10 Thomson Road, West Hartford

If you’re looking for a charming home within walking distance to West Hartford Center and Blue Back Square, this might be the one!


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It’s a 1759 square foot, 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath colonial with nicely refinished hardwood floors and central air. There is a first floor family room, a 1-car oversized garage, and potential to finish the basement. The listing price is $297,500.

If you would like to see the home, you can call me for a showing (860-655-2125), arrange a showing through your agent, or stop by the open house on Sunday, May 18 from 1:00-4:00PM.


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Fabulous Friday Finds- West Hartford Dog Park Dog Walk, Sunday April 27 at 1:00PM

fridayfabulousfind.jpg Libby told me this is Fabulous and I have to post it.

I’ve talked about the West Hartford Dog Park committee before. They are moving faster than a dog on the scent of bacon!

The group will be hosting several dog walks to promote the idea of a dog park in the community. The first official walk with be this Sunday, April 27, starting at 1:00PM. Please meet at 7 Arapahoe which is located just off LaSalle Road in West Hartford Center, across from the Post Office.

Dogs will be leashed. Also, please remember to bring water and waste cleanup bags for your pooch! It should be a great time.

If you can’t make it this Sunday, don’t despair, there will be other walks…

Saturday, May 3 at 1:00PM – Elizabeth Park (meet at the Pond/restaurant)

Sunday, May 11 at 8:30AM – West Hartford Center (at Walk for Lupus/Blue Back Square)

Tuesday, May 20 at 6:00PM – Elizabeth Park (meet at the Pond/restaurant)

Bishops Corner Redevelopment Update

There have been rumors that portions of Bishops Corner will be redeveloped in the future, ala Blue Back Square.

Tonight the Bishops Corner Neighborhood Group held an informational meeting to talk about potential redevelopment of another parcel in the area, 2558 Albany Avenue, seen below.


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Gregg Nanni, the General Manager of owner/developer Prospect Enterprises, gave a presentation about the proposed plan. As a little background, Prospect Enterprises also owns the adjacent property that houses Staples, Panera, McDonald’s, etc.

2558 Albany has been commercial space for approximately the last 30 years and is currently used as office space. The existing property poses some difficulties, as access to the parcel is limited by entrance and egress heading West only. Additionally, the building was originally a farmhouse and the redevelopment of the existing building wouldn’t be the highest and best use.

Prospect Enterprises is proposing razing the existing structure, regrading the property to reduce the grade to be more compatible with what currently exists in the area, and building a new structure on the existing site. Here’s a picture of an initial concept…


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The footprint of the structure would be approximately 5,000 square feet, for a total of 10,000 square feet divided between two floors. The external style of the building would be a New England shingle style architecture, which would help it blend with the neighborhood, as it is in a transition zone near residences.

In the design, Prospect Enterprises is very concerned about the impact on residential neighbors. They are also looking into the possibility of LEED certification to formally recognize energy efficiency which would take into account building materials, using passive solar for energy, and a zero lumens border in order to reduce light pollution.


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At this point, the proposed tenants for the building would be a bank on the first floor and medical offices on the second floor. Mr. Nanni indicated that there may be minor changes to the tenant proposal, but that economic demand for medical offices makes it a very viable possibility.

A few other interesting things of note that came out of the meeting…

1. This is all in the preliminary phases at this point. There have been informal meetings only. A formal application may be made later this spring or in the early summer.

2. The Historic District Commission has already been consulted and is willing to consider the removal of the existing building.

3. There will be a cross connection to the Staples parking lot in order to facilitate entrance and exit from the East on Albany Ave.

4. Mr. Nanni indicated that Edens & Avant have been tight lipped about their development project and he has no visibility into what they are planning on the opposite corner at Bishops Corner.

It was nice to see a developer that seemed genuinely concerned about his developments’ impact on the area residents.

I’ll keep an eye out for updates on this project and other happenings in the Bishops Corner area. Many West Hartford residents (and Town Council members) want to know what’s going on, but there is currently a lack of public information available.

