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Texas developer continues plan for apartments, stores on West St. in Southington

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SOUTHINGTON — An 11-building mixed-use development on West Street is under review by the town’s Conservation Commission.

It’s the next step for Texas-based Anthony Properties, a development company looking to build more than 200 apartments as well as retail space.

The Tolles family owns 41 acres at 1303, 1193 and 1177 West St. The land slopes down from the road toward wetlands to the east.

In site plans submitted to the town, Anthony Properties is proposing development that mostly avoids the wetlands but does require filing in about 3,000 square feet of wetlands near the two commercial buildings planned for the corner of West Street and Curtiss Street. The development is also in a buffer area around the wetlands that’s also regulated by the town’s Conservation Commission.

Building in the wetlands

During Thursday’s meeting, the commission got an overview of Anthony Properties’ plan but took no action.

Christopher Borowy, the Conservation Commission chairman, said he’s planning a visit to the site so commission members can better understand the company’s plans.

“Ninety-nine percent of their work is outside of any regulated areas,” Borowy said. “There is a very small portion that is proposed to take place within the regulated wetlands itself.”

It’ll be up to the commission to decide if that work in the wetlands should be allowed. Borowy said the commission will look at the impacts of the proposed construction and what alternative building plans could be.

The two areas regulated by the commission are wetlands themselves along with the buffer around wetlands, called an upland review area.

“It’s our goal, minimize activity in those areas,” Borowy said.

Mixed-use development

The developer’s plans call for eight residential buildings, two commercial buildings on the corner and a clubhouse on Curtiss Street.

Residential buildings are spread in an irregular pattern on the property to avoid wetlands according to maps submitted to the town.

Company officials said the development's apartments will cater to young professionals and empty-nesters. They believed the project would cost about $54 million.

The Tolles’ property falls in the West Street business zone which has requirements about the ratio of residential to commercial development allowed.

Anthony Properties said the ratio of two-to-one residential to commercial square feet wasn’t achievable with the decline in demand for commercial space. In April, the Planning and Zoning Commission agreed to change the requirement in favor of a five-to-one ratio of residential to commercial space.

“They wanted to make it a little bit more residential and little less business,” said Bob Hammersley, the planning commission chairman.

He said other changes approved included a requirement that 10 percent of the housing in the development be deed-restricted as affordable.

Last year’s vote allowed the project to move forward but the planning commission will have to approve the development’s site plan, which first must get Conservation Commission approval.

Borowy expected a vote on the Anthony Properties application the meeting following the site visit, which hasn’t been scheduled yet.

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


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