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Luxury housing complex opens in Bethel’s Stony Hill
BETHEL — Developers unveiled a new luxury housing complex in Stony Hill on Thursday that officials hope will become the model for future development along the corridor.
Copper Square, which includes more than 130 townhouses and duplex units, was built on the property formerly occupied by the Stony Hill Inn, a landmark in town that was demolished last year to make way for the new development.
“We couldn’t be happier with how the development worked out,” said town planner Steve Palmer. “The residential component will help to sustain and build on the commercial development along the corridor. It’s really a model for what we’d like to see in the future.”
Palmer said the 30 acres of the Stony Hill property were divided into three projects — Copper Square, an assisted-living facility under development by Maplewood and a mixed-use commercial and residential component along the road, for which property owners are still seeking a developer.
“It was really important to us to find the right developers for the project,” said Gene Rubino, the founder of the Stony Hill Inn, who was on site for the ribbon-cutting Thursday. “We didn’t go into this blind. We wanted something that would be the best for Bethel. We love this town and have lived here all our lives.”
Palmer said the development would be pedestrian-friendly and eventually connect to other projects through sidewalks.
“We’re hoping to see a walkable community with sidewalks throughout the corridor,” he said.
Randy Salvatore, president of Stamford-based RMS Cos., which is developing the site, said the property was a unique opportunity that was difficult to pass up.
“How often do you find a 20-acre parcel these days that’s flat and has a pond in the middle of it?” he said.
Salvatore said they were also attracted to the site because of its access to Interstate 84 and the vision of local officials, who worked with the development company for nearly a year on the project, he said.
“The town was very transparent, but they also had their own objectives,” he said. “I’m happy that we could work together to make that happen.”
Salvatore said that he is also in the process of another development in town but wasn’t able to discuss it yet. “I really like this community,” he said.
The project was started about a year ago and funded in part by First County Bank and Union Savings Bank. About 50 units of the development are under construction, including model homes that are now available.
First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker said the entire site, once fully developed, will add about $1.2 million into local tax coffers.
New housing developments can earn objections over the cost of educating children who may end up living there, but Knickerbocker said any additional students have been factored into the district’s enrollment projections for the next five to 10 years.
“There was a lot of work that was done to get this project off the ground, but we’re very happy with the results,” he said.
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