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The Voice of Reason

Approved: Wall St Place

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http://www.wallstplace.com/

rendering-new.jpg

siteplan.jpg

http://www.pokopartners.com/completed_norwalk.html

this project is scheduled to begin winter of 2008

Located on a 6.3-acre site extending from Wall and Isaacs Sts. to West Ave., Wall Street Place will be a sustainable, mixed-use community with approximately 380 residences and 60,000 s/f of retail. The design, created by Hartford-based Crosskey Architects, is a blend of historic and modern-day architecture with a series of newly constructed and renovated buildings presenting a unique opportunity to shape and rebuild a substantial portion of what was once the traditional downtown of the city of Norwalk.

this project will a large area of downtown, and redevelop it into a higher density. There are 2 buildeings that are being saved.

it will be interesting to see how/if this works out.

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I can't tell where the parking is in the massing model.

As a whole, lifestyle centers have some admirable qualities, and this looks to be no exception. Namely, the creation of mixed uses and the street oriented focus are good practice. Unfortunately the same stubborn problems are popping up again: the buildings are not slim enough to justify their short height (or not tall enough to justify their massive bulk) and the whole development is inward oriented - spurning continuity with the rest of the built environment.

They've almost got it. Hopefully another 10 years or so in the cooker and we'll have some genuinely good urban developments. Just in time for Front Street ;) .

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I've been keeping an eye on the Main/Wall, West Ave. corridor, and Reed-Putnam (a.k.a. District 95/7) redevelopment projects for nearly 20 years and they always seem to be 6 months from breaking ground. Increasingly "nicer" (in an urban sense) project come along, but the city never seems to be able to get out of it's own way in time before they miss yet another market cycle. These projects were supposed to have been completed in some fashion by the time I finished High School and yet, just today, in 'The Norwalk Hour", there was a story (I only have the physical copy, so no link) titled "Property holdouts stall Wall-West redevelopment."

This sound all too familiar!

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I've been keeping an eye on the Main/Wall, West Ave. corridor, and Reed-Putnam (a.k.a. District 95/7) redevelopment projects for nearly 20 years and they always seem to be 6 months from breaking ground. Increasingly "nicer" (in an urban sense) project come along, but the city never seems to be able to get out of it's own way in time before they miss yet another market cycle. These projects were supposed to have been completed in some fashion by the time I finished High School and yet, just today, in 'The Norwalk Hour", there was a story (I only have the physical copy, so no link) titled "Property holdouts stall Wall-West redevelopment."

This sound all too familiar!

The last thing this state needs is another high profile eminent domain battle. That would really suck to be in the spotlight for that again. Hopefully they can get this resolved without having to resort to that.

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Within the boundaries of the adjacent 'Waypointe' development project there's a building housing an HVAC shop (I think) that has a huge banner strung from it's side reading "Hell No We Won't Go." The state does NOT need another eminent domain battle!

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Within the boundaries of the adjacent 'Waypointe' development project there's a building housing an HVAC shop (I think) that has a huge banner strung from it's side reading "Hell No We Won't Go." The state does NOT need another eminent domain battle!

oh man.

that is just no bueno.

I was in New London the other day near Fort Trumbull and well its just sad. everyone has lost at this point.

the home owners should take the buyout at it elevated 2006 price and buy severl properties now at the bargain 2008 maybe early 2009 price. but then again it is all about the principle.

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Perhaps this ought to be added to the "I'll believe it when I see it" category, but I just got back from the Sono Arts Festival and a rep. from POKO was there, so I chatted him up. Their position is that construction on phase 1 (the upper most piece of the development in the plan posted awhile back) would be underway BEFORE the end of '08 - even with the problems in the credit markets.

They had a model there that led me to question some of the planning, though. The rep was touting this great roof top garden to some other people standing nearby. As I looked at the model, I realized it's: 1. On the North side of the building and 2. surrounded to the South by building 6 stories or so taller.

Maybe I was looking at it wrong, but it's going to be in shade most, if not all, of the day. Spring and Fall ain't gonna' be too comfy!

Regardless, that area needs revitalization and has waited WAY too long. I hope it happens!

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According to a report in 'The Hour' from last Friday (08.22.08), Norwalks Zoning Commission approved the site plan for the first phase of the project. This may seem to bode well for it's future, but, as stated in my previous post, the start date is always six months out. The article went on to say: "construction is slated to start early next year". Just a month or so ago I was given assurance by a "representative" of Poko that construction would be underway before the end of '08. We'll see how long this new date holds.

Just a recap of phase one: 101 housing units, almost 15,000 sq. ft. of retail and 2,500 sq. ft. of restaurant and a couple hundred space underground parking garage.

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Untill you get something not approved. or an out and out cancelation, I would think this is a go. Norwalk is a pretty solid investment. The fact that condos are still being bought and built down on the shore bodes well for the nicer cities in the area.

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After a few extensions of the approvals given a few years ago and assurances that this project was moments away from obtaining financing, the common council has elected to give the project only a 6 month extension this time rather than the usual 12 months. According to 'The Hour', the first phase is estimated to cost $51 million and contain 101 apartments, 16,000 square feet of retail and over 200 parking spaces. (Though phase one is the smallest of the large projects in Norwalk, it might be my favorite.) The latest approval runs out in September. The developers insist everything is a go, but it seems the city wants to keep an eye on things.

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Apparently POKO has filed an 'Intent To Demolish' permit with the city. There was a big press event in front of the old Merchant bank building to kick-off the "construction Phase." As the Providence people will know...builders will give all sorts of promises to get approval to knock down a building, but often the city ends up with a parking lot, or worse. They were looking for a year extension just a month or so ago because they didn't have financing in place. With that cloud over their head I would have thought they would make a big deal about having the financing in place at the event... But there was nothing in the story I read in the newspaper about financing. I am trying to find out some information on this point; we'll see what I find out.

Since I am a bit cynical by nature, my hunch is that with other major projects moving along in the city, and the Common Council not cutting them a great deal of slack (they only got the 6 month extension, not the 12 requested), they want to show some activity so their exclusive rights deal with the city won't fall apart. Supposedly they have 36 months from the filling of the permit to demolish until the buildings have to be occupied, but really, if there is a hole in the ground, what is the city going to do at that point?

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