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96 Units of Senior Housing to be Erected in Newport

Updated: Mar 21

By ARCHIE MOUNTAIN

NEWPORT -- After more than four hours of discussion Thursday night, March 17th, the five-member Newport Zoning Board of Adjustment gave its unanimous approval to construct 96 units of senior housing on a vacant lot just south of Parlin Field, Newport's municipal airport.


The request for the ambitious project came from Avanru Development of Walpole, a firm that has a history of dealing with multi-family developments to provide energy-efficient, low-maintenance homes for the local and regional community.


One such property, The Residences at Abenaki Springs in Walpole, was designed to meet the needs of local residents in that community and fit with the historic, rural and agricultural aesthetic of the town.


Officials from Avanru will now go before the Newport Planning Board for final approval of the project that will give the Walpole firm the green light to commence construction of the four-story building.


"With vacancy rates of 1 percent or less statewide, affordable housing is a priority for our team," according to Avanru's literature.


The four-story structure will be Newport's tallest building, a point that was noted by one of 20 attendees at Thursday's meeting.


"We aim to build the next generation of housing in less than half the time, at a fraction of the cost and with energy efficiencies beyond 2030 standards," the company literature noted.


The Newport building will have units with one bedroom and one bathroom and units featuring two-bedrooms and two bathrooms. The single units will contain 630 square feet of space while the two-bedroom units will be 945 square feet in size.


The strip of land on which the units will be constructed was formerly owned by William Ruger Jr. According to records at the office of the Sullivan County Register of Deeds, the Ruger Estate sold the property containing 16.5 acres on the west side of Route 10 to North Newport Holdings LLC for $12,500.


Jeffrey Kessler, who represents the Newport Board of Selectmen on the Zoning Board of Adjustment, said there may be times when aircraft using Parlin Field may create a bit of noise that could be noticed by occupants of the property. He also mentioned the noise may be evident when fireworks displays are active on the 4th of July.


According to the property deed, the strip of land is 411 feet, 4 inches in length. Several years ago it was covered with a growth of pine trees which were cut down.


The Town of Newport will receive taxable income annually from the land and building on the property once it is constructed.


More good news was revealed Friday with the announcement that about 40 units of workforce housing are being planned for the Spring Street area in Newport. "A certain percentage is set aside based on medium income," Kessler revealed.


A concern was also raised at the Thursday meeting about the speed of the traffic on Route 10 as vehicles are driven past the senior housing units upon their completion. Kessler said that problem might be addressed by lowering the Route 10 speed limit in that area to 30 mph up to Corbin Road.


Avanru speakers on Thursday said residential use of the property will be easily acceptable with mutual benefit to the development of the property. "It will provide valuable housing in town," the spokesperson emphasized.


The development will feature community libraries, a gaming room, barber shop and a hair salon. There will be a walking trail around the tree line, and two full-service elevators. "Everything will be well thought out," a spokesperson stated.


The Residences at Abenaki Springs in Walpole is taking its name from the nearby "healing" springs that were historically frequented by visitors coming to Walpole by train in the late 1800's.


"The Residences at Abenaki Springs is a new, residential multi-family development being created to provide quality, energy-efficient, low-maintenance homes for the local and regional community.


"We are looking forward to helping solve this housing crisis by producing 21st century housing with our cutting edge technology. We aim to build the next generation of housing in less than half the time, at a fraction of the cost and with energy efficiencies beyond 2030 standards.


"Avanru Development Group Ltd. is poised to expand development operations throughout New England in 2022. With a focus on Commercial and Residential development, we will be adding several key members to our management team."


Featured in the units at the Avanru Development are Energy Star Appliances and Lighting--Efficient Construction; ADA Accessible Units Available; Lawn Care, Snow and Rubbish Removal Included; Common Rooms and Porches for use by all residents; Individually-Controlled Digital Heating and Cooling Systems; Laundry Available on Site or in Unit.


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