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Stonington commission approves $100 million expansion of Perkins Farm project

Mystic — The Stonington Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday night unanimously approved plans for a $100 million expansion of the Perkins Farm project, which calls for a 72,000-square-foot expansion of the Hartford HealthCare medical building and a second 124-unit, four-story apartment complex.

After closing a public hearing that began last month, the commission granted the five approvals needed for the project — with stipulations including that a large berm along the front of the property be extended and modified and meet the requirements of the town engineer.

The expansion will make the Jerry Browne Road development the town's largest taxpayer, eventually generating an estimated $1.8 million to $2.8 million a year in tax revenue for the town. In 2018, residents overwhelmingly approved a seven-year tax break for the project's first phase, which local developer David Lattizori said was essential in order to secure private financing and build the costly infrastructure.

At a public hearing session last month, a large group of residents, medical professionals and members of the businesses community had spoken in support of the application.

The commission had continued the hearing to Tuesday night so Lattizori's team could provide additional details, such as a view of the project from Jerry Browne Road and the current design of the large berm, which commissioners say was not built according to the approved plans for phase one.

The expansion is the second and final phase of the project, which preserves 35 acres of the 70-acre site as open space.

After the decision Tuesday night, Lattizori, whose family had worked for decades to develop the site, said he was looking forward to building the second phase and bringing more quality medical care and housing to the town.     

The first phase of the project, valued at $85 million, contains a 50,000-square-foot Hartford HealthCare medical building that opened in January 2020, as well as 121 luxury apartments known as Harbor Heights and 50 townhouses. It generates $1 million a year in tax revenue for the town and created 100 permanent jobs.

The new medical building would be attached to the current one by a walkway and would stretch along the border with Interstate 95. The new apartment building would resemble the current one, known as Harbor Heights, which contains upscale amenities. Lattizori will need to obtain approval for the apartments' site plan before beginning construction.  

The project also needs to gain permission to send sewage to the Mystic treatment plant. There is a moratorium on new sewer connections in Mystic because the plant has reached the limit of sewage it can treat each day under its permit. Town officials are trying to find a solution so they can lift the moratorium and recently identified and corrected a major source of infiltration into the system.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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