In West Hartford, the prospect of the Blue Back Square development drew a lot of attention from town residents concerned about a variety of issues; traffic, Big Box expansion, the death of other retail centers in town, etc. In the end, the lure of more tax revenue, additional upscale housing, and a revitalization of a blighted area of town won out. As we all know, Blue Back is well under way and over the next few years we will see the results, both positive and negative.
Now it seems that Simsbury is going to have a similar story with the proposed Simsbury River Oaks development, an upscale, mixed-use neighborhood that Konover Development Corporation would like to build on Route 10 near the Avon town line. This development was recently brought to my attention by a flurry of articles in the Hartford Courant and signs that I’ve seen in Simsbury resident’s yards as I’ve been showing buyers around town.
You can learn all about the proposed 60-acre project by visiting Konover’s River Oaks website. I would recommend looking at the PDF files on “The Project” page. They contain some interesting detailed site plans.
At this point, Konover has only submitted their development application to the town of Simsbury. It will obviously take several months to get through the various stages of approval (if it is ultimately approved), but it will be an interesting process to watch. I’ll give updates every now and then. The main questions I have at this point are…
– Will Route 10 be able to handle the additional traffic generated by River Oaks?
– Will this new development cannibalize business in the surrounding retail areas in Avon and Canton?
– Does this additional development in suburbia continue to hurt Hartford’s efforts with revitalization?