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Real Estate Rebound Restarts Condominium Development Construction

Developer Mike Blum said he noticed sales climbing in Bethel and decided the time was right to restart the Bethel Woods project on Nashville Road.

 

Recent signs of improvement in the local real estate market has led a developer to restart a condominium project that was stalled by the 2008 recession.

The Bethel Woods condominium, a 37-unit development at the intersection of Nashville Road and Nashville Road Extension, will have two public hearings next week, on Monday at 7 p.m. by the Inland Wetland Commission and on Tuesday at 7 p.m. by the Planning and Zoning Commission. Both hearings will take place in conference room D in the municipal center.

The development was previously known as The Glen and was approved in 2005 on a 40 acre parcel north of Nashville Road Extension.

Assistant Planner Beth Cavagna said about six units were constructed and sold, but the project went dormant when the subprime mortgage crisis hit in 2008.

Developer Mike Blum said he decided to restart construction after noticing an improvement in real estate sales by competitors. The market improvement indicated that prices have bottomed out, he said.

“We do think there’s a market that’s improving enough to go ahead with the project,” Blum said.

First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker said he wasn’t aware that this development was restarting, but he has noticed the recent improvement in the real estate market.

He said the town clerk’s office told him the total value of real estate sales in Bethel for June were about double what they were for June 2011.

“Things are moving in the right direction,” Knickerbocker said.

Blum said the new applications for zoning and wetlands approvals were necessary because some had expired and some parts of the project were redesigned.

Casagna said the new project includes a total of 37 units, a mixture of unattached single-family units and attached multifamily units. That’s the same number as the old plan.

She said the new project reduces the amount of disturbance on the property. The project will be built on 26 acres. The plan designates five acres as open space and eliminates some of the severe rock cuts that had been included in the old project plan.

There are two ponds that will be maintained for aesthetic purposes with landscaping and aeration. The ponds are the remains of a gravel mining operation that took place on the property until the late-1950s, Casagna said.

Blum said if all goes as plans, he hopes to begin construction of new housing units in spring 2013.

notsosmart July 19, 2012 at 01:06 PM
just be aware of the flooding problems.expensive to fix after the fact.
Danny July 19, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Is this a problem with any of the 6 units already built on the property?
Christine Rose (Editor) July 19, 2012 at 02:13 PM
On Facebook, readers are saying Boo or they are hoping the condos are upscale...any thoughts from nearby residents?
Diana Carlino July 23, 2012 at 02:58 PM
If approved, this development would be yet another example of how Bethel’s natural resources are being disregarded in favor of new homes, which will ostensibly decrease our tax burden. The recent deforestation of Shelter Rock Mountain should provide a reminder to residents, and the Inland-Wetlands and Planning & Zoning Commissions that sometimes these developments can lead to irreparable harm to the beauty of Bethel. I urge the Town to think about the future, and to consider the long-term effects of continued development. Notwithstanding, I understand that I cannot prevent this development from being built. Therefore, instead, I ask that the Inlands & Wetlands and Planning & Zoning Commissions seek reparations from the developer to give back to the neighborhood. For example, in exchange for the development of this land, the developer could allocate funds to build a trail system within the five acres of open space that is being set-aside. This would be an asset to the values of both the new and existing homeowners on Nashville Road, Nashville Road Extension and Taylor Avenue.
Diana Carlino July 23, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Additionally, this development will add additional traffic to a road that is already unsafe for its residents. The 25 mph speed limit on Nashville Road is not adhered to by drivers, and not enforced by our police department. In the last year and a half, while driving on Nashville Road, I have been passed TWICE by other vehicles. Although I called the police department to make a report, since the police did not see the incident, there was little that could be done. My calls to the police department, to ask for regular speed enforcement, fall on deaf ears. Creating a safe place to walk, and permitting us the opportunity to walk safely to the shops and restaurants downtown, will increase the value and marketability of our homes and neighborhood. I hope that the members of the Inland-Wetlands and Planning & Zoning Commissions act cautiously, and are mindful of the integrity of our community, as they consider whether or not to permit this and other developments to continue.

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