SOUTHINGTON — The former Lincoln College property is likely to become a housing development after the owner withdrew a plan for reusing the dorm and classroom buildings.
Dennis Terwilliger, an owner of the 32-acre Mount Vernon Road campus, said there’s no interest from schools looking to move to Southington. He’s had difficulty in getting town permission for other uses allowed in the residential zone, such as veterinary care, medical offices or adult day care. On Tuesday night, the owners withdrew a development plan before the Planning and Zoning Commission.
The college closed in 2018.
A better fit might be housing, according to Terwilliger. He’s been working on a deal with local developer Mark Lovley for a 55 and older ranch development.
“We’re talking to Mark and working on some ideas with him,” Terwilliger said. “He builds a nice house and he has a great reputation.”
In a proposal to Terwilliger, Lovley envisioned about 100 homes on the property and may use some of the college buildings for community centers.
Lovley said there’s strong demand for single-level living. He's working with engineers to plan luxury ranches ranging from around 1,100 square feet to 1,600 square feet. He expects to price the smaller homes with two bedrooms at $319,000 and the larger ones with three bedrooms at $350,000.
Most of the homes would be standalone. A third would be duplexes.
Terwilliger was also considering a proposal from a company he declined to name for hundreds of affordable housing units. That plan isn’t where he’s leaning, though.
“They’re still interested,” he said.
Ranch-style homes would fit better with the area, according to Terwilliger, and he’s planning to pursue that development first. He could submit plans for housing to the town next month.
Terwilliger’s company is carrying the cost of the property, a situation that he said can’t continue. Marketing efforts and an auction failed to draw a tenant or buyer for the campus.
While Terwilliger would like to have another school move in, he believes that’s unlikely.
“Building homes there might be the next best thing to do. After all it is a residential neighborhood,” he said.