Planned 'upscale’ Shelton apartment complex is tweaked

The owner of a 228-unit apartment complex on Bridgeport Avenue nearing the construction phase has received zoning approval to make some changes in the approved plan.

This includes constructing more two-bedroom units, enlarging the clubhouse facility, having a public plaza with an outdoor mail kiosk and fountain (the mail area was going to be inside the clubhouse), and relocating the dog walk.

The Talbot Apartments site is at 740 Bridgeport Ave., which is between PerkinElmer and the Fairchild Heights mobile home community, backing up to Route 8. A thin strip of land with a driveway will connect the complex to Bridgeport Avenue near Planet Fitness.

The 13-acre development will have six residential buildings up to five stories high, plus the clubhouse, and has been promoted as being “upscale.” There will be 457 parking spaces, or two per unit.

The developers told the P&Z that clearing work has begun on the site, and they expect to file for building permits soon.

The Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) previously approved creating a Planned Development District for the project. Some local officials were opposed because they thought it might hurt residential development downtown, which is a few miles away.

The revised plan will have 96 one-bedroom and 132 two-bedroom units.

The clubhouse will be 6,160 square feet, and include such amenities as a swimming pool, fitness room, fireplace, cinema room, library/lounge, sports lounge with TVs, private dining facility, and private wine storage area.

The original clubhouse was to be 4,000 square feet.

No play area for children

One of the applicant’s requested changes was rejected — that of building an outdoor play area for children.

Patrick O’Leary, an engineer representing Talbot, said a small playscape would “address” the needs of visiting youngsters as well as young families who might reside there.

P&Z members noted the complex is supposed to target corporate professionals and downsizing adults, not young families, to minimize the impact on the school system.

Members also were concerned with a proposed new architectural design for the buildings. They felt it looked too commercial — like a hotel — and lacked fluctuating roof pitches and brighter colors. Members said they preferred the previous design.

The developers said they would work with staff on the buildings’ design. The P&Z is likely to have to give final approval.

The original developer, Bill Griffin, has now teamed up on the project with Shelton Properties LLC, which includes Howard S. Rappaport of New Jersey-based Continental Properties. Both were at the P&Z meeting.

“They’re working hard to make this a Class A project,” O’Leary said.