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Old 06-10-2014, 10:46 PM
 
4,771 posts, read 7,490,512 times
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I think the architectural design that is proposed for this mall looks exciting. Certainly beats the Stamford Town Center mall including the redesigned entrance on Tresser Boulevard. I want to see the artist' rendering of the interior.
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Old 06-11-2014, 12:59 AM
 
Location: On the Rails in Northern NJ
12,381 posts, read 22,620,647 times
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It should be a mixed use outdoor mall...
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Old 06-11-2014, 04:05 AM
 
3,720 posts, read 4,438,510 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cambium View Post
Are ... You... Friggin ... Kidding ... Me???

Norwalk has 2 Walmarts, 2 Wallgreens, 2 KFCs, 2 McDonalds, 2 Stop & Shops, 2 big Home Improvement stores on same road, 2 Town Fair Tires, They wanted a 2nd Costco (BJs), maybe even a 2nd Best Buy. Now they want to draw all these people into the area and nobody is talking about widening the roads????????

It's all about the money. These developers know if they build people will come. Purely disgusting to watch this entire area/corridor go this way. This is not CT, it's an extension of NYC.

Are people suffering that we need this crap continuing to be built??? WTF! Is the economy so great that we need extra locations to shop in.

Lowes itself will bring in extra congestion. People disgust me. So you want an extra 600,000 people in that area???
I miss my little seaport town. It's becoming unrecognizable.
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Old 06-11-2014, 05:58 AM
 
Location: Bottom of the Ocean
679 posts, read 906,647 times
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This mall reminded me of Westchester County.
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Old 06-11-2014, 06:19 AM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
64,972 posts, read 47,284,481 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trishguard View Post
I miss my little seaport town. It's becoming unrecognizable.
Good point..the south Norwalk "waterfront" type community is going to get swallowed by the city type atmosphere. But there's always a "downtown" in cities so that's where Norwalks is. Not in the East, West, or North end.

Have you guys driven to south Norwalk lately?? I think I pointed out the disgusting buildings that have gone up in past few yrs.

I'm all for revenue and job creation but when an area doesn't support just 10 more extra vehicles there's gotta be some idiotic thinking in the plans. How about crime issues down there with outsiders coming into the area to the mall?

But I'll ask again... Are we the people in the area suffering so much that we need extra shopping or food stores???

I'll look at the lighter side of things... Maybe the locals will stay put there instead of venture out to Stamford, Wilton, ect.
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Old 06-11-2014, 06:39 AM
 
2,505 posts, read 2,419,385 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cambium View Post
But I'll ask again... Are we the people in the area suffering so much that we need extra shopping or food stores???

I'll look at the lighter side of things... Maybe the locals will stay put there instead of venture out to Stamford, Wilton, ect.
To the first point, that is what I was thinking. There is a plan to build a couple of these shopping malls in Central CT. Both locations proposed are within 10miles of 2 malls. How many Ann Taylor Lofts does one State need? Instead of bringing in shopping malls that pay minimum wage wouldn't it be great to use this land to bring in big manufactures paying above average wages. Example, N. Charleston, SC. Boeing bought/developed and is still developing a 450acre parcel of land in a part of the city deemed "undesirable." Now, the area of thriving, investors are pouring into the market and it is booming. Not sure a sales associate job at the Cracker Barrell will have the same "pull" as a software engineer. Can CT bring in meaningful industry that will benefit the area, instead of just building a building to get tax revenue for that one town.
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Old 06-11-2014, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
24,570 posts, read 40,120,453 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cambium View Post
Good point..the south Norwalk "waterfront" type community is going to get swallowed by the city type atmosphere. But there's always a "downtown" in cities so that's where Norwalks is. Not in the East, West, or North end.

Have you guys driven to south Norwalk lately?? I think I pointed out the disgusting buildings that have gone up in past few yrs.

I'm all for revenue and job creation but when an area doesn't support just 10 more extra vehicles there's gotta be some idiotic thinking in the plans. How about crime issues down there with outsiders coming into the area to the mall?

But I'll ask again... Are we the people in the area suffering so much that we need extra shopping or food stores???

I'll look at the lighter side of things... Maybe the locals will stay put there instead of venture out to Stamford, Wilton, ect.
Actually by national standards, Connecticut is under-retailed. We have a very high income and a lot of disposable dollars yet we do not have the number of stores you would find in other areas. Simply look at Paramus , New Jersey and the number of stores there.

