WinnDevelopment Completes Rehab of Huntington Woods

The rehabilitation of Huntington Woods, a 280-unit, mixed-use apartment community in Bristol, Conn., is complete
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Bristol, Conn.—The rehabilitation of Huntington Woods, a 280-unit, mixed-use apartment community in Bristol, Conn., is complete. WinnDevelopment, the real estate development arm of WinnCompanies, celebrated the rehabilitation with a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by state and local officials.

The 18-year-old Huntington Woods features one-, two- and three-bedroom units in 17 residential buildings spread across a 20-acre site. As a result of the rehab project, the number of affordable units has grown from 108 to 196, and the percentage of affordable units from 40 to 70 percent. The affordability provisions have been extended and will remain in place for the next 40 years.

Prior to the rehabilitation, Huntington Woods retained its original roofs, windows, appliances and electric utilities. “There were significant capital needs that needed to be addressed,” Adam Stein, vice president, WinnDevelopment, tells MHN. “Additionally, Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, our financing partner in the project, provided financing through the New Issue Bond Program, a temporary federal program implemented in 2009 as part of the Obama administration’s Homeowners Affordability and Stability Plan.”

Because of the capital needs, the proposal to increase the affordable units from 40 to 70 percent and the extended term of the affordability period, Huntington Woods was an ideal candidate for CHFA’s bond program, Stein adds.

The project was not without its challenges. A major component of the rehab was the utility conversion, which replaced the original electric heating and hot water systems with new high-efficiency natural gas boilers and hot water heaters.

“After closing, we discovered that the existing gas main located immediately adjacent to the property was not adequate for the conversion of 280 units,” Stein recalls. “We looked at alternate solutions, such as high-efficiency electric systems, additional building envelope upgrades, propane systems that required underground tank farms and a hybrid of electric and propane.”

Eventually, WinnDevelopment identified an alternate route for gas service that benefited additional users, forged a deal with the gas company and installed more than a mile and a half of new underground gas main. The result was the delivery of energy-efficient natural gas utilities to residents, Stein says.

In conjunction with building envelope improvements, the addition of Energy Star appliances and lighting upgrades, the conversion to natural gas will provide an estimated 25 to 30 percent annual utility savings directly to residents, he adds.

The project also included a complete overhaul of the apartments and the property. Kitchens and bathrooms feature new cabinets, countertops, sinks and fixtures. Residents now can take advantage of enhanced community amenities, including a newly renovated clubhouse, new children’s playground and half basketball court, re-tiled swimming pool and resurfaced tennis courts.

“Huntington Woods has the benefit of being located in a great municipality with good schools and good jobs,” Stein says. “This repositioning will hopefully provide long-lasting, stable and well-maintained workforce housing for the residents of Huntington Woods.”