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Dr. Gives Hour Building a Face-Lift

The hulking Hour building on Main Avenue is getting a makeover thanks to Dr. Syed Reza, a family medicine practioner who is also the principal of the Primary Medical Care Center across Main Avenue at No. 345.

While he's at it, Reza is changing the complexion of Main Avenue.

The building occupied by The Hour is old. Even Wendy Gerbier, a parent educator who regularly visits the Richard C. Briggs High School next door, has noticed. "It's like a factory building," she said, admitting that it's not aesthetically pleasing.

Reza is turning it into a medical and professional building, with plans to turn the big box shape into something more attractive. The front parking lot will be dressed up with landscaping islands. A glass staircase on the side of the building will also help.

Employees of Anderson Dental, located at 351 Main Ave., said they're glad it is going to be prettier, though they hadn't really thought about it. One joked that she'd be able to look out the window now.Work has already begun, even as employees of The Hour work inside. "They're moving along quite rapidly," Reza said. "They're tearing up the parking lot to redo the drainage and the catch basins and new landscaping. The building itself will have a whole new face and a new store-front appearance with stucco. It will just look totally different. So that's what we're working on." He expects the work to be done by Christmas. The Hour has announced that it will move to the Shore Pointe office building at One Selleck St.

Reza bought the 38,000-square-foot building for $4 million and will spend $2 million renovating it to provide 32,000 square feet of office space. He feels the close proximity to the Merritt Parkway will attract people from beyond Norwalk, and is in final negotiation with prospective tenants. He expects the building to house an urgent care center, a private family practice office, a gynecology office, a major laboratory blood draw site, and a physical therapy facility. He is also open to non-medical tenants.

Sandra Long, a decorator consultant at Laura's Draperies, Bedspreads and More at 345 Main Ave., thinks the project will help the neighborhood. "It's always a good plus to have someone make an investment on a business area," she said. Still, she does have a concern. "I wish they would put a light there because I think there will be a lot more traffic," she said. "There's always accidents coming out of McDonalds."

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