Sale Of District 95/7 Site In Norwalk Could Restart Development Project

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The District 95-7 space along West Avenue in Norwalk is the proposed site of a mixed-use development. Photo Credit: Greg Canuel

NORWALK, Conn. – Spinnaker Real Estate has finalized the sale of the District 95/7 site in Norwalk to a new developer, which may get the mixed-use project started after years of preplanning.

Spinnaker sold the 12.6-acre parcel along West Avenue for an undisclosed amount to General Growth Properties, a Chicago-based commercial developer. The deal includes Spinnaker’s development rights and zoning approvals for the site. Norwalk-based Spinnaker will be a consultant on the project, the company said in a statement.

The latest plans for the site call for apartments, a hotel, office space and retail. 

"We look forward to working with General Growth Properties in developing this important property into a world-class project that will create new jobs and result in economic benefits for the entire region," said Spinnaker Chairman and CEO Clayton Fowler. "General Growth Properties is one of the nation's premier retail center developers with significant financial resources."

The empty space is bounded by West Avenue, North Water Street, the Norwalk River and the Interstate 95/Route 7 interchange. Spinnaker’s materials call the space “arguably the best development site in Fairfield County.”

General Growth Properties primarily manages shopping malls, including Brass Mill Center in Waterbury and The Shoppes at Buckland Hills in Manchester. The corporation also owns office buildings in 11 states.

In 2007, the Common Council approved a “master plan” for the District 95/7 site that would include residential apartments, retail and office space and a hotel. In 2011, the council and the Zoning Commission approved amendments to the plan that rearranged the layout of the buildings but did not scale back the concept.

The latest plans for the site call for about 1.1 million square feet of real estate. That would include about 300 apartments, a 150-room hotel, 600,000 square feet of office space and 125,000 square feet for retail. If the developers want to change the project’s scope, they would need to get new approvals from the Zoning Commission.

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