Did I Buy the Right House?

Have you ever asked yourself if you bought the right house? Kyle asked me that question this morning. Talk about conversation starters at breakfast!

My response was “Well, I don’t know. Which house would we have bought instead?”

For background purposes, we looked at a total of 25 houses over 3 days in the towns of Hartford, West Hartford, Farmington, Glastonbury, and Wethersfield when we relocated from Virginia four years ago. We were not familiar with the Hartford area at all and needed to buy a house during our 3-day trip. Talk about pressure.

And now Kyle asks me this question. Well, hindsight is always 20-20, isn’t it?

The house he wonders if we should have bought is a “crab walk” to West Hartford Center, as he puts it. Needless to say, that is a very desirable area. The problem is that I felt absolutely no connection to the West Hartford house and really don’t even remember it that well. I did, however, absolutely fell in love with the house we ended up purchasing in Hartford.

If we look at it from purely a financial perspective, did we make the right decision? Let’s look at the stats from March of 2004…


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** I think if we actually bought the house in West Hartford we would have paid much closer to the asking price because we had to buy a house that weekend. Its asking price was drastically reduced 3 weeks after we made a decision. Also, our agent did not perform any type of market analysis for us when we wrote our contract, so we probably would have paid closer to asking price. A word to the wise, always have your agent perform a market analysis to understand if the house is fairly priced…

And what if we look at the values today…


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So, as of today, the houses are worth roughly the same. However, our house in Hartford has appreciated in value because of the maintenance/improvement work we’ve done. The house in West Hartford has appreciated in value mostly because of the market rising and its spitting distance to West Hartford Center and Blue Back Square.

Did we buy the right house? If you look at it from a financial perspective only, probably not.

But buying and living in a house is an emotional decision as well. I didn’t really like the house in West Hartford. It didn’t even rank in our top 3 of houses we considered buying. Would walking to the Center have been a nice benefit? Of course! But I would have grown tired of the tiny rooms and low ceilings. Our neighborhood seems to suit us well. We enjoy our neighbors and our house!

So, Kyle, to answer your question: yes, I think we bought the right house. Although I still wish we had a garage!

Blue Back Part II? Redeveloping Bishops Corner

Just what is going on in the West Hartford neighborhood of Bishops Corner? First, Barnes and Noble closed and opened a new chapter at Blue Back Square. Then, Petco (Supplies & Fish) ran away. Finally, the Macaroni Grill said ciao after their lease wasn’t renewed. You don’t need to have a PhD in development to surmise that someone has plans for the area. Why else would you turn away a productive, paying tenant when you already had 2 vacant stores of substantial square footage? The landlord is still paying taxes on those properties, even as they sit vacant…

So, it was really no surprise when the Courant reported this morning that the developer, Edens & Avant, is expected to unveil major redevelopment plans as early as this spring. Apparently the firm is in preliminary talks with town officials and the project is leaning towards a walkable town center feel, with 1 or 2 large tenants, and the remainder of space being filled with smaller shops. Rumor has it that the project could cost as much as $100 million. Sounds kind of like Blue Back Square, eh?

Here are some thoughts from my end…

1. Kudos to Edens & Avant for working with town officials on the plan. I’m sure the town has a whole dumpster of “lessons learned” from the Blue Back development, so collaborating early will probably save both sides some work and contenscious discussions later on.

2. How will this development complement what has already been built at Blue Back Square? How much business will it cannibalize? What about West Farms and Elmwood?

3. Will this new development further hinder downtown Hartford’s efforts to attract buyers and renters, revitalizing housing and retail in the city center?

4. People in West Hartford are already rumbling about a difficult budget season. Will another substantial retail development help offset the tax burden on home owners in town?

5. And the question on everyone’s mind…who is going to pay for this? Will the town need to issue more bonds?

Hopefully when the plans are unveiled this spring, it will be an aesthetically pleasing, walkable development with stores that cater to a variety of income levels. We’ll keep a close eye on this one…