With Autumn Ridge townhouses built, work shifts to 359-unit complex

WATERTOWN — Construction of the final townhouse building at the 394-unit Preserve at Autumn Ridge complex off County Route 202 was finished in April, and now workers have begun clearing trees for a sister development on the other side of the road.

Morgan Management of Pittsford — which broke ground on its 60-building Autumn Ridge project in 2012 — started site work last month for its neighboring 359-unit townhouse complex, said Noel N. Barefield, the developer’s property manager. The 54-acre site is to the east of Route 202 and north of Walmart Supercenter.

The move by the developer to begin the project comes as its two-and-three bedroom Autumn Ridge townhouses continue to be in high demand, Ms. Barefield said Monday. She said that 370, or 94 percent, of the 394 two- and three-bedroom townhouses are occupied; eight people have made reservations for units.

“This is exactly where we should be,” Ms. Barefield said.

She added that about 80 percent of the units are occupied by tenants affiliated with the military.

“We depend on the military’s presence here,” she said.

Monthly rent for two- and three-bedroom units starts at $1,313 and $1,400, respectively. The rent does not include utilities but covers the cost of cable television and Internet, Ms. Barefield said. Tenants have access to a clubhouse with a fitness center, a conference room, a theater, a tanning booth and an outdoor swimming pool.

Morgan obtained site-plan approval for its project in the fall from the town of Watertown Planning Board. The developer has said it is optimistic that demand among military service members for townhouses at its sister site will remain strong. It plans to build the units in two phases — first with 195 units on the northern section, followed by the remaining units on the southern part.

Vice President Kevin J. Morgan, who did not return a call Monday seeking comment, previously said that it would take about three months for workers to complete site work before construction of the first phase starts.

He said the first round of townhouses would take about 15 months to build, while the rest should be done by the fall of 2017.

As a potential part of the project, the town has discussed purchasing a strip of land from the developer to build a connector road between County Route 202 and Salmon Run Mall. Last fall, Town Supervisor Joel R. Bartlett said negotiations with Morgan to buy the road would start once the town gets an appraisal for the 50-foot-wide strip of land behind the Walmart store. Mr. Bartlett did not return a call Monday seeking comment.

Morgan bought the County Route 202 parcel in January 2014 from Alexandria Bay developer P.J. Simao for $1,250,000.

By Ted Booker, Times Staff Writer