After their grown children moved out, the Rileys found that their single-family home was too large. They expected to stay at The Mansions at Hockanum Crossing for six months to a year while they looked for houses, but nine years later they are still happy to call The Mansions at Hockanum Crossing home.
“It not only met our expectations but exceeded our expectations,” says Mr. Riley about their home at The Mansions. “We like the fact that it’s very peaceful and quiet, very scenic. Where we are, we have double balconies. We feel like we’re living in the country.” Watching wildlife has become an enjoyable pastime for the couple. They often see turkeys, deer, rabbits and squirrels. “I saw a groundhog yesterday,” he says. “We don’t feel closed in.”
Some units at The Mansions have balconies while ground-level units have patios. Views vary around the 75-acre property. Some overlook the Dart Hill Trail stretched along the gently flowing Hockanum River. All apartments enjoy views of immaculately kept grounds designed by distinguished landscape architect John Axelopoulis. Highlights include three ponds, two of which are inhabited by multi-colored Koi and sit beneath red rock waterfalls.
Property maintenance is taken care of by The Mansions so the Rileys find they can leave home at a moment’s notice without worrying about leaving things unattended – something they were unable to do when they were homeowners.
“We were able to just pick up and go to take care of my mother 500 miles away,” he says. “We made multiple trips. If we were still homeowners, we couldn’t have done it.” Spending time with children and grandchildren is easier, too, he says.
“There was always something to take care of,” adds Riley about their previous home. “Mowing the lawn, fixing the house.” The couple says that those chores are now in good hands. The responsiveness of the management team and the maintenance department gets high praise from Riley.
“They have an excellent maintenance crew,” he says. “If you do have any kind of a maintenance problem, they are very prompt at getting that rectified. The ladies in the information center always make sure to ask whether someone should be home when maintenance arrives. We’ve never had any type of security problem. They follow-up in a day or two to ensure things were done satisfactorily.”
The apartment’s floor plan is spacious while ensuring privacy for both the master bedroom and the guest bedroom. “We really like the layout,” says Riley. “It’s set up so the guest bedroom and the master bedroom are separated. In our bedroom, we have a walk-in closet and master bathroom. The second bedroom also has a full bath.”
Their apartment has a niche where a computer station tucks away and features a natural gas fireplace that is capable of throwing out a lot of warmth. A layer of flexible concrete between the units helps keep each home quiet.
“My wife loves the kitchen with all the modern appliances,” he says. “We’ve been here nine years and our carpeting still looks new.” Kitchens have a frost-free side-by-side refrigerator, a multi-cycle dishwasher, a high-speed microwave oven and a range/oven. Each apartment also has nine-foot ceilings, natural gas heat and central air conditioning.
“We’re very happy here and have no plans to move out,” says Riley. His wife likes the fact that shopping, dining and recreation are so close.
Mehul Patel is a young professional who says The Mansions suits his lifestyle. “I work in the area,” he says. “I was just driving by one day and saw this place. It’s much closer to work.”
Besides being pet free, Patel appreciates many of the amenities available at The Mansions. “Paying rent is not a problem,” he says. “They have a drop-box, they have direct deposit.”
He participates in a number of the activities planned by the management team, such as the annual summer get-together. He signed up for yoga classes and wants to join a bowling team with other tenants to take on challengers at the nearby Spare Time bowling center.
“We’re pretty active on Facebook,” says Christine Cherrone, assistant manager at The Mansions. “We notify residents when the maintenance crew is trimming hedges, we set up trips to local wineries and more. We post all activities and try to engage residents.”
Residents are notified of when the knitting club meets in the community center and of hiking activities in Vernon and Tolland. “We have a big holiday party in December,” says Cherrone. “It’s a good time of year to meet the neighbors.”
A heated swimming pool in the community center is open year-round. Free Wi-Fi is available in the community center and in the fitness center. Treadmills, elliptical machines, free weights and weight machines can be used by residents 24/7 in the fitness center.
In 2007, The Mansions received the Home Builders Association of Connecticut’s Best Multi-Family Community Award. For three years in a row, The Mansions received the Connecticut Apartment Association Award for Excellence in Multi-family Housing.
Residents referring someone who signs a 12-month lease will receive a $250 bonus coupon to use towards a month of rent.
The Mansions at Hockanum Crossing are located at 75 Hockanum Boulevard in Vernon, convenient to Hartford and UConn. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.HockanumCrossing.com or speak to a leasing consultant at 860-871-1000.
Owner: Chapman Acres LLC
Rent: $1,045 to $1,695 per month
Style: Townhouse and single-floor units
Rooms: 4 to 5
Bedrooms: 1 to 2
Baths: 1 to 2.5
Square footage: 720 to 1,675 square feet
Acreage: 75 acres
Mill rate: n/a
Best feature: Luxurious amenities at affordable prices
Contact: Leasing Consultants, The Mansions at Hockanum Crossing, 860-871-1000
Larry Greene is a freelance writer based in Norwich.