Developer proposes apartments at former Shelton Chinese restaurant site

Photo of Brian Gioiele

SHELTON — A local developer is planning an apartment building for Old Bridgeport Avenue property where its previous owners proposed opening a speakeasy named Hush.

James Blakeman of Brookview Apartments, LLC., is seeking a major modification to the Planned Development District on the property — listed as 309 Old Bridgeport Ave. — to allow for construction of a building with 30 apartments and onsite parking.

“After seeing the proposal with the speak easy, I thought moving on a sister building made sense,” Blakeman said. “I’m sure the residents around this area will be happy.”

The application has been submitted to the Planning and Zoning Commission, which plans to hold a public hearing on the proposal in the coming weeks.

The apartment building will match Brookview Apartments, the structure already in place at 305 Old Bridgeport Ave. Blakeman called his latest plans phase two, and the new building, as presently proposed, would be a carbon copy of that building, which was finished two years ago.

“There’s a big demand for apartments right now in the city,” said Blakeman, adding that once apartments open in any of his buildings, they are immediately filled.

Blakeman, a lifelong Shelton resident, has been involved in numerous construction projects in the area. Besides the already completed Brookview Apartments, Blakeman has also finished Vista Apartments I on Howe Avenue and is nearing completion of the neighboring sister project, Vista Apartments II.

Blakeman said he has enjoyed success with apartment complexes, with less than a 10 percent turnover rate. He said the apartment lifestyle has become popular because of the desire for amenities, such as full gym, security systems, and no overhead or maintenance responsibilities.

According to the plans, all the apartments in the proposed Brookview Apartments will be one bedroom, half with home offices.

The new construction would replace the two-story structure and paving presently on the site.

Currently, the site is accessed from Sunwood Drive off Old Bridgeport Avenue. The plans state that a new driveway entrance into the proposed off-street parking area will be created to be accessed from Sunwood Drive.

The site, former home of Hunan Pan Restaurant, was the focus of a contentious application with the Planning and Zoning Commission. The commission denied the former owners’ plan to open a speakeasy, a decision which the owners appealed. The appeal was denied by a judge.