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MeC2001

Waypointe

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Another Norwalk project that's been in the planning stages forever. Here's a link to the developers propeganda:

http://www.waypointe-norwalk.com/

There has been two important developments with this project lately:

1. Casey's Sheet Metal sells for Waypointe

http://www.thehour.com/story/244481

"The owners of Casey's Sheet Metal Service, Inc., have agreed to sell their property at 4 Merwin St. to Stanley M. Seligson Properties as part of the Waypointe redevelopment project."

This is important because, as was noted in another thread, this was the business owner that had the "Hell No We Won't Go" banner hanging from their building for a year or so. Hopefully they'll be no eminent domain nonsense for this project now.

2. Zoning OKs first Waypointe building

I don't have a link to the story, but basically it was for a building to be called "The Berkeley" It'll be a six story office and residential structure of 150,000 sq. ft. Technically it's adjacent to the "Waypointe" project, but is by the same developer and is being looked at by the city as a sort of kick-off for the whole area. The reason I'm optimistic about this moving along fairly quickly is, last I heard, the office component is already spoken for by Norwalk Hospital. That ought to be enough of a commitment to get it moving along.

We'll see!

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Certainly a decent looking project.

While I like the conceptual renders, I would say that is is misleading. There are only 2 buildings over 2 stories tall.. I would really like to see a couple more at 4 stories. In fact the entire area along their internal market street should aim for 4 stories by adding 2 floors of housing along each side above what is planned now. I feel like this entire project is a suburban style lifestyle center with only a few improvements. It falls short of being truely mixed use. It is however also absolutely huge, and I hope it works out well. Just ever so slightly disapointed in its density.

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Council approves $103 million in bonds for Waypointe

- The Hour 03.25.09

"In a late-night vote Tuesday, the Common Council approved the issuance of $103 million in municipal bonds to pay for five parking garages and public infrastructure improvements related to Waypointe

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What a bold move my the city that is.

I wish Hartford could be so forward thinking some times.

Just think what 100 million in bonding could bring a city!!

this also looks like a pretty safe issuance.

with the space 75% filled, the parking revenues should be pretty good and cover the bonds.

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According to The Hour, Stanley Seligson, the developer of Waypointe, will be going before the common council in April to give an update on the project. There has been rumors about possible bankruptcy for months and the city wants to be filled in. (Not to mention the fact that the developer owes the city $390,203 in taxes on the property he owns.)

Here is the part of the meeting I get nervous thinking about: He will presenting a "revamped" plan, noting that some market types have returned, specifically retail. Years ago, this project started out as a proposal for big box retailers. In the center of the city! It was a terrible proposal, everyone thought so, and after many attempts to redefine the project, a decent attempt at quality development emerged. Now, with others in the city speaking out on the lack of progress on the three major developments in Norwalk, coupled with the past plans presented to the city, I fear we may be going back to those earlier days. This time though, there will be a stronger desire to get something, anything, done. To be fair, there was a quick mention in the article that they are also looking at multi-family residential markets, but I have my doubts.

Also noted in The Hour's reports was that the developer never signed the land disposition agreement hammered out with the city (a previous post mentioned a $103 million dollar bond the city would have to issue as part of that agreement.) On the one hand, at least the city isn't on the hook for that money. On the other hand, I wonder if not signing it would more easily allow the developer to build whatever he wanted.

I don't want to be cynical...we'll see what the meeting April holds!

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what a shame.

I do not think a scaled back project would be good for anyone, so i really hope something is done by someone, but I hope its done right.

Norwalk is a nice city that has the ability to be extremely vibrant. there just needs to be a little vision, and this project has the most potential. If anything, someone needs to come in and "dream bigger"

this development could create a true center to draw people, but it will not work if dont half assed

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From an article written by Robert Koch in 'The Hour'(04/08/11):

"A former AvalonBay employee and major developer of condominiums in Stamford has joined Stanley M. Seligson Properties to jump start the West Avenue development project known as Waypointe.

On Thursday night, Paxton Kinol presented to the Common Council's Planning Committee conceptual images of the first phase of the revamped project, and an aggressive timeline for building it.

"We believe in May, June and July we will go through the zoning process," Kinol said. "If everything goes as the plan I just described, people will be living in this building in October of 2012."

Kinol told the committee that financing has been secured and that construction would proceed in "bite-sized pieces that we can execute quickly."

Kinol told The Hour that he and partner Brandon Lacoff have stepped forward to recapitalize Waypointe and form Bellpointe Capital, LLC, which will serve as the development manager.

"It's a good fit for us," said Douglas T. Adams, vice president of development for Seligson Properties. "Multi-family housing, it's not our strength."

Douglas E. Hempstead, Planning Committee chairman, told The Hour afterward, "This is a very aggressive schedule. A long time we've been waiting for this."

The original Waypointe plan, as approved in 2008, called for nearly 1.2 million square feet of development across a 20-acre section of the West Avenue neighborhood. The plan stalled as financial markets collapsed later that year.

The first phase of the revamped effort would entail about 400,000 square feet of primarily residential development."

If true, this could get interesting! I'll have a chance to find out a bit more about this on Tuesday.

