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February 1, 2024 Deal Watch

$85M factory redevelopment will add 154 new apartments in New Britain

HBJ Photo | Skyler Frazer Developers are turning a former industrial site at 321 Ellis St., New Britain, into a 154-unit affordable apartment complex.

The massive redevelopment of a former factory building in New Britain will add more than 150 new apartments to the city early next year, city officials and developers said.

Officials from WinnCompanies and WinnDevelopment, a Massachusetts-based developer and housing management firm, visited New Britain this week for a progress tour of 321 Ellis St., which is being converted into a senior- and affordable-housing hub with 154 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartment units.

The 115-year-old building, which was added to the state’s historic registry in 2022, is part of the former Landers, Frary & Clark factory, which manufactured electric appliances at the site until 1965. Much of the property has sat vacant since then.

The redevelopment will include 79 one-bedroom units, 59 two-bedroom apartments and 16 three-bedroom units geared toward young professionals, middle-income households and fixed-income seniors earning 30%, 50%, 60% and 80% of the area median income. The property will also have a fitness, community and game rooms, flex workspaces and outdoor seating areas, developers said.

The $85 million project broke ground in July 2023, and is about 30% completed, developers said, with an expected completion by early 2025.

Mayor Erin Stewart said the project is another example of the city’s focus on finding adaptive reuse opportunities for New Britain’s many former factory buildings. Between several other projects in the city, hundreds of new apartments are opening in New Britain over the next several years. The city provided $950,000 in HOME Funds to support the project. 

HBJ Photo | Skyler Frazer
WinnDevelopment Senior Project Director Matthew Robayna speaks to New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart during a tour of 321 Ellis St.

The development has had the support of the state, too. The state Department of Housing (DOH) provided $4 million in funding through one of its programs and an additional $3.85 million in federal funds through the National Housing Trust Fund. DOH also plans to provide 11 Section 8 vouchers for future residents. 

The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority has also provided tax credits, tax-exempt bonds and opportunity funds for the project. The state Department of Economic and Community Development provided a brownfield loan to support environmental remediation work at the site as well.

WinnDevelopment officials said the company typically begins leasing out apartments about six months before work on the building is completed, so that process could start this fall. The property is the ninth apartment property in Connecticut owned by WinnCompanies — the company also owns and operates multifamily communities, totaling 1,511 units, in Bristol, Broad Brook, East Haven, Thompson, Waterbury and Wethersfield.

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