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June 25, 2024

Construction hasn’t started, but West Hartford luxury apartments already selling

Contributed An artist's rendering of the future Center Park Place in West Hartford.
Contributed An artist's rendering of another view of Center Park Place in West Hartford.
Contributed An artist's rendering of the pool area in Center Park Place in West Hartford.
Contributed An artist's rendering of the interior of a condo at Center Park Place in West Hartford.

There is so much interest in living in West Hartford Center that people are willing to pay more than $1 million for the privilege.

Center Park Place, a mixed-use residential and commercial infill development to be constructed at Arapahoe and LaSalle roads and Farmington Avenue, will feature up to 58 luxury condominiums that are already listed for sale at more than $1 million. 

An infill development repurposes land in an urban environment. 

The project includes demolishing two buildings and erecting two new buildings. One of the new buildings will have four residential floors over three levels of parking, including one underground. That building will be located in the center of the property behind 53-65 and 27-43 LaSalle Road and 1001 Farmington Ave.

The development also will include a five-story building with 25 units of rental housing on the top four floors and 3,470 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor. 

One of the conditions of approval for the development set by the West Hartford Town Council states that the second building will include “four residential rental units” designated as affordable for individuals or families with incomes at or below 80% of the area median income for the town.

The project will demolish two small buildings at 8 and 12 Arapahoe Road, but the large office and commercial buildings at 27-43 and 53-65 LaSalle Road and at 1001 Farmington Ave. will remain.

Condo unit configurations will range from one bedroom to three bedroom layouts, with prices ranging from $1.2 million to $1.8 million. Because construction has not started, buyers have the option to purchase two or more units and combine them. 

The unit listings, posted by Coldwell Banker Realty, went live on May 23 and have already drawn significant interest, according to agent Kate D’Addabbo.

“We have 12 units under reserve,” she said recently, adding that 46 units remain available. “You can do a 30-day reservation, and then we would deliver a contract in 30 days.” She declines to disclose sale prices because no sales had yet closed.

D’Addabbo said the demand reflects the desire of some homeowners to sell their homes but remain in town and be more centrally located, while also a sign that others who live outside of West Hartford are interested as well.

“I think a lot of people are really turning towards walkability and being close to town centers,” she said. “It’s a healthy lifestyle, just being able to walk everywhere, which I think is a huge reason that West Hartford is very popular, because it’s becoming more and more pedestrian friendly all around town.”

D’Addabbo described the project as a Class A building designed to be not only luxurious but offering many amenities. Those include secure parking, a lobby with a concierge, a community pool deck, a gym, and a roof deck. 

One of the developers of the project is Marc Lewis, the principal managing member of Lexham Realty Management based in Westport. Lexham owns the properties at 53-65 LaSalle Road, 27-43 LaSalle Road, and 1001 Farmington Ave. Another parcel, at 12 Arapahoe Road, is owned by The Arapahoe Group LLC. 

In addition to Lexham and the Arapahoe Group, developers involved in the project include the Manafort family and Figure Eight Properties, which was founded by the late-Robert Simons and is operated by his sons Bruce and Harris.

Lewis said the group of developers expect to close on financing in early August, when initial site work would begin. 

“Certainly, everything will start this year,” he said. “And the construction for the big main building in the back will take two years.” 

He said he expects the group to seek a permit for the second phase when the first building is in the “latter stages” of construction.

The building, he added, will be a concrete and steel structure. “It’s extremely high end in terms of its materials.”

The existing four-story glass, concrete and steel office building at 53-65 LaSalle Road was erected in 1978. It features more than 102,000 square feet of office and commercial space and is occupied in part by a Webster Bank branch and Becker’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry.

Lewis declined to say what the current occupancy rate for that building is, though he said it is “very well occupied,” and added that its tenants will likely have to park in the nearby town garage during construction.

He also said it is typical for a luxury condominium project to list units for sale long before construction is complete. “It’s supply and demand,” he said, “but also financing requirements usually have a pre-sale requirement to get a construction loan.” 

He added that pre-sales draw interest because “as time goes by, the price will go up.”

D’Addabbo said she believes the project is important because there is a need for inventory on the housing market.

“We need all sorts of housing,” she said. “If we sell 58 condos here, that’s 58 homes that get freed up, which we are all desperate for.”

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