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From an article written by Robert Koch in 'The Hour'(04/08/11):

"We believe in May, June and July we will go through the zoning process," Kinol said. "If everything goes as the plan I just described, people will be living in this building in October of 2012."

If true, this could get interesting! I'll have a chance to find out a bit more about this on Tuesday.

Awesome!

keep us informed. 400k as the first phase is nothing to sneeze at. Heck in Hartford, 400k sf would be a pretty big project, in Norwalk its downright huge... let us know if the end game is still 1.2 million.

I remember the origonal had some very low density parts, and others that were very high density... will be interesting nto see how a phased approach affects that.

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I wonder if this will impact the other projects, especially the Wall Street project by PoKo, and, to a lesser extent 95/7. If one of them gets going I'd imagine there would be a fervent push to get the others going also. PoKo is the farthest along (i.e. closest to being in the ground), and mostly residential, so I could see how they wouldn't want to be late to the party. (But... if there's no money, there's no money.)

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So...I have an update. The facts as I know them: Phase I will be a six story superblock building with 326 1,2 and 3 unit rentals and 45,000 square feet of ground floor retail; financing is in place and NOT dependant upon leasing; zoning submission will happen within 10 days and shovels shovels in ground BEFORE the end of summer with occupancy next fall. It really looks like its a go!

In my opinion: Although I desperatly want something to be built, I think this falls far short of what was approved a few years ago. What was nicely scaled streets with some low-scale housing and a few midrise buildings (upto about 8 or 9 stories) that created a nice texture(more or less) has been turned into a superblock that is "broken-up" with facade treatment to give the appearance of several structures and no possibility of connection to future phases. And the sheet metal shop that was part of the eminent domain argument a few years ago, its not going to move (atleast not yet). The shop is akwardly carved out of the block, as well as some other weird angles in the block. There IS an outside arcade that will be very nice, except that it doesn't connect anything and doesn't go anywhere.

Enough for now. Here is a link to the architects: Gooding Architecture(The project isn't on the website yet, but the flavor is similar.)

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The more I compare the original renderings to the new proposal, the more dissappointed I become. While I was not overly crazy about the "style" of the original proposal, I did appreciate the planning of it. The new proposal has none of those qualities...AND the buildings just aren't that nice!

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I happened to find a rendering of the project. It is BY FAR the most flattering image of the project and doesn't even begin to tell how weird the planning is...but it is eye candy.

post-14079-0-14615900-1303123921_thumb.j

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I haven't heard if submission to zoning has occured, but I did hear that there is some work going on at some of the houses currently located in the project area. It sounds like it might be disconnection of utilities.

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As with 95/7, Waypointe is scheduled for a July 20th zoning meeting, the last step (I think) prior to submitting for a building permit. Last I heard, construction is still slated for late summer or early fall.

I may attend the meeting. It would be interesting to see if there are any visual uodates, but it would also be kind of interesting as a drama. Both of these projects appear to be racing towards construction and I wonder, given the state of building these days, if there is a rivalry growing to see who finishes first.

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On Wednesday night the Zoning Commission approved the changes to the plan in a 7-0 vote. This first phase will include 325 apartments, about 33,500 square feet of retail, 11,500 square feet of restaurant and 625 parking spaces in a garage. I don't know what the next step in the approval process is, but I think its redevelopment, then on to submission for permits.

Part of me is really interested in seeing something built; it will completely transform the area, but the original plan really was much better. I wish the city could hold out for a better project, this new approach is not going to create a neighborhood as the first promised. While there have been some problem businesses in the project area over the years, there have been a few (a pizza place and shoe repair shop in particular) that have been in operation since I've been alive. I get the feeling their concerns have not been addressed adequately. That goes the same for the residential units in the area. Though there are not many units within the boundaries of this phase of the project, those that will be displaced are likely (though I don't know for sure) low-income units and many may not haven options. These concerns are compounded by a less than optimal project.

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Less than a month after receiving zoning approval for phase 1 of Waypointe the developers have submitted plans to the city for phase 2. According to "The Hour" the plans call for 95 housing units in a five-story building with 13,000 sf of retail/restaurant space and the conversion of an old warehouse building into a three story parking garage.

There is also a rumor that more phases may be presented soon.

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According to the local paper, phase II was approved by the Zoning Commission last night. The developer now says that phases I + II will now occur nearly simultaneously and infrastructure work would likely begin in December.

Phase I - 325 apartments, 33,654 sf retail, 11,550 sf restaurant, 625 space parking garage

phase II - 95 apartments, 11,566 sf retail, 1,600 sf restaurant, 152 space parking garage

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I drove through the project area today and noticed most buildings are empty, some have windows and doors removed, and the utility company was shutting off the gas. The demolition is supposed to ramp-up this week and all signs point to it happening.

I've also found out that the developer is eyeing a peice of property adjacent to this project for a "high-rise" hotel.

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Drove through the project are again today; at least 4 buildings were down and the fire department was using another for drills. My guess is that all demo for this phase will be complete in another couple of weeks.

Here is an image from Google of what the area looks like today:

http://maps.google.c...p=12,61.53,,0,0

Here is a video I found today of the entire project at build-out:

http://player.vimeo.com/video/34681256

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