Nearly two years after demolition began on the former Masonic Temple building, 11 South Main St. in West Hartford is home – literally – to some new tenants.
While the ground floor of 11 South Main will be occupied by the offices of Charles Schwab, there are 21 boutique residential rental units on the top three stories of The Landmark, several of which are already occupied. The first tenant moved in on April 29, and more than half of the units already have leases.
The Kaoud family – which owns also owns Kaoud Oriental Rugs and its building at 17 South Main – purchased the former Mason Temple property in August 2013 and developed the approximately 42,000 square foot mixed-use building. The Kaouds are longtime property owners as well as retailers in West Hartford, and are proud to show off the new building which has been touted by town officials as a great investment and addition to the Center.
Maurice Kaoud provided a tour of the property, including a peek inside some sample apartments all of which are well-appointed with modern amenities.
There’s a 21-space underground garage, accessible from the parking lot behind the building. One space per rental unit is provided to tenants. The ramp to the garage is heated, as is the walkway to the building entrance.
The Landmark has an entrance from South Main Street, but the larger entrance is the one at the rear. The walls of the lobby are painted silvery metallic and framed with crown moulding. A striking chandelier hangs above.
The dual-locked state-of-the-art secure entrance to the building is accessed by fob. The fob is also required to lock the doors of the individual apartments when exiting, to avoid lock-outs.
Virtually every one of the 21 units has a different floor plan, with the 17 one-bedroom units ranging in size from 574 to 866 square feet. Four of the units are two-level town homes, and feature two bedrooms and two bathrooms, with the largest measuring 1,396 square feet. A living room and kitchen as well as one full bath are on the first level of those units, with the bedrooms and another full bath on the top floor.
All of the units boast quartz counters, and appliances are stainless-steel Bosch, GE, or LG energy-efficient models. The kitchen cabinets are solid cherry. The stylish stainless-steel fixtures are Kohler. All have a full-size stackable washer/dryer.
The kitchen and living room floors are hardwood, and the bathrooms are tiled. The bedrooms are thickly carpeted and have spacious closets. There are 9-foot ceilings, which combined with oversized windows allow for airy and light-filled spaces. When the light needs to be kept out, there are blinds already in place on all of the windows.
Many of the units have oversized balconies with top-quality Anderson sliding glass doors and views of West Hartford Center and/or Hartford. Avon Mountain is visible from the west-facing units.
“We’re targeting a wide range of people, from young professionals in their mid- to late-twenties to empty-nesters who have decided they don’t want to be homeowners anymore,” Kaoud said. Some prospective tenants have sold their homes in West Hartford but want to maintain a residence in town, while perhaps having another home elsewhere, he said.
Kaoud said that every detail of the building was considered, including the wide hallways, painted in a soothing pale gray, which make the property feel more like a home than a transient rental space.
“We built this like it’s going to be here for the next 300 years. It’s all top-quality,” said Kaoud.
“We’re investing a lot in West Hartford, in the Center,” Kaoud said. “We believe this is the place to be, for people to be able to walk to all of the fine shops and restaurants.”
Now that The Landmark is complete, Kaoud said the family will turn its attention to the 17 South Main St. building, the rear of which is starting to get a facelift. “We want to make the Center even more beautiful,” Kaoud said.