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Hills at River View apartments in Taftville to expand again

Norwich — The Hills at River View, a collection of more than a dozen buildings with 129 townhouse-style apartments built on a Taftville hillside across Route 97 from the Ponemah Mill and the Shetucket River, is expanding again.

The Hills at River View LLC received unanimous approval last week from the Commission on the City Plan for a new adjacent development, to be called South Hills at River View, said Alexander Gebbie, partner in the development firm with his father, Darwin Gebbie.

The new project on 6.29 acres at 3 North C St. consists of two development phases with a combined seven buildings with 52 two-bedroom townhouse apartments — four buildings in the first phase and three in the second phase. Each unit will have a garage and a deck, and the project includes nature trails through woods, a dog park, playgrounds and solid surface patios with views of the Shetucket River and the Ponemah Mill complex across the street.

The property now has the remnants of a single-family house and driveways from a previous single-family housing development, which will be removed. Much of the land is thickly wooded. Before construction can begin, the developers must hire an archaeologist to do a survey of the gently sloped area, which the state Historic Preservation Office said could contain “archaeological resources” similar to those found across the river.

The project is just outside of the Taftville National Historic District. Deputy state Historic Preservation Officer Catherine Labadia wrote in her letter to the city planning commission that the proposed development would have no impact on the character of the historic district.

The Hills at River View has been growing steadily since the developers started the ambitious project on the hilly, rocky ground that slopes up from Route 97 and the river.

Alexander Gebbie said the completed project has 129 townhouse units in 13 buildings, with about 70% being two-bedroom units and 30% three-bedroom apartments. Gebbie said the units are fully rented. A 5,000-square-foot clubhouse building is nearly completed, with a pool, recreation room, gym, kitchen and community and game room. There is an outdoor playground at the clubhouse, as well.

The developers have approval for another 40 units, which would bring the main property up to 169 units. But he said the developers’ priority will be to build the 52 units at 3 North C St.

c.bessette@theday.com

Editor's Note: This version corrects a misidentification of the address for the new development.

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