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Developer making mark on SoNo

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NORWALK - Every summer, about 60,000 people descend on South Norwalk for the annual SoNo Arts Celebration.

The free festival Saturday and Sunday will feature 130 juried fine artists and artisans who will display their work for sale, live music and dance performances on three stages and food vendors.

Beginning tomorrow, as they walk along Washington and South Main streets at the 32nd annual event, Tom Rich will be there to greet them.

Rich, president and chief operating officer of Stamford developer F.D. Rich Co. - now a major South Norwalk property owner - is the event's sponsor.

"We were absolutely thrilled with the opportunity to help with such a great celebration. Any positive life that's introduced to any area can only have benefits in the long run," Rich said. "We are relative newcomers to South Norwalk, having just purchased the properties in February, and I'm sure as we get more entrenched in the area we'll become more active."

F.D. Rich and Co. purchased 28 retail and office space properties on Washington and South Main streets in February for $24.6 million from Washington, D.C.-based owner Madison Marquette, which bought them in 2004 for $22.35 million. A more unified South Norwalk now looks likely, observers said.

good to see these guys getting involved. not to mention that these kinds of events are what make a city a community.

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I Just got back from the Sono Arts Festival and it looked well attended. They had to shut down for the afternoon yesterday however, due to some pretty bad thunderstorm that came through the area.

I hope the Rich Company came make something happen with those properties. I'm not sure why they've changed hands so many times recently, but I remember hearing that a combination of the size of available spaces, high rents and lack of parking were big roadblocks to having larger and more diversified tenants come in.

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