That said, whether this fits into South Norwalk or not, is an entirely different question that will get answered as the project goes through its approval process. This certainly was not what was envisioned when the area started going through redevelopment but then again the site is not necessarily desirable for residential development either. Remember a massive project was already approved on this site so from a traffic standpoint all the developer has to show is the differences between that development (which had a lot of retail too) and this. We will see. Jay
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:37 AM
 
213 posts, read 192,329 times
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I would rather see an outdoor mall like Evergreen Walk in South Windsor or the one in Canton. My husband and I don't really shop in Norwalk at all other than Stew Leonard's and Home Depot and rarely at Bob's or Walmart. We either shop in Westport, the outlets or the malls in Stamford and Danbury. That said, wasn't this supposed to be 125,000 sq ft according to earlier articles? That seems excessively large for the location. And I agree that traffic will be a nightmare. Just driving from the SONO train station to 95 and Route 7 is a mess during rush hour.
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Old 10-07-2014, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Northeast states
10,320 posts, read 7,225,131 times
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Default Major Norwalk ReDevelopment

What you think of this ?





NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk Common Council members have a check list to study as they consider – to mall or not to mall?
“Take that checklist and start to cross off what you want and what you don’t want,” Planning Committee Chairman Doug Hempstead (R-At Large) said to six Council members last week after Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Tim Sheehan briefed committee members on the ins and outs of the Land Disposition Agreement (LDA) that governs the site bought by General Growth Properties (GGP), the former 95/7 site.
Councilman Bruce Kimmel (D-At Large) said he felt uncomfortable after the briefing – which actually began in September and was spread over two meetings – because the “proposal for a mall with a lot of glass” is not at all in line with what the LDA calls for.
Broadly, the LDA specifies mixed use. It specifies 124,500 square feet of retail, 600,000 square feet of office space, 274,000 square feet of residential space and 80,000 square feet of hotel.




“We have some tough decisions here eventually,” Kimmel said. “Let’s say we like the design guidelines. What happens? Do we say no to a mall because we like the design guidelines? This is radical departure of where we have been, OK? I am just having a little trouble because I go back and forth in my mind about a mall. Then I look at this and I try to envision the whole area, the design guidelines. Let me put it out there – It is almost as if this has been – please don’t take this wrong – it’s almost as if we’re preparing the way to say no to a mall. I get this feeling. I apologize if wrong. But I get the feeling that we’re being immersed in something that is behind us and the more we are immersed in it, the more we think about it, the less likely we will be to approve a mall.”
“The issue is that if you want to keep the design guidelines the way they are,” Sheehan replied. “I’m not necessarily saying you should or you shouldn’t. The issue might be maybe you want to go back and look at the design guidelines and look at them a little differently than where we were 5 to 10 years ago. But assuming that you want to keep them, the challenge that you then have is to work with the developer to make what they have as a concept in terms of their use conform more in line with what you have as general design guideline principals for your district.”






The Reed Putnam Urban Renewal Plan dates back to 1983, Sheehan said. While parcels 1, 2 and 4, which comprise the 95/7 site, are highly visible in their desolation, the rest of the Reed Putnam are has been built out, he said.
Completed development efforts include the Maritime Aquarium, The Lock Building, Maritime Garage, Maritime Yards, SoNo Lofts, The West Avenue Townhouses and offices, Pine Street condominiums, Pine Street Commercial Office and O’Neill’s Pub, commercial offices and residences.
“Despite that fact, this site is the focus – and it should be; it’s the last piece of the puzzle,” Sheehan said.
While some people feel the Redevelopment Agency should not have approved Spinnaker’s sale of the property to GGP a year ago, Sheehan basically said there was no choice.
“The parameters by which the agency has jurisdiction to measure the capacity of the developer within the LDA is very narrowly defined,” Sheehan said. “It would have been a significant – I would say it would have been infeasible for the agency to not approve the transfer based on the criteria that was put forward in the LDA that both the city and the agency and the developer agreed to.”
GGP is expected to bring a concrete proposal to the city by the end of the year, Sheehan said. In the meantime, GGP has been engaged in community outreach, shopping around a concept for a mall and pitching the economic benefits.




