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Westport Selectman OKs Baron’s South Recommendations

WESTPORT, Conn. – Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff announced he has accepted the recommendation to hire Jonathan Rose Companies to develop the proposed senior rental housing complex on town-owned land known as Baron’s South.

The recommendation was made by the the Baron’s South Committee and Joseloff said he also accepted the committee’s suggestion that the property be operated by Freshwater Group and its Watermark Retirement Communities.

“Jonathan Rose and David Freshwater, principals in the selected companies, offer a strong combination of vast experience in development of innovative senior living communities around the country as well as access to private capital,” Joseloff said in a statement.

“Together, the companies have proposed a plan that not only provides for much needed housing options for seniors so they can remain in Westport, but at the same time offers solid long-term financial return on our town-owned land,” he said.

The plan, Joseloff said, calls for a mix of affordable, moderate and market-rate housing that will accommodate the needs of a wide range of Westport seniors.

Compared to the initial plan proposed by Jonathan Rose Companies in the fall of 2012, Joseloff said the new proposal offers a higher return to the town, as it has more market-rate units, fewer affordable units, and contains amenities such as a therapeutic pool, specialized fitness center, and Watermark University. which offers innovative brain and body fitness courses.

On Aug. 7, Joseloff said he and other town officials visited The Watermark at East Hill in Southbury, a retirement community operated by Watermark Retirement Communities

“We saw a development that shows the potential for creating attractive, welcoming housing for Westport seniors,” Joseloff said. “I hope the next administration will embrace this recommendation and move it forward as soon as possible so the long-time dream of so many in Westport will become a reality.”

The proposals will be discussed by two Representative Town Meeting committees during a public meeting scheduled for Sept. 11 at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will include representatives from Jonathan Rose and Freshwater Group.

The meeting will be held at Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Ave.

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