Hartford Business Journal

June 29, 2020

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www.HartfordBusiness.com • June 29, 2020 • Hartford Business Journal 3 Amid 'lightning-in-a-bottle' developments, E. Windsor eyes 138 acres of historic farmland for future growth By Matt Pilon mpilon@hartfordbusiness.com T here are a few types of de- velopments that don't come along often or ever for most towns, but East Windsor has two of them in the works. The first — a joint casino proposed by the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes — has been slowly plodding along through zoning entanglements, and will ultimately need further legislative approval. The second, first reported this month by the Hartford Business Journal, is a 485-acre solar array planned on old gravel pits that would be the largest so- lar installation in the Northeastern United States. It still needs state Siting Council approval. Combined, the two projects could generate an estimated $6 mil- lion a year in new local property taxes, an 18% increase over the town's 2019 collections. "Those lightning-in-a-bottle mo- ments don't come along very of- ten," said First Selectman Jason Bowsza. "You can't sit back and wait for them." As he waits for further move- ment on the casino and solar projects, Bowsza said the town is pursuing other smaller and medium-scale develop- ments when they make sense. One target is a stretch of bucolic land on North Road/Route 140 that's now for sale, after its longtime owner died last summer. East Windsor attorney Walter Bass Jr. had many plans over the years for 138 acres of historic farm- land that surrounded his family home and spanned to the west on the far side of North Road, where his office was also located, in nearby Bassdale Plaza, which was developed by his father, the late Walter Bass Sr. Over the decades, some of those plans, like a driving range, mini golf course and ice cream shop, became a reality. Others, like an 18-hole golf course and bowling alley, did not. The younger Bass won local approv- al for a 20-unit condo development more than five years ago, but the project has not been built. Bass died unexpectedly last August at age 68 after his heart stopped during a business meeting. Now his family, led by daughter Caroline Bass, a 2004 UConn alum who has since moved to New York City and made a name for herself in the residential real estate market there, has put the five parcels on the market for $2.5 million (the pur- chase price could be less, if a buyer combines some of them in one deal). Since listing the land in January through Berkshire Hathaway New Eng- land Properties, Bass said she has been in close contact with Bowsza, a high school classmate who is eager to do what he can to facilitate further growth of the town's commercial tax base. "It's prime real estate," Bowsza said of the parcels, which are less than two miles from I-91 and about 10 minutes from Bradley International Airport. Continued on page 4 >> WE FOCUS ON YOUR FACILITIES— SO YOU CAN FOCUS ON YOUR BUSINESS. The company that builds and installs the critical systems in virtually every type of facility is the same company you can rely on to maintain them. For over over 50 years, our clients have trusted us to deliver end-to-end facilities solutions, so they can focus on their core business. We design, install, and maintain systems in: Industrial, Manufacturing, Commercial, Higher Education, Healthcare, and Pharmaceutical facilities. 860.871.1111 Toll Free: 800.741.6367 nemsi.com MECHANICAL | ELECTRICAL | PLUMBING | SHEET METAL | BUILDING AUTOMATION | FACILITIES SERVICES License #'s: E1-0125666 S1-302974 P1-203519 F1-10498 SM1-192 MC-1134 NEMSI HBJ_QtrPg Ads_200117.indd 4 NEMSI HBJ_QtrPg Ads_200117.indd 4 1/17/20 1:31 PM 1/17/20 1:31 PM Jason Bowsza, First Selectman, East Windsor Caroline Bass, Real Estate Agent, Corcoran Group Up Front TOWN PROFILE: EAST WINDSOR A view of some of the bucolic Bass family parcels located along North Road in East Windsor. The nearly 140 acres is now on the market and carries commercial potential. PHOTOS | CONTRIBUTED

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