NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk’s leaders will gather Tuesday to celebrate the opening of Summerview Square, a new apartment complex touted as an example of Smart Growth.
“It’s beautiful,” Mayor Harry Rilling said. “The area had seen no investment interest, and now it’s thriving, and neighborhood home values have increased.”
Summerview Square is a recently completed apartment development located along West Main Street. The last 32 units of the 63-unit complex are now complete and available for rent.
The exteriors of the buildings were designed to look as close as possible to the surrounding one- and two-family homes. But inside, the 20 separate buildings have been divided into one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments aimed at working families and young professionals.
“Everyone thinks the apartments are one- or two-family homes,” said West Main Street Association President Christine Abraham. “They look so great, and several of us, including my husband and me, have improved our own homes.”
The designs were put in motion by a change to Norwalk’s zoning regulations in 2006. The change allowed multi-family buildings to set up closer to the street, with front-facing front doors. The regulation also favored projects with long front porches. As a result, the new zone was designed to encourage projects that looked different from other apartment complexes, which put exposed brick walls to the street.
Norwalk Plan and Zoning Director Michael Greene said he was “thrilled” when the people behind the development—real estate investor Richard Segal, the Summerview Development Group and architect Ray Sullivan—“put meat on the bones of our new regulation.”
“When I talk with Standard & Poor, Fitch or Moody’s credit agencies about Norwalk’s bond rating, I use Summerview Square as an example of what can be done without investing city money,” Greene added. “I tell them how a private developer took an abandoned neighborhood and rejuvenated it, increasing the value of everything around it.”
Rilling will speak at a ceremony Tuesday celebrating the completion of the project. At the same ceremony, Segal will offer a donation to pay for 10 summer camp scholarships to the Norwalk YMCA.
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