Only 20 two- to three-bedroom homes are being constructed in the third and final phase of development at the historic Hop Brook Mill site which also includes Mill Commons apartments and The Mill at Hop Brook restaurant and commercial space. This year the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Connecticut recognized Landworks Development with a total of five HOBI awards including the “Best Hartford County Smart Growth Community” and “Best Hartford County Mixed Use Development” for design and construction of The Mill at Hop Brook development.
Recognition as “Best Commercial Rehab” was also given to the million-dollar restoration of the 330-year-old Mill at Hop Brook that is home to commercial offices and the upscale Millwright’s Restaurant and Tavern just a short walk away for future townhouse residents. The 88-unit luxury rental complex at Mill Commons apartments won two additional HOBI awards for the developer: the “Best Hartford County Luxury Rental Unit” and “Best Energy Efficient/Green Community.”
The award application cites Mill Pond Crossing for green components and high energy conservation ratings that include installation of 95-percent efficient natural gas furnaces and General Electric hybrid electric hot water heaters. Natural clay brick pavers provide a walkway connecting the community and the rain gardens and bioswales are designed to control runoff in an ecologically sensitive manner.
Simsbury resident Susan Huntington was first to sign a contract to purchase an end-unit townhouse at Mill Pond Crossing months before construction began on the first of the five fourplex (four-unit) buildings. After raising a family in a large, comfortable home in a rural section of Simsbury, she became a single mother when she lost her husband. Susan recalls, “It became apparent that the house was too big for a working mom to handle by herself. We were looking to downsize and make a lifestyle change to not have to deal with any of the outside maintenance.”
Even though Susan needed to leave the maintenance behind, she still wanted “flex space” to accommodate visits from children and her parents. She says she was “not really downsizing that much” by choosing an end unit that provides 2,268 square feet of living space with the finished lower level that will include a full bath.
Every townhouse has a view overlooking the Hop Brook or mill pond and a rear deck to get even closer to nature. The natural connection is enhanced by brownstone veneer on each building custom-cut from boulders from the excavation site. All homes come with a two-car garage and hardwood flooring runs from the entry foyer through the living room, dining room and kitchen. Granite countertops are a standard feature in every kitchen as are stainless steel appliances that include a self-cleaning range and range hood that vents outdoors.
The master bedroom runs the full depth of the second floor in the end units as well as the two center section townhouses in each building. Each master bath includes a dual-basin vanity, a deep window-lit soaking tub and separate shower stall. A second full bath with a combined shower and tub serves the second bedroom and loft area in each unit.
The easy quarter-mile walk to downtown Simsbury with all its shops and conveniences is another key reason that Mill Pond Crossing townhouses should appeal to a broad spectrum of homebuyers.
In addition to being able to keep her 11-year-old daughter in the Simsbury school system, the central location was also a big selling point for Huntington. “We’ll be closer to the bike path and close enough to the library that my daughter can walk there. She’ll even be able to walk to the high school.” After reading a news story in 2011 that Mill Pond Crossing was moving through the zoning process, Huntington contacted the developer and was told she was “way too early” but to stay in touch. “I tease them that I’ve been a stalker for the last two years. I was ready to move before they were ready to build.”
For more information on Mill Pond Crossing townhouses in Simsbury, contact Landworks Realty LLC at 860-658-7600.
Builder: Landworks - Nelson Construction
Price: Starting at $389,900
Style: Traditional colonial
Rooms: 6 to 7
Bedrooms: 2 to 3
Baths: 2.5 to 3.5
Square footage: 1,810 to 2,150 square feet
Tax rate: 38.51 mills
Best feature: In-town luxury townhouses with views of the mill pond, waterfall and Hop Brook Gorge
Contact: Landworks Realty LLC, 860-658-7600
Tony Bacewicz is a freelance writer based in Old Saybrook.