MYSTIC — Construction has started on the $20 million Hartford HealthCare medical/residential complex on a 70-acre parcel off Jerry Browne Road, developer David Lattizori said Friday.

The parcel was deemed a Greenway Development District zone by the Planning and Zoning Commission in January 2017, which requires at least 50 percent of the parcel to be preserved as open space.

“We are trying to preserve all the old-growth trees,” Lattizori said, “and we have also preserved all the landscape along Jerry Browne Road. The land acts as a privacy barrier ... this balances development and conservation.”

Lattizori said apartments, townhouses and a state-of-the-art ambulatory health center would be linked by nature trails. The 50-unit townhouse complex for older adults, he said, will be centered around a village green with recreational activities, a dog park and other amenities. Smaller townhomes have a proposed price of $300,000, while larger units will come in at $400,000.

“This is housing for people over 55 who don’t need assisted living,” Lattizori said.

Construction of the ambulatory care center will begin in early 2020, Lattizori said. He noted its central location would be within close driving proximity to surrounding towns.

“With a 15-minute drive time, we reach out to three different villages,” he said. “This medical facility will be a beacon for health care on the shoreline.” The medical center, he said, will offer “specialty care services for different types of medical conditions.”

The 121 resort-style luxury apartments will have one or two bedrooms with rents estimated from $1,500-$2,000, Lattizori said, and amenities will include fire pits, a gym and a spa.

“These apartments will appeal to the demographics we are trying to attract,” Lattizori said.

“Everything in this development addresses a need in the community,” Lattizori said. “This complex will be the largest taxpayer in town, generating high-paying medical jobs.”

The developer was granted a tax abatement by the town of Stonington that saves him $1.3 million in taxes over seven years. There is no tax abatement on the land itself.

Stonington Director of Planning Jason Vincent said a traffic analysis was also done as “part of the decision-making process.”

“Reports prepared by the development team were evaluated by the Town of Stonington Board of Police Commissioners, the Town Engineer and the Planning and Zoning Commission,” Vincent wrote in an email. “The anticipated traffic increases were determined to be within the range of reasonable traffic volumes.”

The Inland Wetlands & Watercourses Commission approved a stormwater permit for the project in January 2019 and the Architectural Design Review Board gave its stamp of approval last December.

Lattizori, who owns the property with his sister Alyssa Lattizori, of Jupiter, Fla., has had plans for the property since 2003, and has owned it since 1999.

“Fifteen years ago this was very controversial,” Lattimore said, adding that he “sat around 30-35 living rooms for three years,” in order to convince the community on the merits of the project.

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