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Updated: January 27, 2020 Town Profile: Windsor

Windsor’s long-awaited Great Pond development debuts first apartments

Photos | Contributed The first apartment building at the long-awaited The Preserve at Great Pond development in Windsor debuted in recent weeks. Pictured: An aerial shot of the Great Pond development under construction in fall 2019.
Photos | Contributed A view from the rear of Great Pond’s clubhouse.

Windsor’s Day Hill Road has been a breeding ground for industrial developments in recent decades, giving birth to thousands of blue-collar jobs just north of the Capital City.

Last month, the largely commercial corridor welcomed its first multifamily housing development.

The first piece of the long-awaited Great Pond Village mixed-use project has been completed, with the first of eight apartment buildings coming online at the 633-acre site fronting Day Hill Road.

More than a dozen tenants have moved in to the first, 51-unit apartment building since mid-December, said Bill Finger, co-owner of Fairfield residential developer Eastpointe LLC, which is handling the residential buildout at The Preserve at Great Pond.

The mixed-use Great Pond development has several amenities, including a swimming pool and a fitness center.

Connecticut’s largest commercial landlord, Winstanley Enterprises LLC, is Great Pond’s horizontal developer, in charge of roads, street lights, sidewalks and utilities.

According to Eastpointe, the first four-story, 51,000-square-foot residential complex is the largest apartment building to be erected within The Preserve. It will also have the largest variety of living spaces, including studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.

Rents range from $1,410 for a studio to $2,725 for a three-bedroom apartment.

The $28-million apartment development is accompanied by a 6,000-square-foot clubhouse, which features a fitness center equipped with Peloton bikes, golf simulator, cafe and resorts-style swimming pool. Those are accompanied by an outdoor bocce court, share bikes, walking trails and a firepit, among other amenities increasingly popular with the Hartford region’s urban and suburban apartment dwellers.

“It’s the cornerstone of the whole community,” Finger said.

When the entire residential portion of Great Pond is complete it will include 230 apartments on Newport and Arlington roads. Construction had been stalled in recent years largely because of issues with development financing and negotiations over water and sewer connections, town officials say.

The remaining 180 apartment units planned for seven other three-story buildings are all in various stages of development, Finger said.

A 24-unit apartment building is expected to come online sometime this week and the others will be finished in several phases with a target completion by summer’s end.

Latest vision

The completion of Great Pond’s initial apartment building marks a significant milestone for a town that’s been awaiting the development’s debut since plans first aired a decade ago. Construction kicked off in Nov. 2018.

Winstanley is a partner in redeveloping Great Pond with ABB Group, owner of the former Combustion Engineering nuclear-boiler production/testing facilities that once occupied the site.

Winstanley has invested $8 million into the project thus far, and has set ambitious plans to bring a biotech company, farmer’s market and other multifamily living spaces to the development in the coming years, according to Principal David Winstanley, who runs the family owned business with his two sons, Adam and Carter.

David Winstanley said his firm is currently in negotiations with a biotech company that could erect a massive building on the 40 acres across the street from The Preserve on Day Hill Road. He declined to name the company, but said it already has a research-and-development presence in Connecticut.

Winstanley is also working with a condominium developer looking to build up to 100 units near The Preserve. A roughly 15,000-square-foot farmer’s market could be another amenity.

The latest vision for Great Pond is somewhat modest compared to what was originally planned. In 2012, the hope was that development would include more than 4,000 single-family homes, 85,000-square feet of retail space and some 640,000 square feet of office space, among other proposals.

Town Planner Eric Barz said several developers tried and failed to takeover the site in recent decades, but were unable to pull together enough financing for development.

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