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April 22, 2019

No rail needed for this town-center project

Rendering | Contributed Avon Village Center is another example of a town center-style development.

There's no commuter rail service through the high-income suburb of Avon, but that hasn't stopped private investors from backing a massive $200 million mixed-use project.

Avon Village Center is on 95 acres, right near town hall, close to the intersection of Routes 44 and 10.

The project, whose first phase was greenlighted last summer and is now in the excavation stage, will include about 300,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, as well as just over 400 apartment units.

The developer is Rhode Island-based Carpionato Group.

Hiram Peck, Avon's director of planning and community development, called the project “a more suburban version of Blue Back Square,” a well-known, mixed-use development in neighboring West Hartford that was completed in 2008.

Peck perceives increasing demand for walkable downtown cores, with or without trains (the Avon site has nearby bus service as well as a walking and biking path).

“A lot of people just don't want to rely on their automobiles any more than they have to,” Peck said. “People in suburbs really don't have much choice, and this would give someone who really wants to live in this area some choice.”

While state officials appear particularly focused on transit-oriented development, Peck said he hopes they don't forget other types of projects.

“They can't lose focus that there are many areas of the state that need housing and commercial development as well,” he said.

Read more

Berlin's $18M town center is latest project spurred by Hartford Rail Line

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