By John Fitts
CANTON – A local non-profit and a New York based development company are hoping to bring an integrated apartment project to Commerce Drive.
The Arc of the Farmington Valley, commonly known Favarh, a Canton based organization that supports people with intellectual, physical and developmental disabilities and Regan Development Corporation have approach town officials with the idea of an apartment complex at 300 and 350 Commerce, near the 55-plus Boulder Ridge complex. At this point, there is no formal application for the project.
The initial concept for the building is an integrated environment with approximately 36 units, nine of which would be set aside and specially designed for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, with the rest of the units open to general population – at a reasonable price point. The building would include common areas and an on-site superintendent.
“It would provide additional affordable housing for young people, perhaps older people looking to downside – all in the setting of an integrated space for people with intellectual disabilities,” said Stephen Morris, executive director of Favarh
“The desire is to help people locally be able to stay local,” said Ken Regan, vice president of Regan Development. “This is a technique we’ve put together to try and build community but at the same time provide rentals, of good quality, that people can afford.”
Regan said the project is in its infancy but said the one-bedroom units could fall in the 700 to 750 square-foot range and two bedrooms approximately 900 to 1,050 square feet.
Rents for the Simsbury project fall between $986 and $1,415 and while Regan said it’s too early for any hard numbers, Canton prices could be lower.
In 2011, Regan Development debuted Kershaw Commons in Freehold Township, N.J., the first East Coast project designed specifically for those with Multiple Sclerosis.
The company has launched several projects for those with special needs and in September of 2015 opened Ojakian Commons in Simsbury, a 48-unit complex also designed for MS patients. At the request of Simsbury officials, the facility set aside 7 apartments for those with other disabilities, a move that led to the relationship with Favarh, Morris said. The facility has specially designed features for those with disabilities, such as automated doors, wide doors, hard-surface flooring, accessably placed light switches and more. There are also several common areas for social gatherings and additional amenities.
“It’s just a great social environment,” Morris said of the Simsbury facility. “I said ‘gosh we really need to do something like this but for people with intellectual abilities.’ We started talking to the developer about possibly doing something in Canton.” … Continue Reading