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March 27, 2023

Developer to tweak affordable housing plans after Rocky Hill, Glastonbury projects rejected

RENDERING | CONTRIBUTED A proposed apartment complex by Vessel Technologies was denied by the Rocky Hill Planning and Zoning Commission. The developer plans to submit a revised application.

A New York-based developer of several proposed “attainable” apartment buildings around Connecticut said he will resubmit new plans for projects in Rocky Hill and Glastonbury after both applications were denied by those towns’ Planning and Zoning boards.

Vessel RE Holdings LLC is looking to build a five-story apartment complex on vacant property at 2369 Main St. in Rocky Hill, with 30 one-bedroom units, nine of which would be rent-restricted for low- and moderate-income households.

The Rocky Hill Planning and Zoning Commission last month denied Vessel’s application, citing concerns with traffic flow, lack of amenities like sidewalks or greenspace, inadequate parking and electrical grid capabilities.

Glastonbury Plan and Zoning officials last week rejected a plan by Vessel RE Holdings LLC to build 48 apartments on a vacant lot at 51 Kreiger Lane.

That plan called for 30% of units to be affordable for 40 years, which was a condition for receiving certain zoning exemptions through the state’s affordable housing law. 

Glastonbury’s town attorney told land use officials that the parcel is in a “Planned Commerce” zone, and therefore wouldn’t qualify for those exemptions because it’s an industrial area.

Neil Rubler, founder and CEO of Vessel, said his firm plans to submit new applications for  both projects, but has not yet determined a timeline or which changes they will make to each set of plans.

Vessel RE Holdings LLC is an affiliate of New York City-based Vessel Technologies, which also has an apartment project underway in New London and is planning a similar development in  Simsbury.

Vessel’s approach is to build small, energy-efficient apartments that are accessible to middle-income professionals like first responders, teachers and other residents who don’t qualify for subsidized housing but for whom luxury or even market-rate rents are out of reach.


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