Developers seek to build luxury apartments near Wilton Center

WILTON — With many multifamily housing projects proposed to the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission, the group recently reviewed a pre-application with a slightly different focus than some of its recent counterparts.

A team of developers from Continental Global Ventures LLC and an attorney representing them presented tentative plans for a luxury multifamily development just off U.S. Route 7/Danbury Road at 2 and 24 Pimpewaug Road.

While other applications to the commission in recent months have included affordable housing as a key feature, CGV members said the “Alterra Wilton” plans are for “renters by choice.”

“Alterra Wilton will serve a very specific market,” said Andrea Gomes, attorney from Hinckley, Allen & Snyder in Hartford, who represented the group at Monday’s meeting with the Planning and Zoning Commission.

“This is not a rental (option) because they cannot afford to buy,” CGV’s Scott Gance said. “They would choose this option because everything is taken care of for them.”

The development group with over 1,200 rental apartments in seven different Connecticut communities continued to roll out their ideas, including luxury one- and two-bedroom dwelling units with stainless steel appliances, high-quality finishes and ultra-modern amenities.

Beyond the individual units, they indicated a keen focus on common spaces, including “resort-like” features such as a 5,000-square-foot clubhouse, a cinema room, a sports lounge, a wine storage area and a fitness center. They also showed renderings for a pool behind one of the proposed buildings with a large patio, individual cabanas and fire pits.

Pets were said to be permitted. Some of CGV’s other properties have amenities such as pet washing stations and dog parks on the premises.

Gance said they are targeting potential homebuyers searching in the area, including those that have come from “an exodus from New York.” The team believes the three target groups that would likely be interested are “empty nesters,” or parents whose grown children have moved out, people “in transition” like divorcees, and young professionals.

The reality of enticing the last group was questioned by some members of the commission.

“To me, a recent graduate, someone making $40,000 to $50,000 can’t afford this,” Commissioner Jill Warren said. “In a realistic sense, (young professionals) in their mid-to-late 20s who are making (even) $50,000 to $60,000 cannot afford that.”

With the multi-building proposal, a few commissioners, including Chairman Rick Tomasetti, had multiple questions on more of the technical aspects of the plans.

While Tomasetti mentioned affordability, he also brought up a desire for further traffic and access studies, citing “this is not an easy intersection to Route 7,” as well as how the architectural designs would fit in with Wilton’s current infrastructure.

“We are willing to work with the commission to make changes to improve the appearance along Route 7,” Patrick O’ Leary, of CGV, said.

In the center of the proposed site, CGV would have to accommodate a small wetlands area. Their initial thoughts were to build a footbridge over the area for residents, without impeding on any of the wildlife on-site. If approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission in the future, they would have to present to the town’s Inlands Wetlands Commission for approval as well.

Because the site location is within roughly 2,000 feet of the train station, it is considered transit-oriented development, yet some commissioners have reservations of the practicality of travel to and from the station.

Commissioner Peter Shiue said he has worries about access to the train station where residents would have to “cross a four-lane roadway” and “head down a steep road.”

The CGV team siad they’d return to the commission and address many of their questions in the follow-up meeting, where they hope to gain some ground on turning this pre-application into an official proposal to the commissioners.