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MeC2001

In Progress: District 95/7

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I figure, since I've been following this project for what seems like forever, and, they've been pushing dirt around lately, I figure I'd see if anyone else was interested.

www.district957.com

Warning! This project, though having pieces completed over the years, is 20+ years in the making. It ain't for the faint of heart.

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WOW!

that is pretty huge.

looks like they have a ton of work done, and are looking to do a ton more.

I guess this last push is looking to create a little bit of a corporate presence in SONO. It makes sense. The fortune 500 loves Fairfield county. there is a nice retail presence near by and building this should be able to piggyback on top of that.

do you have any articles associated with this last part, or maybe some stuff to catch us up on the past?

I sure do love renderings :)

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I'll see what I can pull together. For now, here are a few links to some photos I took last year of the recently completed portion of the project:

Sono_1.jpg

Sono_2.jpg

Sono_3.jpg

Sono_4.jpg

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Nice looking buildings. They come out better on your camera than they do on Virtual Earth "birds eye view" for sure.

I have the same question I posed to myself whilst looking on Virtual Earth. Street looks a little quiet. ok I am being nice. it looks bland and a little sterile as well.

is retail planned? everything looks a little industrial or something. kind of like the buildings you see around a(modern) University campus.

I saw that the new section is very retail oriented, but the above question is more for the previously built stuff.

Also, I want to add a thank you for being a local contributor from Norwalk. We definately are a little short on members from outside the Hartford area.

Cheers to you!

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There's really several parts of the problem that contribute to the sterility. First, is that the photos were taken prior to completion of the projects so they literally didn't have life in them yet. Second, it was an early-ish on Saturday or Sunday in a cool time of the year, so there was no real reason to be on the streets either. Lastly, and not insignificantly, there's a kind of "controlled" or "contrived" urbanity to these projects that are, at there nature, sterile. That's not to say I don't like them; I like them much more than the vacant lots-and lumber yard that used to reside there.

Now that the buildings are open, there IS more vitality. If you went to the same spot I took the second photo from this weekend, you'd see throngs of people heading to the Maritime Aquarium (which is just off to the right), outdoor seating for restaurants to the left and plants and chairs on the balconies of building at the center. In fact, the ground floor of that building houses the North American headquarters for Virgin Atlantic Airways. There's more of a problem as you head toward the low-rise buildings around the corner. There is all ground floor retail, but last I saw, there wasn't a single store there. There's just no foot, or vehicular, traffic. The road just dead-ends!

Construction is currently on-going for a railroad underpass that will link the area with the surrounding neighborhood. That ought to help.

As for my history with UP: I've followed the site since '05 in Providence, signed up in '06 (while still living in Providence,) and didn't post one single message until a few days ago. I thought it was time to contribute!

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District 95/7 extension granted

http://www.thehour.com/story/419623

"Citing the slower office market, representatives of Spinnaker Real Estate Partners asked Norwalk Redevelopment commissioners Wednesday night for more time to file construction documents for Phase One of District 95/7 SoNo."

The developers now have until Nov. 30th to file; we'll see how it all shakes out.

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District 95/7 extension granted

http://www.thehour.com/story/419623

"Citing the slower office market, representatives of Spinnaker Real Estate Partners asked Norwalk Redevelopment commissioners Wednesday night for more time to file construction documents for Phase One of District 95/7 SoNo."

The developers now have until Nov. 30th to file; we'll see how it all shakes out.

I think thats pretty fair.

It has to be hard for developers who have solid projects to be watching funding dry up, and having potential tennants going under, or merging, or holding back retail growth plans or what have you.

Time is free right now since it is highly unlikely that there is a long line of developers waiting to get their hands on ANY project.

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Although office and residential construction have fallen off the table (for the most part), there has been, and continues to be, infrastructure work continuing at this site. There is a ribbon cutting for the Reed Street Railroad Underpass (see photos) and a groundbreaking for the West Avenue Infrastructure Project scheduled for October 16th.

DSC02194.jpg

DSC02193.jpg

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Spinnaker, the developer of this project, went before the city recently to request a year extension on this project.It was approved, but zoning officials are starting to speak out. Some are starting to question the pace of the development (what, all of a sudden 25 years is too long?), others, the logic. The city has missed so many economic cycles (I know, I've been following them for 25 years, since I was in elementary school) with all of their redevelopment projects,and with Stamford booming right now, some are wondering why the city isn't trying to adjust to the new reality quicker than it is. My own opinion on this, knowing the history, will be one of two things: It will either never happen, or something substandard will be pushed through. (I will post something in the Waypointe project section speaking to this fear specifically.)I'll try to not be super cynical about the future of this project!

