STONINGTON — Hartford HealthCare submitted a site plan to the town’s Planning Department Friday for a $20 million medical facility to be located at Perkins Farm.
If approved, the 47,000-square-foot facility would provide an array of medical services including primary care. Specialty care services would include cardiology, imaging, rehabilitation, and infusion and neuroscience services. The building would also house a headache center, a movement disorders center, community education facilities and spaces for future additional offerings.
Hartford HealthCare Corporation, of Hartford, is currently building a medical office building on Liberty Street in Pawcatuck on the former site of Maple Breeze Park. The corporation owns and operates numerous medical centers around the state and hospitals in Torrington, Norwich, Willimantic, Hartford, Meriden, and New Britain.
Reached by phone Friday, David Lattizori, co-owner of the 70-acre Perkins Farm site at 89 Jerry Brown Road, described Hartford HealthCare’s proposal as “a state-of-the-art, top-of-the-line, world-class medical facility.”
“It’s really been the product of almost two and a half years of conversations with various health care providers all over the state and the one who was willing to act in a big way and really cement their flag in this region was Hartford HealthCare,” said Lattizori. “The idea is they are going to be treating and servicing aging demographics of the surrounding community and also providing health care options to new residents, like newly-hired engineers at Electric Boat who are unaffiliated with any health care program.”
Jeffrey Flaks, president and CEO of Hartford HealthCare, said in a statement that the company was “very excited about the opportunity to provide shoreline residents more convenient access to world-class, high-quality health services.”
“Our strategic investment in this important region will allow us to better coordinate care and aligns perfectly with Hartford HealthCare’s wide range of health care offerings along the shoreline — from Rhode Island to Old Lyme,” Flaks said.
The proposal represents the second of Lattizori’s three-phase plan, which also includes a 121-unit apartment complex, alreaday underway, a medical facility, and 50 townhomes.
In December, requirements of the new state MS4 stormwater mandate dealt the apartment project a setback, causing a four-month delay and $650,000 in extra costs. In response, the town offered Lattizori and his sister, Alyssa Lattizori, of Jupiter, Florida, who owns 50 percent of the company, a seven-year fixed assessment tax abatement program for Phase I of the project. A majority of voters approved the tax break on July 17.
Under the terms of the abatement, the Lattizoris agreed to invest $16.3 million in Phase I of the project and pay incrementally increasing building taxes over seven years, totaling $508,295 by the end of the term. Without the abatement, they would have paid $259,335 per year or $1,815,341 at the end of seven years.
The Lattizoris will continue to pay 100 percent of the land property taxes, which will increase from about $20,000 per year to $83,412 per year.
With the Hartford HealthCare proposal in the works, David Lattizori said he will move ahead with the site plan for the townhouses.
“We always thought Phase I and II would be the apartments and the townhouses and Phase III would be the medical,” he said. “Actually, Phase II is going to consist of this medical building. In two weeks we’ll be submitting for the 50 townhouses and they’ll all go to the same hearing on Jan. 15.”
The project has come a long way from three years ago. At the time, the Lattizoris were about to proceed with an approved 36-lot housing subdivision on the site. But a member of StoneRidge, the assisted living facility located at 186 Jerry Brown Road, asked if there was a better use for the site and whether Lattizori could preserve the neighborhood’s greenery.
“I think what’s so interesting about all of this is we’ve got so many comments from the town and we’ve been doing construction for a month and a half and people don’t know we’ve started,” he said. “I think it’s a testament to how we designed this site, where we moved all of the buildings along I-95 and preserved that greenscape along Jerry Brown Road and we really have no impact on the community visibility-wise.”
The proposal is a “huge, positive development for the Town of Stonington,” First Selectman Rob Simmons said Friday.
“It’s an incredible plus for the people of who live in this region and the whole community to have a proposed facility of this size and scope,” he said.
It’s not very often that an opportunity of this size and level of commitment comes to a small town like Stonington, said Lattizori.
“I think it’s important that the town recognizes that this is an incredible opportunity and it will bring quality health services to our community,” he said. “And it will hopefully be around for many generations to come, that was always the goal.”