Selectman Gordon Joseloff announced Tuesday that he has accepted
the Baron’s South Committee’s recommendation of the firms to develop and
operate proposed mixed-income senior rental housing on the town-owned land
known as Baron’s South.
The committee recommended that Jonathan Rose Companies and the Freshwater Group (via its Watermark Retirement Communities) build and maintain the housing on the town-owned land.
“Together, the companies have proposed a plan that not only provides for much-needed housing options for seniors so they can remain in Westport but at the same time offers solid long-term financial return on our town-owned land,” Joseloff said.
The firms' proposal allows
for aging in place with access to services and memory care units, Joseloff
said. The plan contains affordable, moderate, and market rate housing that will
accommodate the needs of a wide range of Westport seniors.
”Jonathan Rose and David Freshwater, principals in the selected companies, offer a strong combination of vast experience in development of innovative senior living communities around the country as well as access to private capital,” Joseloff said.
He added that the new plan, in contrast to the initial plan proposed by Jonathan Rose Companies last fall, offers a higher return to the town, has more market rate units, fewer affordable units, and contains amenities such as therapeutic pool, specialized fitness center, and Watermark University.
“These amenities will create great synergy with our own Center for Senior Activities,” Joseloff said.
Joseloff and other town officials earlier this month visited the Watermark at East Hill in Southbury, Conn., which is operated by Watermark Retirement Communities. They came away "highly impressed," per Joseloff.
“We saw a development that shows the potential for creating attractive, welcoming housing for Westport seniors,”Joseloff said. “I hope the next administration will embrace this recommendation and move it forward as soon as possible so the long-time dream of so many in Westport will become a reality.”
The RTM Long-Range Planning and Planning & Zoning Committees will hold a meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall to discuss the Baron’s South plans with representatives of the recommended developers and operators. Those interested are urged to attend.