“I have my own opinion of the route they have taken,” Hempstead said. “They have decided to take an outside route rather than take an inside route. This (the LDA) is what is. This is what is by contract. This is what is by guidelines. So it’s not just one thing that would have to be changed, its several things that have to be changed by multiple city agencies to bring it back.”
Sometimes a developer buys a piece of land and sits on it so a competitor cannot get it, he said.
“That’s expensive,” Councilman Rich Bonenfant (R-At Large) said.
“Not for GGP,” Sheehan said.
GGP bought the property without an out clause, he said.
“I spent a lot of time taking to GGP people about the LDA; they were fully cognizant of everything that was associated with the public’s powers with this property. They felt the value was in the property and made a business decision of their own to purchase it,” Sheehan said.
“What we are seeing is not even close,” Councilwoman Shannon O’Toole Giandurco (R-District D) said.
“Sometimes as business people you might want to start the process with everything you want and then move back,” Sheehan said.
Kimmel asked if GGP might walk away if the city tries to modify its plans. Sheehan said that has never happened.




“The closest that we came to that was really the Maritime at Jefferson. That was a difficult design process but the project went through,” Sheehan said.
Bonenfant said, “If people want something, we have to use some of the bargaining chips that we have. A yes or no answer is one of the bargaining chips you have. We have to use that accordingly and maximize whatever we are going to get back out of this project one way or the other. I guess, if they are going to build something like this what are we going to do, rip up the roads we already built?”
Sheehan reminded them that the city has only seen development concept renderings, that an actual plan would include specifics. “Quite frankly in terms of design review, it’s more than looking at a rendering. GGP would agree that it’s not set in stone,” Sheehan said.
He said there’s a conversation that’s been had over and over again through the recession – “There is no way public parties can force a private developer to build something that is economically infeasible,” Sheehan said.
Council Majority Leader Jerry Petrini (R-District D), who is not on the committee, sat through the meeting.




“Whether you want to call it a modification or a new LDA, Redevelopment and the city have power to change whatever we have down there,” Petrini said. “Whatever we see fit as the sitting Council, not to ignore what past Councils worked so hard for, but to quote from one of my favorite movies, ‘We’re not in Kansas anymore.’ That means this is not 2007.”
If you try to force a developer into something they don’t want to do “you’re going to be looking at an empty piece of property for a long time,” he said.
“I’m just asking all of us to keep an open mind and try to work on something,” Petrini said. “Not everybody is going to be happy, he probably won’t be and we won’t be, but the only person who is happy there now is the dust mites.”
Hempstead said there are elements to good urban planning and reminded everyone to look at the list of things that came to fruition because of the guidelines laid out in the Reed Putnam Urban Renewal Plan.
He urged everyone to ask questions of Sheehan if they need to.
“I agree, the last process took way too long because we got too nitpicky,” Hempstead said. “We moved a hotel around before, but take that checklist and start to cross off what you want and what you don’t want.”






Later, asked for his opinion on the mood of the Council toward GGP’s project, Hempstead cautioned that there has been no plan submitted. But, he said, “What’s been floating out there is just not acceptable in my book.”
Giandurco agreed. “I have a lot of questions and concerns as it is presented in these renderings that we have seen. It doesn’t seem to fit what would best serve South Norwalk, as it stands today,” she said.
Hempstead good urban planning has called for mixed use on the property. The LDA is “all based on bringing in professional urban planners and saying the checklist is all good. Now it’s a question of taking what is on there, taking a pencil through it and saying, OK, what do you want to take out? And where do you stop?” he said.
“I don’t know at the end of the day what they are proposing. I just want to make sure the committee has been informed of what is there, what is legally there,” Hempstead said. “That is the controlling factor… Tim did a good job of explaining here are the buildings that has been built under these guidelines. Anybody unhappy with them? Anybody think it is a bad idea? No.”

Norwalk council gearing up for GGP’s expected mall proposal | Nancy on Norwalk

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Old 10-08-2014, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
24,570 posts, read 40,120,453 times
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I understand the developer's point of view. There is no market for new office space anymore so that part of the original project should be scrapped. Still there is demand for housing but I wonder how marketable it would be being so close to I-95 and far from the train station. There is also a real demand for retail in the area so I see why the developer wants this. It would be interesting to see who he has for anchors and tenants. It would probably be upscale so I hope they can bring someone like Nordstrom's which would do well in the area. Of course it is up to the city if they want this or not but they should realize that the site could sit vacant for years if they do not make a decision quickly. Jay
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