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.