a 30 unit apartment complex on Bradley Road in Madison.

The project is slated to begin next month and will be built on a 1.5 acre site at 110-114 Bradley Road that once housed the Tuxis Laundromat and another business, as well as two other buildings. The resort is just over a quarter of a mile from Madison Station, which is served by Shoreline East trains.


It’s also a short two-block walk from the resort to downtown Madison via sidewalks along Bradley Road and Wall Street.

The four existing buildings are slated to be demolished, according to Jerry Davis, managing partner of Davis Realty in Madison and developer of the project.

The project is supported by the business world.

Ryan Duques, chairman of the Madison Economic Development Commission, said commission members in January voted unanimously to support development.

Duques said in a letter to members of the City’s Planning and Zoning Commission that “the development positions the City of Madison to further capitalize on our recent transit-focused development (TOD) projects, which have included new sidewalks on Bradley Road and renovated Tuxis Walkway, which improve the connection to Madison Center, Bradley Road, our bus stop and train station.

“This development would allow residents to enjoy downtown amenities, beaches, and commuter train access without the need for a vehicle,” Duques wrote. “Finally, we believe this development will add vibrancy to our downtown area and the Madison community as a whole, helping to ensure the long-term sustainability of our business base, big list and strong community.”

A view of downtown Madison looking north along Highway 1. A 30-unit apartment complex under construction on Bradley Road will provide residents with a short walk to downtown.

Luther Turmelle / Hearst Connecticut Media

Madison’s acting urban planner John Guszkowski said the Bradley’s 30 units will be spread over three floors.

Guszkowski said the city’s master plan placed a strong emphasis on “creating a vibrant downtown” as well as providing those who wish to live in Madison with an alternative to single-family homes.

“Madison has a relatively monolithic housing stock,” he said. “This adds to the level of density (near downtown) and accessibility with relatively small units, which will increase overall residential and commercial activity. This is not an option that is currently not available anywhere else in the community.

Madison Station is located about a quarter mile from where The Bradley, a 30-unit apartment complex, will be built.

Madison Station is located about a quarter mile from where The Bradley, a 30-unit apartment complex, will be built.

Luther Turmelle / Hearst Connecticut Media

Guszkowski said the development of apartment complexes in Madison and other coastal communities that do not have a municipal sewer system can be problematic.

“Because there is a lack of public infrastructure, of sewers, it can be tricky to do,” he said. “You have found a site where the soils work (for a septic tank).”

Having to provide septic systems for new apartment complexes like The Bradley effectively limits the number of units that can be built, Guszkowski says.

“In many cities without sewer lines, you will see these complexes of 30 units or less,” he said. “Any development that produces more than 7,500 gallons of sewage per day is reviewed by (the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection). Anything below this threshold is reviewed by local health authorities. “

The review by local health officials is considered more desirable because DEEP exams are long, Guszkowski said.

The former Tuxis Laundromat on Bradley Road in Madison will be one of four buildings to be demolished to make way for The Bradley, a 30-unit apartment complex.

The former Tuxis Laundromat on Bradley Road in Madison will be one of four buildings to be demolished to make way for The Bradley, a 30-unit apartment complex.

Luther Turmelle / Hearst Connecticut Media

Demand and demographics

Elsewhere outside the cities, Cheshire has several apartment complexes in various stages of development.

One is Hamlet on Highland, an 11-unit luxury apartment complex located across Route 10 from Maplecroft Plaza, which has one of the town’s two large supermarkets as an anchor as well as several restaurants. . Tenants are expected to start moving into the complex this month.

Another Cheshire apartment project is located near the city’s northwest border with Waterbury.

A Stratford-based developer plans to build a 114-unit apartment complex, including 29 affordable units, on the site of a former nursing home on Hazel Drive. The Cheshire Planning and Zoning Commission approved the plan in June 2020.

The Cheshire PZC also approved earlier this year an approved seven-unit apartment complex at the intersection of Higgins Road and Highway 10. But John Ricci of Ricci Construction, the developer of the project, decided to put up for sale. the 0.69 acre site. .

In Trumbull, the start of construction of 260 market-priced rental units along the outskirts of the Westfield Trumbull shopping center “is imminent,” said Rina Bakalar, the city’s director of economic and community development.

A plan for a suburban apartment complex that was rejected was in Milford. Dallas-based Centennial, which operates the Connecticut Post Mall, wanted to spend up to $ 70 million to build a four-story luxury apartment complex on six-acres of land surrounding what was once the Sears Auto Center. The Milford Planning & Zoning Commission rejected this plan last summer and a revised plan was submitted in May.

Donald Klepper-Smith, chief economist and research director for New Haven-based DataCore Partners, said demand for suburban apartments, especially complexes built along commuter train lines, will only be ‘increase in the years to come.

“The Connecticut job market is in such a state of flux, that implies the need for flexible housing arrangements,” Klepper-Smith said. “Right now, people are looking for flexibility in their lives, be it financial or logistical. And right now, there isn’t a lot of inventory in that direction. “

As an example of the lack of inventory of apartments in cities versus suburbs, Jed Backus, chairman of the Guilford-based New Haven Middlesex Realtors group, said a search of the property database Multiple Listing Service on Friday found 74 apartments available in New Haven and two in Madison.

Backus said that although the development of suburban apartment complexes is relatively new, the market has seen tremendous growth since the 2008 recession.

“After the last downturn, some people started to think that homeownership wasn’t all it was supposed to be,” Backus said.

Another reason for the surge in interest in apartments is demographics, he said.

“The next largest population group after baby boomers are millennials, and they’re at a point in life where it makes more sense to live in an apartment,” he said. Everything they do in their life is now happening later than for previous generations.

luther.turmelle@hearstmediact.com


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