Benedict Court Increases Number of Units to 120 in Proposed 6-Story 8-30g behind St. Mary’s Church

A residential development proposed for Benedict Court and Benedict Place, directly behind St Mary’s Church on Greenwich Avenue is growing.

The last time the development went before the Planning & Zoning commission, it was for 110  units.

The new proposal is for 120 units on six stories, with a height of 77 feet.

View from Greenwich Ave of St Mary’s Church in foreground and 8-30g residential development in background. Rendering: BKSK

It is being submitted under state statute 8-30g which waives local zoning regulations for developments that include a component of affordable housing.

Until 10% of Greenwich’s housing is deemed affordable per the statute (does not count ADUs, subsidized housing at private schools or housing for workers at country clubs, for example) the town is subject to developers being exempt from zoning for their large proposals.

Under 8-30g, municipalities cannot deny an affordable housing proposal unless there is a specific significant health or safety concern. The bar is high.

To date no large developments in Greenwich have come to fruition. A five story project proposed by Joe Pecora at 5 Brookside was withdrawn, as was a huge development proposed by Church Sherwood LLC (registered to James P Cabrera) for Church Street and Sherwood in downtown.

Another large development next to McDonald’s by exit 5  proposed by Andy Toth under the town’s 6-110 reg for workforce housing also went away.

After a larger proposal to develop the Post Road Iron Works was rejected by the town’s Wetlands Agency, the decision was appealed by the applicant. Ultimately the denial was upheld by Judge Berger in 2018.

A new proposal from Hines Interests LP cropped up earlier this month for a smaller development. Still, issues with sewer line, rare frogs, vernal pools, wetlands and fierce neighborhood opposition remain.

Today, the new iteration of the proposed development behind St Mary’s Church would be located on several parcels of land. Most are owned by Benedict Court Development Co, LLC.

The existing buildings, mostly historic houses and former carriage houses being rented out for offices, residences and some retail, would be demolished.

In many ways the proposal “ticks all the boxes” for affordable housing. It is near public transportation and is walkable to numerous amenities including the YMCA, Greenwich Library, Greenwich Hospital, supermarkets, Greenwich Ave, town hall, schools and parks.

Of the 120 units, 40% would meet the criteria for “Assisted Housing” and be affordable for at least 40 years to families earning 80% of the Area Median Income.

There would be two levels of parking or a total of 174 spaces including 6 handicapped spaces.

The application is no yet assigned a date to be reviewed by the Planning & Zoning commission, but the applicant’s narrative notes it previously came before the commission in March 2022 and again in Oct 2023 as a pre-application.

Today the applicant is Nimbus LLC and their attorney note they have modified the plans after working with the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and town departments including Sewer, Engineering, Traffic and Fire Dept and are prepared to present the application for final site plan and special permit.

There is also a separate application for Lot Consolidation that goes along with it.

See also:

P&Z Shares Concerns about Construction Phasing for Six-Story Benedict Court 8-30g

Oct 2023

P&Z to Benedict Place 8-30g Applicant: Consider Workforce Housing

March 2022

Rendering without trees blocking the view of the vehicle entrance/exit. View from southwest on Benedict Place. BKSK

View from northwest on Benedict Place without trees in rendering blocking view of vehicle entrance and exit from building. Rendering: BKSK

View from Benedict Place. Rendering: BKSK