Demolition of the former Masonic Temple building in West Hartford Center will soon begin.
By Ronni Newton
West Hartford Center can soon become home – literally – to those looking to reside right in the heart of town.
Maurice and Charlie Kaoud formed 11 South Main St. LLC, and the company purchased the former Masonic Temple building at 11 South Main St. for $1.3 million on August 19, 2013. It is being developed by Kaoud Real Estate Development LLC, Abe Kaoud, his associate Barbara Duffy, and Maurice and Charlie Kaoud. They have just begun a construction project to transform the property into residential space that will also include retail on the ground floor.
The completed building will feature 21 spacious and well-appointed apartments – mostly one-bedroom but including four two-bedroom townhouses – all featuring luxurious amenities and some with walk-out balconies.
The building will be the first residential property in West Hartford to have underground parking, with 21 spaces to be constructed.
Retail space is planned for the ground floor, and although a tenant has not yet been finalized, Maurice Kaoud said it will be a retailer, not a restaurant, occupying the 9,000 square foot prime South Main St. storefront.
The project was approved by the West Hartford Town Planning and Zoning Commission on June 2, 2014, and the Town Council approved designation of a “Special Development District” on June 10 to permit the mixed use project to move forward.
West Hartford Town Manager Ron Van Winkle is pleased that the project was approved and is underway. “It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a developer tear a building down to build a new and better one in West Harford Center. It’s a significant investment by a local property owner to strengthen the Center, and with the apartments to make it a desirable place to live,” Van Winkle said.
Abe Kaoud along with his two sons Maurice and Charlie, are owners of Kaoud Oriental Rugs at 17 South Main St. and are long-term retailers and property owners in West Hartford.
The 11 South Main St. project began in late June with erection of a safety/construction fence and a pedestrian bridge on the sidewalk. Demolition of the existing building, which is expected to being shortly, will be done in sections.
“We are doing the demolition methodically, taking out the old building in sections so as not to disturb the adjacent tenants,” said Maurice Kaoud. Sweet Frog occupies the space at 13 South Main and Blue Elephant Trail is next door at 7 South Main St.
A section of the town-leased parking lot is located behind 13-17 South Main St. has been sectioned off for the duration of construction. Alternative parking is available in other town lots, on the street, or next door in the Town Center Garage at 29 South Main St.
For more information or to follow the progress of construction, visit the project’s website, http://11southmain.com/11-south-main-st-west-hartford-center-project/.