February 1, 2018
Deal Watch Today

Reset for W. Hfd. convent conversion

A rendering of Arcadia Crossing, viewed from Prospect Street.

The Sisters of St. Joseph are back to square one with their ambitious proposal to convert their century-old West Hartford convent and campus into apartments the nuns would share with market-rate tenants.

Stamford commercial broker Kim Mowers has represented the Sisters since their earlier partnership emerged five years ago with a Westchester County, N.Y., developer to transform their 20-acre compound on the West Hartford/Hartford border into $100 million Arcadia Crossing.

Mowers confirmed this week that the partnership with Center Development Corp. of Port Chester, N.Y., dissolved in October, following failed efforts to negotiate a new development pact. A sale of the 20-acre campus and buildings was contingent upon the town approving Center Development's application to build in a special district.

Meantime, the Sisters have drawn interest from several parties since reopening solicitations with potential development partners, said Mowers, senior managing director with commercial brokerage Newmark Knight Frank, which has Hartford and Avon offices.

Choice of a new development partner could come within 30 to 60 days, he said. Reached for comment, the Sisters referred questions to Mowers.

As originally conceived and approved by the town, Arcadia Crossing's plan for 310 apartments would have ranked as one of West Hartford's biggest, most dense residential communities yet.

It, or any revised development, would occupy the current site of the Sisters of St. Joseph's nunnery, chapel and other buildings at 27 Park Road, at the southwest corner of Prospect Street and Park Road.

Development plans first emerged in West Hartford Town Hall in June 2013 for 400 apartments, then to be known as Chambery Estates.

Under both plans, active and retired nuns would occupy apartments in a building in one part of the property, while living units located in a separate building would be leased to market-rate residents.

The Sisters' ownership of the 20-acre campus dates to 1898.

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