The proposed Berkshire West would include 26 units in three, two-story buildings.
By Ronni Newton
The West Hartford Town Council will hold a public hearing Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m., and has also scheduled a vote at its meeting following the hearing, on a proposal that would allow for construction of a 26-unit multifamily development to be known as “Berkshire West” on the northeast corner of New Britain Avenue and Berkshire Road, just east of the Corbin’s Corner area.
In order for the proposal by 47 Pratt Street, LLC to move forward, the Town Council will have to approve a change in zoning from R-6 (single family) to RM-2 (multifamily). In addition, the 1.7 acres of property, located at 1340 and 1344 New Britain Ave. and 8-16 Berkshire Rd., would need to become a Special Development District.
The parcels were purchased by 47 Pratt Street, LLC, in 2017. There is currently an approximately 2,000 square foot single-family home located on the 0.43 acre parcel at 1344 New Britain Ave., as well as a detached garage, and both structures would be removed under the proposal.
According to developer Joe Calafiore of 47 Pratt Street, LLC, the target market for the luxury rental units will be “empty nesters looking to downsize, but still maintain a residence in West Hartford, and young professionals.”
The plan includes 24 two-bedroom/two-bathroom units – 16 measuring 1,145 square feet and eight measuring 1,128 square feet – with approximate monthly rent of $2,000 each.
Two one-bedroom/one-bath units will measure approximately 815 square feet each, and rent for approximately $1,600 per month.
Calafiore said that all units will have granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and washers and dryers. The buildings will have central air conditioning, and units will each have a large veranda or porch.
Three of the units will be built as handicapped accessible, and other ground floor units will be able to be adapted, according to Calafiore.
The project is estimated to generate $105,000 in tax revenue to the town.
According to the application, two eight-unit buildings will front Berkshire Road and face the West Hartford United Methodist Church, and one 10-unit building will face New Britain Avenue.
The plan includes 51 parking spaces, including two electric vehicle charging stations, and driveway access from Berkshire Road.
The town has already requested that if the development is approved, the developer will be responsible for milling and paving the area of Berkshire Road that will front the development due to the extensive utility cuts that would need to be made in the roadway.
The application notes that splitting the development into three separate buildings, rather than a single three-story building, decreases the density on the site to a lower level than would be permitted in an RM-2 zone. The brick and siding façade, and the arrangement of the buildings, is designed “to create a residential streetscape on both Berkshire and New Britain Avenue,” the application states.
The application also states that the proposed zoning change is in harmony with West Hartford’s Plan of Conservation and Development, and “in harmony with the neighborhood development” that includes nearby Chatfield Drive and Brookfield multifamily residences.
The project has already been unanimously approved by both the Town Planning & Zoning Commission (TPZ) and the Design Review Advisory Committee (DRAC). There is currently a wetland permit in place for five single-family homes to be constructed on the 1.7 acres, obtained for a previously-proposed project that was never built.
A petition protesting the zone change has been submitted to the town, but according to a memo from Town Manager Matt Hart to the Town Council, “after a legal and technical review, the Corporation Counsel has determined that the petition is insufficient to require a supermajority of the Town Council to approve the application.”
Like what you see here? Click here to subscribe to We-Ha’s newsletter so you’ll always be in the know about what’s happening in West Hartford!