Developer looking to add houses to Welch Road in Southington 



reporter photo

SOUTHINGTON — Local developer Mark Lovley is looking to add a half-dozen homes to Welch Road while he waits for market changes that will allow construction to begin on the North Ridge golf course.

Lovley built the North Ridge Estates subdivision, nearly 100 homes on part of the former Pine Valley Golf Course property. He’s looking for town approval to add six similar houses on Welch Road adjacent to the subdivision to the west of North Ridge Court.

The proposal is on the Planning and Zoning Commission docket for today at 7 p.m. at the John Weichsel Municipal Center, 200 N. Main St. or online at www.southington.org.

Lovley said he’s planning for the homes to have driveways on Welch Road rather than attaching them to the existing North Ridge Estates. They’ll be similar to the houses he’s already built and total around 2,500 square feet.

With limited houses for sale nationwide, Lovley said he expects them to sell quickly if approved by the town.

“I have a waiting list of more people than I do the lots,” Lovley said. “There’s no inventory out there, that’s the
problem. They’ll sell.”

He’s anticipating a price between $550,000 and $600,000. Lovley said the rise in materials is pushing prices higher. The lumber for these homes is nearly $60,000 higher than in October.

Golf course delayed

Lovley preserved a portion of the former golf course where he’d planned nine holes. He’d hoped to build a 6,000 square-foot pro shop, a 4,000 square-foot restaurant, a TopTracer driving range system and 40 bays where golfers could order food and drinks.

Building the course was delayed by permits. After they were secured the pandemic struck. Banks were, and still are, reluctant to finance such projects, particularly large restaurants or banquet facilities.

Lovley said he’s redrawing the golf course design and taking out elements that are a non-starter for financers.

“We got rid of the banquet facility,” Lovley said. “We’re waiting to see what happens with this market.”

Lou Perillo, the town’s economic development coordinator, said sports facilities can be tricky to finance. He’s been working for years to help move along a sports complex on West Queen Street.

“The debt service levels, the banks don’t want a property in the event that something goes awry,” Perillo said.

However, the town’s golf courses and ranges seem to be doing very well and have benefited from a renewed interest in golf during the pandemic, he said.

jbuchanan@record-journal.com203-317-2230Twitter: @JBuchananRJ



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