A Stratford-based developer is proposing to redevelop the site of a vacant nursing home into a two-building, 114 apartment complex, including studio, one bedroom and two bedroom units.
A portion of the apartments would be designated as affordable housing.
According to an application filed with the Planning and Zoning Commission by Lamp Realty, LLC, the plans for Lakeside of Cheshire call for two buildings on more than 22 acres at 50 Hazel Drive, overlooking Larsens Pond, about a half-mile from the Waterbury line.
The parcel was previously home to Lakeview Convalescent Home, which was built in 1972. According to the developers, the nursing home at its peak had as many as 210 beds. The nursing home's former concrete block buildings had been mostly demolished and the site has since sat vacant and abandoned.
The apartments would include a mix of 48 studio, 48 one-bedroom and 18 two-bedroom units. Of those, 29, or 25%, would be designated as income-based affordable housing for moderate income residents.
The plans also calls for 183 parking spaces.
According to the developers a previous development for the site that a prior owner had contemplated did not move forward. Details were not available.
Town property records show the principals for Lamp Realty had purchased the property for $760,000 in 2007. Connecticut business records list Philip Nizzardo, Jr., a principal with N and S Electric, Inc., as the company's principal agent.
According to the application, the developers believe “the time has come for this property to be renovated and returned to economically productive use.”
Developers say several characteristics make the site suitable for multi-family housing, including its proximity to Waterbury Road, Interstate 84 and commercial, medical and other employers in Cheshire, Waterbury and other surrounding municipalities.
“The subject property is in a transitional area, with a variety of land uses surrounding it,” the application states, citing two nearby residential apartment buildings, both of which were built in 1963.
The application also cites the results of a community survey reported as part of the the 2016 Cheshire Plan of Conservation and Development, which noted that 66% of respondents to that survey indicated “they would support an effort to attract moderately-priced housing to meet the needs of residents of moderate incomes, including a broad cross section of community residents such as police, firefighters, teachers, young adults, and senior citizens.”
The Planning and Zoning Commission is scheduled to hold a remote public hearing on the proposal when it meets on July 13. That hearing was originally scheduled for the commission's June 22 meeting, but was tabled. The proposal was first taken up during the commission's June 8 meeting.
Another application to the Inlands, Wetlands and Watercourses Commission, for a wetlands permit, is also pending approval.
Joe Williams, attorney with the law firm Shipman & Goodwin, is representing the applicants.
Williams said when Lamp Realty purchased the site in 2007, the developers planned condominiums.
“And then the condo market died,” Williams said, adding Lamp Realty waited until it had another viable proposal to put forth.
The developers are not requesting any road restructuring.
In recent years, Lamp Realty's principals had developed a similar project near Ferry Boulevard in Stratford, Williams said.
The Hazel Drive property is overgrown with brush, vines and other vegetation, which has grown over the metal gates at the property's entrances. The gates are shut with padlocks, with a line of barbed wire running across the tops.
The former nursing home's concrete buildings, whose windows had long been removed, are largely hidden from view.
Town Planner William S. Voelker described the proposal to build housing there as a “complete do over.” of the property.
“Aesthetically it's a tremendous improvement over what's over there now,” Voelker said.