October 19, 2018
Deal Watch Today

New developer, plans for W. Hartford convent

Rendering | Contributed
Rendering | Contributed
A rendering of One Park Place at 27 Park Road in West Hartford.
Rendering | Contributed

The ambitious redevelopment proposal to convert The Sisters of St. Joseph convent in West Hartford into apartments has a new developer, who has renamed the project and scaled back its initial proportions.

Developer Martin J. Kenny, principal in multifamily developer-landlord Lexington Partners, submitted to West Hartford town planners a revised development schematic for Acadia Crossing, now called One Park Place, at 27 Park Road, at the corner of Prospect Street, bordering Hartford.

Kenny recently confirmed to Deal Watch Today that he had replaced Center Development Corp., of Port Chester, N.Y., as the Sisters' development partner and planned soon to file his own application to convert their century-old and 22-acre campus into apartments the nuns would share with market-rate tenants.

According to papers Lexington submitted to the town, One Park Place would offer fewer living units and parking. The project would include 105,121 square feet of renovated apartment and amenity space vs. 109,000 square feet proposed for Acadia.

Acadia Crossing originally was pitched as a potential $100 million development. But town papers do not list a development pricetag or construction timetable for One Park Place. In addition, 230,000 square feet of space would be newly erected for apartments vs. 261,000 square feet originally planned.

In all, the revised development proposal counts 335,219 square feet of living space vs. Acadia's 370,000 square feet.

One Park Place will offer 294 studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments vs. 310 for Acadia. Also, parking would be shaved to 441 units of surface and covered spaces, down from Acadia's 509 spaces, town records show.

Under both plans, active and retired nuns would occupy apartments in a building in one part of the property, while living units located in a separate building would be leased to market-rate residents.

Design schematics prepared by Hartford's Amenta Emma Architects depict masonry-clad structures, with the newer buildings designed to compliment the historic look of the campus' chapel and older structures. Many of the apartments will have balconies.

Neither Kenny nor representatives for the Sisters immediately responded Friday to requests for comment.

West Hartford has yet to receive Kenny's formal application for One Park Place. Kenny recently submitted draft architectural and site plans to the town's Design Review Advisory Commission, a cursory step to filing a formal development application, a town official confirmed Friday. We-ha.com was first to report details of Kenny's design-review submission.

The Sisters and Center Development first emerged with their redevelopment proposal in 2013. However, drawn-out efforts to get their development plan through town review, and other unspecified factors, stalled the project's momentum.

Last February, representatives for the Sisters confirmed that Acadia Crossing had fallen back to square one, and was seeking a new development partner.

The Sisters' ownership of the campus dates to 1898.

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