A new transit-oriented development in West Hartford is about to undergo its first test, nearly a year after it was passed by City Council.

New Jersey businessman Sami Abunasra has applied to develop a five-story mixed-use building at 1051-1061 New Britain Avenue in the town’s Elmwood section, Hartford Business Journal Report. The 205,000-square-foot development will include 150 apartments and 17,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

The CTfastrak BRT is only a few football fields away, and the development complies with the zoning area passed in June. Under the district’s rules, developers can increase multifamily density near public transit.

An advantage for the district is that proposals will be reviewed by administrators rather than appointed committees, potentially allowing approval in as little as 65 days. Priority will also be given to projects with affordable housing, green energy and underground parking.

The proposal for New Britain Avenue includes 128 underground parking spaces and a dozen surface parking spaces. Two restaurants and three retail spaces will also have dozens of spaces expected to occupy part of the development.

Most units will be one-bedrooms, but studios, two-bedrooms and three-bedrooms are also available.

Abunasra purchased the three-acre property in 2020 for $1.1 million. At first, the tradesman converted it into an Ashley HomeStore furniture store, but it was converted to a mixed-use development after discussions with town officials.

west hartford is Several major development projects recent. West Hartford 1, led by investor and developer Domenic Carpionato, plans to build a 492-unit project on a 58-acre site that was formerly the campus of the University of Connecticut. The mixed-use project includes boutiques, restaurants, medical offices, a spa, and a community market.

Separately, Continental Properties purchased the former Children’s Museum’s four-acre site for $10.6 million. The New York-based company plans to build a 172-unit luxury complex there.

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