New Britain-based Jasko Development has secured officials’ approval for the land that will hold its latest large apartment building in downtown New Britain.
The city’s Common Council unanimously approved sale Wednesday night of a parking lot next to the city’s police station to Jasko, owned by local resident Avner Krohn, for $125,000 along with a tax abatement deal.
The future development at 157 Main St. will see its property taxes capped at $550 per year for each residential and commercial unit in the building, with taxes rising 1 percent each year for the next 26 years. The property is also in an opportunity zone.
The terms of the sale stipulate at least 80 apartments and 4,000 square feet of commercial space be built on-site, however Krohn told the Common Council’s planning and zoning committee earlier this week that he is targeting around 100 units and two commercial spaces, one of which would be a restaurant space up to 5,000 square feet spread over two levels, with the second floor potentially offering an “indoor-outdoor” dining experience.
The all-market-rate project is not yet in final design, he said, but the unit mix will include studios, one- and two-bedroom units while amenities will include a gym and a pet spa.
Krohn’s project was selected after a city RFP process thanks to the large number of units it promised to bring downtown and the company’s track record elsewhere in the city, Director of Planning and Development Jack Benjamin told the committee.
“We watched a lot of disinvestment in downtown New Britain over the last half-century and now we’ve seen renewed interest – which is exemplified by Mr. Krohn and Jasko’s other projects – in really good infill development,” Benjamin said. “Right now, you have people who are low-moderate income who are fighting for apartments with people who are making twice what they are. Landlords are looking at that and usually choosing the person who’s making more, and thus you have a housing squeeze.”
Jasko’s decision to brand the building as “The Strand,” echoing a theater that sat on the site until 1972, likely contributed, as well.
“We brought in a whole team of historians and individuals on the design side,” Krohn said, noting that the company also requested the parcel’s address be changed to mirror that of the Strand.
The building’s facade will also feature a scaled-down recreation of the original theater’s marquee.
If built, the Strand would join Jasko’s 114-unit Highrailer and 107-unit Brit developments currently under construction one block to the north, in the direction of New Britain’s CT Fastrak commuter bus terminal.