Four-story mixed use building planned for downtown Mystic

An architectural rendering shows the proposed mixed use building at the top and the existing commercial building at the bottom.
An architectural rendering shows the proposed mixed use building at the top and the existing commercial building at the bottom.

Mystic — The Waterford firm that owns the Henny Penny across from the Mystic train station is seeking approval to construct a four-story residential and retail building on a vacant lot next to the convenience store.

Hendel’s Mystic LLC and Hendel’s Washington St. LLC are seeking a special use permit from the Stonington Planning and Zoning Commission for the $1.8 million project. The commission will now schedule a public hearing on the application.

That hearing is expected to be well attended as residents in the area have opposed the expansion of commercial activity in their neighborhood.

The one-acre lot at 48 Washington St. where the 14,157-square foot building would be located is now vacant after a dilapidated house was torn down there in March. The Henny Penny sits on the adjacent parcel at 3 Roosevelt Ave.

The application calls for the two buildings to share 38 parking spots, three fewer than what is required by zoning. The commission, though, has approved so-called “shared parking arrangements” in the past based on the times when each business has the greatest parking demand. The convenience store now operates from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The plan calls for 3,068 square feet of commercial space on the first floor. Two one-bedroom and six two-bedroom residential units would reside on the second, third and fourth floors.

Twelve years ago, controversy surrounded the adjacent property, which was divided into residential and commercial zoned portions. Despite neighborhood opposition, the Planning and Zoning Commission rezoned the Washington Street residential portion for commercial use as well.

A Wethersfield developer interested in the property at the time said he had no plans to combine the lot with the 48 Washington St. site. He also said the plan was to split the vacant property from the portion that contains the convenience store, but that was never done.

The neighbors at the time claimed Hendel’s illegally tore down a historic home on the Washington Street portion of the convenience store site in 2001. That’s when the zoning board initially denied a zone change for the site.

In 2016, neighbors convinced the Stonington Zoning Board of Appeals to reject a variance request from a Mystic man who was seeking to open a microbrewery in the Mystic Junction building at 40-44 Washington St.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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