Milford office suites to be converted to live-work units

Michael Richetelli, president, and designated Broker of the full service commercial, and residential real estate brokerage firm, and real estate company, Colonial Properties, Inc., has announced the completion of the following transaction. Colonial Properties recently completed the sale of The Marsh Hill Business Park at 4 Oxford Road, in Milford, Conn., for $3,300,000. The buyer in the transaction was the Oxford Condos LLC, limited liability company. Oxford Condos was represented by the Colonial Properties realtor Tony Vitti.

Michael Richetelli, president, and designated Broker of the full service commercial, and residential real estate brokerage firm, and real estate company, Colonial Properties, Inc., has announced the completion of the following transaction. Colonial Properties recently completed the sale of The Marsh Hill Business Park at 4 Oxford Road, in Milford, Conn., for $3,300,000. The buyer in the transaction was the Oxford Condos LLC, limited liability company. Oxford Condos was represented by the Colonial Properties realtor Tony Vitti.

Contributed photo /

MILFORD — Fernando Pastor and David Carosow’s goal of turning five obsolete and semi-vacant office suites into 14 live-work units on Oxford Road will soon become a reality.

These will be the first live-work units, which allow a business and residential use within the same space, in Milford.

The plan calls for creating four units in Building C and 10 units in Building D of the Marsh Hill Business Park into a live-work community where empty nesters, young professionals and established service providers would be able to run small businesses from home. The commercial use can be more than 50 percent of the unit.

The zoning board earlier this month approved a special exception to create the 14 live-work units because the current zoning did not allow for such units.

“If the board saw fit to approve this application, it only applies to that property and that use,” said Kevin Curseaden, who represented the applicant. “It’s not something that sets a precedent that would spread throughout the zone or spread to other properties.”

Curseaden said the applicants own 92 to 95 percent of the units on the site, and the original concept was to have all of the units be turned into live-work spaces.

“Based on the discussion, they pared down the original application to just these 14 units,” said Curseaden.

“Originally, we thought we could do the whole space, but bringing this forward through the city channels, we figured this was a big undertaking and a new concept, and we decided to propose something much smaller,” said Carosow.

The conversion of the 14 units to live-work properties will take place over time because currently, there are tenants in some of the units, and Curseaden said they have leases that extend over several years.

What makes this different from a regular residence is that in the front of the unit there is a room that is the work section of the building.

“There’s a screen and sliding door that separates that from the rest of the building,” said Pastor. “On the left side, there is a stair that takes you to the two bedrooms and the living room and kitchen area in the private zone behind the sliding doors.”

The units that only have one floor have the live-work area at the front, and the bedroom and office are both at the back of the unit, Pastor added.

“This is really like a home office, and not really being built as a mix-use where you would have retail. You’re not selling shirts or serving coffee,” said Jim Quish, Planning & Zoning Board chairman. “I’m not saying it’s necessarily a bad thing. This is taking a light industrial function and creating someone having a home office. In a home office, you can have an attorney meet a client, and an architect can look over plans with their client.”

“I think the concept of live-work is good, and I think that the times are calling out for open-mindedness and seeing how we can accommodate people who don’t want to commute,” he added.

However, Carosow said they not only envision the units being used as a meeting space but also a yoga studio or even a small storefront.

“That’s the concept of the big aluminum door at the front, and the back end is the living space,” he said. “So if someone wants to make a small shop and have bananas in-store or have truck shipments coming and going, the design of the space is there.”

I like the idea, and I find it interesting,” said board member Jim Kader. “I like they are going small, and if it doesn't work out, we don’t have to move anything moving forward.”