Following approval, Perkins Farm construction to begin this summer

Mystic — The day after the Stonington Planning and Zoning Commission approved the final permits needed for the first building in the Perkins Farm project on Jerry Browne Road, developer David Lattizori said Wednesday that work on the $20 million, 121-unit luxury apartment building will begin this summer and take about a year to complete.

The commission voted unanimously after a public hearing Tuesday night to approve the site plan and groundwater protection permit needed for the project. Since December 2015, Lattizori has secured approval from the commission for a zoning regulation amendment and a master plan for the entire project and more recently received a permit from the Stonington Inland Wetlands Commission for construction of the apartment building. Future phases of the $70 million project call for a medical and research campus, as well as town homes, located off Jerry Browne Road.

Lattizori said that while construction of the apartments takes place, he will be working on plans for the other phases of the project.

While past commercial and residential projects planned for the site over the past 25 years by Lattizori, and before that, his father, were met with strong opposition from residents, this one was not. On Tuesday, a lawyer for one neighbor expressed concern that water from the apartments would flow onto his property, but Lattizori’s engineer offered a detailed explanation to the commission about why the project’s design and drainage calculations show there would be no additional runoff onto the neighbor’s land.

Lattizori said the support from residents, including neighbors who live across the street in the StoneRidge retirement community, was the result of the outreach effort he had made before and during the approval process.

"During every step the public has had the opportunity to comment and their input has been incorporated into our design,” he said. “I met with all the neighbors and sat in countless living rooms and dining rooms so people could hear about the project from the horse’s mouth.”

This outreach resulted in the inclusion of meadows, mounds and open space across from StoneRidge to protect the rural character of the road and the view StoneRidge residents have of the property. Almost 50 percent of the project has been set aside as open space, as the buildings are located adjacent to Interstate 95.

First Selectmen Rob Simmons praised the commission’s approval of the final permits.

“The unanimous approval of the Perkins Farm site plan by the Stonington Planning and Zoning Commission represents a huge step forward for a project that has been in the works since 2015. By setting aside almost 50 percent of the project in open space, David Lattizori has protected the scenic vistas for StoneRidge residents and preserved the historic walls and character of Jerry Browne Road. This project is huge plus for the town,” he said.

Plans for the Harbor Heights apartments call for a four-story building in the northeast section of the property, adjacent to Interstate 95 and close to the intersection with Pequotsepos Road. A large, undeveloped area will buffer the apartments and a proposed group of townhouse condominiums from residential properties to the east.

The three-sided building partially will enclose a central courtyard containing a swimming pool and two pavilions and units will overlook a meadow and wooded area. Parking and one-story garage buildings will ring the complex.

Plans call for a fitness center, yoga studio, conference room, community room, two elevators, a business center and cafe, among other amenities. Lattizori likened the project to a luxury hotel.

He said units will rent for about $2,000 a month and would be geared toward professionals, empty nesters and millennials looking to live in Mystic. He said similar complexes in East Lyme and Old Saybrook are fully rented.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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