Dorset Crossing looking to add multi-family housing
By Paul Palmer
SIMSBURY – The owners of Dorset Crossing in Simsbury are asking the town to make changes to its Plan of Development (PAD) to allow for 72 new homes and change the footage in an already approved 74,00 square foot commercial/medical/retail building.
Dorset Crossing consists of just over 46 acres located on Hopmeadow Street near Wolcott Road and was originally approved in 2012. The new plans call for changing a 15,000 square foot building from medical office space to mixed medical/retail space. It also would change the designation of another of the 8 lots to residential instead of commercial space. “A lot has changed since 2012 and we find ourselves facing reality that demand for office space is just not there anymore. Vacancy factor for office space is in the 20-28 % range and housing demand is in the 90-97%, “ said Tony Giorgio, co-founder and managing director of The Keystone Companies, LLC, which is the developer of the site.
The 72 units are envisioned to be built in three, 24-unit buildings and will be aimed at work force families in Simsbury.
“We have been approached repeatedly by developers who want to add multifamily units to the community and they are talking about market rate, age restricted and work force housing they would make sense at Dorset Crossing,” Giorgio recently told the Zoning Commission.
The tract where the units would be built would be subdivided and still have 15,000 square feet of retail space as well. “I am hoping the Commission will recognize the opportunity to develop the Northern Gateway with mixed use is real,” Giorgio added. “We’re not asking for new uses; we’re asking for a re-orchestration of uses. There will still be retail, there will still be offices, and there will still be residential.”
Following the May 15 presentation to the Zoning Commission, it voted 6-0 to refer the application to the various land use commissions in Simsbury. If they all approve of the plans, The Zoning Commission would hold a public hearing on it tentatively in June.