CHESHIRE — A gas station and convenience store, the first commercial piece of a major north end development, is under consideration by town planners.
Residents will be able to air their views on the plan for a business at 1953 Highland Ave., near the Southington town line on Route 10, at a planning meeting scheduled for Monday.
The gas station is part of a larger development called Stonebridge Crossing that includes apartments, houses and stores. It’s planned for 107-acres bounded by Dickerman Road to the west, Highland Avenue to the east, Interstate 691 to the south and the town line to the north.
Paul Bowman, Frank Napolitano and Steve Calcagni are partners in the companies that own the land. Bowman said it’s taken years to get to this point.
“We’re excited to move forward,” he said.
Cheshire’s Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing on approvals for the construction of a gas station and convenience store with a drive-thru on Monday at 7 p.m. in Town Hall, 84 S. Main St.
EJ Kurtz III, chairman of the planning commission, said the town has already approved about 300 apartments for the southern portion of the land and 140 homes on the northwest corner of the land. He was glad for development on a site that’s been the subject of a variety of proposals over the years, including a mall.
“We’ve been waiting for this since the ’80s,” Kurtz said of the homes starting to be built. “Everybody thought this was a gold mine property back then.”
Development to the west of Route 10 around the highway could also prompt building across the street on state land the town is marketing. In 2019, the state agreed to convey about 50 acres on Highland Avenue to the town. Cheshire officials have five years to sell the land for economic development purposes. If not sold, the conveyance will be revoked and ownership of the land returns to the state. Proceeds from any sale are given to the state, while the town benefits from any future tax growth.
The 50 acres is across the street from the proposed gas station.Townhouses, duplexes
EG Home is the builder for 140 housing units in the northwest portion of the development. The first of eight townhouses, each with four units, are under construction.
The development, called The Reserve at Stonebridge, also includes duplex-style homes.
Robin Lawson, EG Home sales and marketing director, said the townhouses will start in price around $410,000 while the duplex-style homes will start at $560,000. The company already has five deposits from buyers looking to move in.
Lawson said model homes could be completed in the spring. In addition to the homes, the company is working on a walking path for adjacent undeveloped property that separates The Reserve from other buildings on the site.
“There will be only an unpaved walking path” connecting the homes to the stone bridge over the Ten Mile River that gives the project its name, Lawson said.Apartments, clubhouse
Eastpointe LLC is developing the 300 apartments that will go on the southern portion of the project. Bill Finger, a partner with the company, said they will comprise nine buildings along with a clubhouse. The buildings will vary in size from 24 units to 48 units.
There’s going to be a lot of amenities for residents, according to Finger.
“There’ll be an outdoor saltwater pool, golf simulator inside, meeting rooms, fitness center, outdoor grills, pizza oven,” he said.
Rents will run from $1,700 for a studio to $3,000 for a three bedroom.
Construction will take place over a two-year period.
Finger said he and a former partner had a portion of the interchange zone land near the highway under contract years ago.
“I’m familiar with it, I knew some of the people who had some of the proposals for the shopping centers,” he said. Early last year, Finger joined Bowman on the current development.
“We think it’s a fabulous location, right off the exit off Interstate 691,” Finger said. Utilities
Cheshire officials have tried to extend town water and sewer to the interchange zone in previous years to help spur development. In 2017, voters rejected a town referendum to spend $2.5 million extending utilities to the zone.
For the current development, he said builders are hooking up water and sewer lines to existing town services.
“Right now, there’s another 100 feet of sewer to install and then it’s complete,” Bowman said.