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Continental Properties Completes Purchase of Trout Brook Drive Parcel from Kingswood Oxford

The land formerly occupied by the Children's Museum at 950 Trout Brook Drive has officially been sold by Kingswood Oxford to Continental Properties. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Colliers has announced the closing of the sale of 950 Trout Brook Drive in West Hartford.

950 Trout Brook Drive. Screenshot, Town of West Hartford website

By Ronni Newton

One of West Hartford’s largest new residential developments took another step forward recently, with New York-based Continental Properties completing the purchase of the 3.96-acre parcel at 950 Trout Brook Drive from Kingswood Oxford School.

Colliers announced Wednesday that the transaction, which had been in the works for more than a year, closed on Feb. 1, 2023. The deed was recorded in the records of the Town of West Hartford on Feb. 2, and indicated the purchase price was $10,570,000.

“We truly enjoyed working with Kingswood Oxford and on their behalf during this entire process,” Cafasso said in the announcement.

“The school and their leadership couldn’t have been better partners throughout this complicated process, and we are excited that this sale will allow them to invest in the school’s long-term strategic goals,” added Hunt. Both said the bidding process was very competitive.

In January 2022, in a process managed by Colliers, Kingswood Oxford chose New York-based Continental Properties to develop the site. Continental Properties has a portfolio of more than 25,000 residential units, with about 1,200 in Connecticut, including in Rocky Hill, Glastonbury, South Windsor, Milford, Shelton, and Trumbull. They formed the entity West Hartford Partners, LLC to develop the West Hartford site.

On Oct. 12, 2022, following a lengthy public hearing, the Town Council approved Continental Properties’ plans to construct the development of 172 luxury apartments, a of one-, two-, and three-bedrooms units in an “S-shaped” building. Nine of the units will be reserved as deed-restricted affordable housing for those with incomes at 80% of the area median income or less.

Rendering of 950 Trout Brook Drive, looking southeast. Screenshot, Town of West Hartford website 

Continental Properties Principal Howard Rappaport said during the Town Council hearing that the development will be “heavily amenitized,” and will include a clubroom, fitness center, catering kitchen, game room, co-working space, and a pet-washing station. Outdoor amenities include a “resort-quality pool,” fire pit, cabanas and lounge area with day beds, and barbecue in a courtyard that faces the KO soccer fields but will be separated by a fence. There will be a small deck on the south side of the roof as well. A patio with tables and benches for seating will face Trout Brook Drive, with access to the existing sidewalk.

“We commend Colliers for successfully shepherding this process through each step, culminating in a closing of the transaction last month,” said Rappaport said in the announcement. “We are extremely gratified to have worked closely with Colliers, Kingswood Oxford and the Town of West Hartford on the redevelopment of this high-profile site in West Hartford Center. Continental is committed to building and operating an iconic, first-class rental community that the Town of West Hartford and its stakeholders can be proud of at this important location in the center of West Hartford.”

“Kingswood Oxford benefited greatly from the expertise and partnership with Colliers in helping us to identify the right buyer for the Trout Brook property,” Kingswood Oxford Board Chair Mary Martin said in the announcement. “This transaction will allow KO to invest in our people, programming, and facilities, and we welcome Continental to the West Hartford community.”

Martin said at the Town Council hearing on Oct. 12 that when KO decided to sell the property, “Our broker cast a wide net for potential buyers and there was a lot of interest in this property.”

“Continental and its principals differentiated themselves from the start,” said Hunt. “We immediately knew they would be an ideal partner for Kingswood Oxford.” The 3.96-acre site traded hands for $10.57 million or $2.67 million per acre, setting a new benchmark for development sites in Central Connecticut. “We’re seeing tremendous demand for desirable sites throughout the Hartford area,” added Cafasso. “We expect to see more new multifamily development over the next 12-18 months.”

The Children’s Museum, which occupied the property until September, had sold its property to KO in 2003, and discussed plans to move for more than a decade before the private school made the decision that selling the property would be the best move in support of its strategic long-term goals. The Children’s Museum, including its preschool, temporarily relocated to the former Lollipop Tree Nursery School building adjacent to the Emanuel Synagogue on Mohegan Drive, and is in the process of selecting a permanent site.

The land formerly occupied by the Children’s Museum at 950 Trout Brook Drive has officially been sold by Kingswood Oxford to Continental Properties. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

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