NORWALK, Conn. -- Construction of the long-awaited Wall Street Place development began Friday morning with the start of demolition at the site, which will soon be home to more than 100 new apartments and 16,000 square feet of retail space.
“I’m excited to see the Wall Street Place development in Norwalk move forward and I’m proud that the State of Connecticut could help this project become a reality,” Gov. Dannel Malloy said.
The Phase I of Wall Street Place is a sustainable, mixed-use, mixed-income development in historic downtown that will contain 101 rental units.
"New apartments and retail space will help transform Wall Street and add to the vibrancy of the city,” said state Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk). “Attracting jobs and creating diverse housing options is smart strategy to continue our city’s economic growth.”
State Rep. Chris Perone (D-Norwalk) echoed that thought.
“Finding an affordable place to live will allow Norwalk families to fully invest in their community, and it frees up their resources for other necessities and wants,” said Perone. “More affordable housing is a smart investment for our economy.”
Of the 101 rental units, 36 of which will be affordable to households earning up to 50 percent and 60 percent of the area median income while the reaming 65 units will be market-rate rentals. Of the affordable units, 10 will be set aside for supportive housing with services provided by Homes with Hope, a local nonprofit that works with the homeless.
Phase I will also contain 16,000 square feet of retail space, 23 surface parking spaces and an automated parking garage (the first of its kind in Connecticut) with over 200 spaces available to residents and the public.
POKO Partners of Port Chester, N.Y., is the developer of the $46 million project.
“POKO is proud to begin the demolition and construction of this exciting and transformative project,” said President and CEO Kenneth Olson. “This project is the best example of a public-private partnership. The state, the city and POKO all have significant investments in the success of this project.”
The project will be financed with a variety of sources, including $23.7 million in conventional debt, $5 million in Urban Act Funds, $3.5 million in assistance from the Connecticut Department of Housing, $8.8 million in low-income housing tax credit equity and $4.4 million in funding from the City of Norwalk.
“I'm thrilled to see this project is now moving forward after a lot of meetings and a lot of hard work by a lot of people,” said Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling. “I consider this project to be the beginning of the rebirth of the Wall Street area in Norwalk.”
Site plans for the project were initially approved by the Norwalk Zoning Commission in August, 2008, but a court appeal and financial delays postponed groundbreaking.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.