Barnum Court rises within walking distance of downtown Bethel

There are bigger projects in the works in Bethel, but Barnum Court represents a significant development as the town rethinks its downtown area.

Under construction by local developers, Barnum Court is a six-building, 18-unit townhouse complex on Juniper Road. It is a quarter-mile away from the Bethel train station and about a half-mile from downtown. It fits nicely with the town’s plan to make its downtown more transit and pedestrian friendly.

“This is a great spot,” Rick Jowdy, one of the developers, said. “It’s a nice, quaint town and this is walking distance to downtown.”

Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker said he has noticed in his travels throughout New England the most vibrant downtown areas are those with a lot of housing within walking distance.

“People who settle in there will enjoy the location and its walkability to downtown,” Knickerbocker said. “This is exactly what people want. They don’t want to get in their cars to do every little thing. This is the way the housing market has been trending for the last couple decades.”

The rest of the development team at Barnum Court is Ron Jowdy and Jeff Bruno. Rick and Ron Jowdy, who are brothers, are real estate brokers and developers, while Bruno is a builder and the head contractor for Barnum Court. The Jowdys are Danbury residents, and Bruno lives in Bethel.

Eight of the units have been sold even as construction continues to complete the project. Five of the six buildings are nearly finished, while the sixth will start going vertical soon. Jowdy expects construction to be completed by the middle of this summer.

“We like doing this type of project because we have a good handle on it,” Jowdy said. “We do it all ourselves and have a good team of workers to get it done.”

The team also built a 14-unit development on Morton Street in Danbury in 2009. After Barnum Court is completed, it plans to build a 20-unit development in Danbury.

“We’ve got more things to do,” Jowdy said.

Each unit at Barnum Court includes granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, tankless hot water heater, gas furnace, central air and hardwood floors. There are two- and three-bedroom units, starting at $265,000. The two styles of home available are The Barnum and The Meckauer, both well-known names in Bethel.

Information about the units is available at or by calling 203-512-2011.

Jowdy said the amenities are comfortable, but limited to keep common charges low at $199 a month.

“It’s a great price for new construction,” Jowdy said. “We find that’s a good price point and good niche for first-time homebuyers. It’s very affordable. There’s something to be said for a quaint project that’s not huge. We like to accommodate the first-time homebuyer. We’re our own developers and not competing with other companies.”

Sales have been solid for Barnum Court and Jowdy expects the trend to continue.

“We’re optimistic. This seems to be a better spring market than the last couple of years,” Jowdy said. “The economy is good and there are a lot of homebuyers out there.”; 203-731-3338