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Connecticut, Long Island projects show how pandemic has changed real estate

15 Farm Springs Road, Farmington, CT, and The Boulevard in Yaphank, LI
(Google Maps,

Two tri-state area development projects show how pandemic-driven demand in the housing market is shaping the region’s broader real estate landscape.

In Farmington, Connecticut, an affiliate of CSRE Group scored a $32 million construction loan from Kriss Capital to convert a former hotel into an apartment community, according to Real Estate Weekly.

The development was the site of the Hartford Marriott Farmington, a 381-key hotel 10 miles southwest of the state capital. The hotel couldn’t survive the pandemic, though, as leisure and business travel grinded to a halt.

Instead, the site is being converted into a 225-unit, market-rate apartment building, Real Estate Weekly reported, as the developers undoubtedly hope to cash in on soaring demand for rentals among those priced out of homeownership. The development will include pools, a fitness center, co-working areas and in-unit washers and dryers.

The development is close to the UConn Health Center, which employs 5,000 people.

Meanwhile, a development in Yaphank, Long Island, is pivoting towards housing and away from office space as the latter has struggled against the rise of remote work during the pandemic.

Officials announced last week that Rose-Breslin Associates, the developer behind The Boulevard, will be adding 152 townhomes to the complex. According to Newsday, the $500 million development will also be foregoing previously planned office and industrial space.

Rose-Breslin intended to build 935 apartments and townhouses and has largely fulfilled that plan. It was also going to build 550,000 square feet for commercial use.

Times have changed, though, and the developer is dropping 450,000 square feet from the commercial space bucket (the other 100,000 has been built for an assisted living facility) and eliminating its other plans for that space. It conceded 152 acres to be preserved as open space as part of the last-minute change, Newsday reports.

The development — which will include a Walmart Supercenter — is adjusting to the area’s hot residential market and decreasing demand for office space as more employees work from home.

[REW] — Holden Walter-Warner