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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Selectmen Approve Senior Housing ‘Memorandum’

By James Lomuscio

After more than five years of efforts, plans to build a senior housing complex on town-owned land in Westport’s center took a small step toward reality tonight with unanimous approval by the Board of Selectmen of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the project’s developers Jonathan Rose Companies and Freshwater Associates. Image
An architect’s rendering of the Jonathan Rose Companies proposal for Baron’s South senior housing. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The MOU, which is legally non binding, is for the construction of 135 residential, rental units and a 32-unit memory care facility on eight of the 22 acres of Baron’s South, current home to the town’s Westport Center for Senior Activities.

Under the agreement, Jonathan Rose will have a 98-year lease on the land but own the buildings, the property taxes of which would approach $1 million annually by the time the $60 million construction is completed within four years, according to Second Selectman Avi Kaner.

He acknowledged that months of approvals by other boards and commissions and the Board of Selectmen itself lie ahead before the project can advance to the next stage and that it could be derailed at any point along the way.

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