August 6, 2018 | last updated August 6, 2018 6:52 am
Deal Watch

Developer bares revised Great Pond vision

Renderings | Contributed
Renderings | Contributed
Artist’s sketch for Windsor’s proposed Great Pond Village development.

Great Pond Village, the long-delayed proposed redevelopment of a Windsor brownfield site, is being recast by its Massachusetts developer into a more commercially focused project than originally envisioned nearly a decade ago.

David Winstanley, a principal and patriarch of Winstanley Enterprises, of Concord, Mass., one of Connecticut's biggest commercial landlords, recently laid out a revised vision for the initial development phase on the 633-acre tract fronting Windsor's busy Day Hill Road corridor.

Winstanley is a partner in redeveloping Great Pond with ABB Group, owner of the former Combustion Engineering nuclear-production site.

Originally bared in Dec. 2010, David and son, Adam Winstanley, envisioned Great Pond as a $750 million project that included a mix of single-family and multifamily housing aimed at a wide demographic. Fully developed, it also would include hundreds of thousands of square feet for neighborhood retail, office and research and development space.

But some of that vision has shifted and narrowed.

Winstanley recently presented Windsor zoning officials a modified Great Pond plan that no longer includes single-family homes and scales back the number of residential units from 4,000 to 1,500 multifamily apartments.

On acreage where houses were planned, Winstanley now proposes to erect warehouse-industrial space that would be in the shadow of Amazon's 1.4 million-square-foot fulfillment facility, and where Griffin Industrial is erecting a 270,000-square-foot distribution facility for an unidentified local commercial tenant that has committed to relocating there. Griffin Industrial declined comment.

David Winstanley did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

The retail and office component of the project would remain, Windsor Town Planner Eric Barz said.

Winstanley has tapped Fairfield residential developer Eastpointe LLC to oversee apartment development in the first phase, according to the Windsor Planning & Zoning Commission's July 10 meeting minutes. Eastpointe has been active in Greater Hartford. It currently owns Simsbury's 168-unit The Pointe At Dorset Crossing luxury apartments.

Barz said Eastpointe and Winstanley are working to close on the purchase of several parcels along Day Hill Road. Soon after, construction is expected to begin on roads, curbing and other horizontal infrastructure, followed by apartment construction.

Winstanley and Eastpointe, along with its engineering adviser Stantec, are due to resume discussions with the town P&Z commission Aug. 21 about its proposed Great Pond changes.

Why the long delay in the project? According to the P&Z meeting minutes, financing the development has been a problem, particularly in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

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