New Housing Project Taking Names

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Photo by Lester Smith

Viewed from the southeast on a cool April afternoon, the first three buildings of Brook Hill Village are approaching completion. Occupancy was expected to begin in June.

The first units of the large new apartment complex on East Street South are approaching completion, and their management office is taking applications now for June occupancy. An ad with contact information appears below.

Public planning for what was then called the Hamlet began with a hearing before the Zoning and Planning Commission three years ago in March 2015. Mark O’Neill, a Suffield developer, proposed a large apartment and condo complex of 166 units on a 31-acre parcel south of Stony Brook behind private homes on the east side of East Street South. On the project’s east side were the Suffield Waste Water Treatment Facility (aka the sewer plant) and the Windsor Locks Canal.

There was substantial opposition by neighbors who feared the effect of such a large development. But after the hearing had been continued over two more meetings and changes had been made in planned buffer zones, plantings, fencing, and other matters, the Commission voted unanimously to approve the project, in which over half the units would be “affordable,” by state standards.

Construction began in mid-2017, and by fall three large apartment buildings were under way in the first phase of the project, which had been taken over by Dakota Partners, a Massachusetts company familiar with such endeavors. Each of the three-story buildings was to house 12 apartments, most of them to be rented to qualifying tenants at subsidized prices. In November it was announced that the name had changed to Stony Brook Village. Construction continued during the winter, when weather permitted.

As advertised in the spring, the name was now Brook Hill Village, and the project was described as an LIHTC community (Low-Income Housing Tax Credit) with income restrictions. The listed website showed floor plans for the one-bedroom apartments (the Hatheway, 840-sq. ft.) and three layouts for two-bedroom units (the Windsor, the Bushnell, and the Hilltop, about 1,100 sq. ft.) offering “Comfort, Convenience and Charm,” with many luxurious amenities.

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