Zoners mull 99-unit condo complex on West Street
Updated 5:17 pm, Thursday, September 8, 2011
Hal Fischel, the developer who bought the former Robertson Bleachery property in 2005, is moving plans forward to build a 99-unit condo and townhouse complex at the West Street site.
Inland Wetlands and Planning commissions have approved the plan.
Mr. Fischel is now before the Zoning Commission seeking a zone change to Housatonic Riverfront Zone for the 143 West St. property to get a special permit and site plan approval to build the 99-unit complex.
"We're still too early in the process to say what prices the units would go for," Mr. Fischel said Monday. "We've had an architect draw up the plans but are waiting for full zoning approvals at this time."
The complex would sit to the north of the bleachery, the 20th-century cloth-dying mill that Mr. Fischel spent $2 million renovating and then marketed for small and large office/warehouse space.
A total of 99 residential units are proposed for the condo complex, with 39 one-bedroom units on the first floor and 60 two-bedroom townhouses on the second and third floors.
A circular courtyard with bocce courts and an on-site health club are also part of the plans.
The 10.4-acre property sits entirely in the 100-year flood plain of the Housatonic River, making a resident evacuation plan necessary.
While an emergency evacuation route is shown on the plans, permission still has to be obtained regarding its railroad track crossing, said Kathy Castagnetta of Arthur Howland & Associates, representing Mr. Fischel in the land-use process.
Ms. Castagnetta also said Howland & Associates are in discussions with the mayor about the possibility of raising West Street.
Mayor Pat Murphy said Wednesday, while "they mentioned it in passing," no discussions have occurred with her office regarding raising the street. She further said the town would not pay for raising the elevation of West Street (see photo).
"If somebody wanted to pay for it, I guess it would be possible," Ms. Murphy said. "There would be wetland encroachment issues. The DEP might be involved.
"If they want the street raised, that is a request that should be made at the time of their presentation to zoning," she said.
The public hearing on the applications before zoning on the condo/townhouse project has been continued to Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.
"We're still too early in the process to say what prices the units would go for. We've had an architect draw up the plans but are waiting for full zoning approvals at this time."
Developer and owner of The Bleachery