I hope something will happen eventually. People and businesses were all displaced to move this project along. To have a whole in the ground for the indefinite future is not a good proposition. But neither is it also to push through something just to have it built if it will ignore the smart growth strategies cities ought to be adhering to.

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The projects are just coming out of the woodwork! After posting an update on Waypointe, rumor has it that there is a plan coming up to move this along also. The plan is rumored to include 266 rental units and probably some sort of retail. It, I am told, will be making its way through zoning this summer for a fall start.

I will have an update in a month, unless I hear something sooner.

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For reference: The site is located to the southwest of the site (click on the 'Live' button on the website link - it's the upside-down L in the lower right of the image.)

Website: District 95/7

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The developers should be going in for approval within the next few weeks for two 5 story buildings with ground floor retail and residential units above, about 230-240 units total. The original buildings were scheduled to be an 11 story office building and 10 story hotel. (FYI: The rumor is that AIG was very close to signing a lease for the entire 11 stories before the melt down a few years ago.)At this point, the mix of the entire project is not planned to change (i.e. the hotel and office building could be moved to another parcel) and it is hoped that this might catalyze the next phase.

As with the Waypointe project, the revisions are less exciting than the original and are likely to be pressed through the review process because people would rather have anything built than nothing at all(a direction I don't think is wise, but that's beside the point.)It seems that they are, in fact, watching each other closely and that the race is on to get into the ground. There is a strong possibility that both 95/7 and Waypointe will be under construction by the end of summer or beginning of fall.

I don't have any links to renderings but the buildings are designed by the same architect and have a similar feel.

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Thanks for keeping us up to date on all of these projects, MeC! I really do appreciate it. Norwalk and Stamford are definitely starting to realize their potential. I would like to see significant development taking place in Bridgeport as well but doubt that will really happen until Norwalk and Stamford are pretty much fully developed.

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Thanks for keeping us up to date on all of these projects, MeC! I really do appreciate it. Norwalk and Stamford are definitely starting to realize their potential. I would like to see significant development taking place in Bridgeport as well but doubt that will really happen until Norwalk and Stamford are pretty much fully developed.

I am curious as to what the effect of the continued and projected growth of Peoples bank will have on downtown Bridgeport.

This bank has steadily grown in assets and reach for the last 3 or so years, and It is widely understodd that this will continue to be the case for many more years. as a bank with nearly 30 nillion in assets (after their pending purchase of danvers bank) they must be near capacity in their HQ... the expectation is nearly 50 billion in assets within the next couple of years...

Will PBCT build new in Bridgeport? will they look to improve their HQ city as they reach a size where they can do transformative deals? BOA and Wachovia practically made Charliotte what it is today, so I will be very interested to see how peoples bank affects its environment as it grows into a true super regional bank.

PS, HSBC just put all of its upstate NY banks for sale and PBCT is a potential buyer... this is 168 branches and 14 billion in assets. (about 50% larger of a network than New Alliance deal)

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Maybe they'll move the HQ to Hartford...

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Maybe they'll move the HQ to Hartford...

Stamford may need to fill the UBS building! (Though I'm not sure what they would do with that huge trading floor.)

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Thanks for keeping us up to date on all of these projects, MeC! I really do appreciate it. Norwalk and Stamford are definitely starting to realize their potential. I would like to see significant development taking place in Bridgeport as well but doubt that will really happen until Norwalk and Stamford are pretty much fully developed.

I do what I can!

I've thought for a long time that Bridgeport has many positives (great harbor, railroad, ferry, great little downtown, some artists, history, etc), but it just can't sustain momentum when something gets started.

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The application has been submitted, they will be up for hearings in July.

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I just found out that the next hurdle, the zoning meeting, is scheduled for July 20th, along with Waypointe on the same night. If all goes well (and I don't know of any stumbling blocks at this point) the next step will be the building permit. As far as I know they are still on track for a late summer or early fall construction date.

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A public hearing was held on Wednesday, but no action was taken. According to an article by 'The Hour', the project is undergoing design review at redevelopment and a vote could not be taken until this process is complete. It is now set to come before the zoning commission on August 17th for a vote.

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I just received word that 95/7 will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on October 13th. I almost can't believe it's really happening!

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I am told that the developer mentioned at the ceremony today that they will be submitting drawings for additional phases within the next 2 or 3 months.

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