The Day – Waterford developer offers 284-unit apartment complex in town
Waterford – A developer is looking to expand the city’s rental market with Waterford Heights, a development of seven apartment buildings with a total of 284 units at 969 Hartford Turnpike.
Developer Jon Hendel is a city resident and businessman who formed the development company TerraMax in 1994, which has developed and managed several properties in New London County and New York City. He said his family had owned the Waterford property since the 1970s and he had wanted to develop it for years.
The development offers a variety of housing choices with just over half of the 284 apartments in studio or one-bedroom units, 35% two-bedroom units and 11% three-bedroom units. The amount of the rents and the timetable for the project have not yet been determined.
“Not everyone wants single-family homes,” Hendel said. “Some want to rent and have a community experience.”
He said the apartment complex would provide individuals and families with another lifestyle choice where they could share community amenities such as a clubhouse and dog park. He added that high-end apartments will have granite countertops, balconies, and individual washers and dryers.
Hartford attorney Mark Branse and others presented the development on Hendel’s behalf to the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday.
Branse said the 35.5-acre property is undeveloped, wooded and near commercial and industrial buildings. He said the development would have multiple stormwater ponds and received a permit from the Inland Wetlands Commission, as there are wetlands along the south and southeast sides of the property.
Parts of the property slope in a southerly direction and a long driveway off the Hartford Turnpike and up the slope will lead future residents to the site, Branse said.
Design-wise, the seven buildings will share a New England architectural style but will differ in structure to suit the property’s natural valley.
Tim Wentz of architectural firm Gate 17 is the lead architect and is known to have designed other apartments in the area. On Tuesday, Wentz said two buildings will have four stories in the front and three in the back; three buildings will be on a four-storey flat lot; and two buildings will have three stories in the front and four in the back.
Reflecting the specific architectural features found in the area, Wentz said the buildings will have bridge-like gables, balustrades and columns, and shed dormers.
Development engineer Darin Overton said Tuesday the clubhouse is expected to have a cafe, lounge with a fireplace, games room, rental office, gym and business center.
Wentz said business centers have become increasingly popular during the coronavirus pandemic as some people work remotely but don’t want to work from home. The business center would give those residents a place to work and print what they need, he said.
The proposed apartment complex will also have a swimming pool, dog wash, children’s play area, dog park and, most distinctively, a disc golf course with seven “holes” or baskets.
Branse said the disc golf course would be located at the north end of the property and would not require the removal of many trees near the wooded area. He said it would be for residents’ use only.
“It’s in a great location with freeway access and close to stores like Target,” Hendel said. “I think the development is ideal for the property and excellent for Waterford – and the region.”
The Planning and Zoning Commission is continuing to review the application and will likely make a decision by May 12.