Peter Schuerch and his wife have been waiting for 21 years for "something to happen" on Wall Street. "I hope it works out as he hopes," the Camp Street resident said after Kenneth Olson explained his plans for a housing and commercial complex in the Isaacs Street area of Wall Street. "It really depends on who rents the places."
The meeting on Wall Street Place drew so many people to the second floor of B.J. Ryan's restaurant that many could not get in. They stood on the stairwell, listening to Olson speak, unable to look at the plans on display. It also went by quickly; by 6:10 p.m. the 5:30 meeting was over. "I missed it; I just got here," one man said.
Olson, principal of POKO Partners, talked about the green aspects of his project. Features include bamboo floors and a rooftop terrace.
Afterward, he took many questions as he chatted with attendees. One man bristled when Olsen said the project would be funded in part by federal low-income housing tax credits. Olsen said homeowners who deduct the interest on their mortgages are also getting tax subsidies and said apartment-dwellers would increase the tax revenue for city services. "We build in areas that are far worse than Norwalk, and we have turned them into dynamic environments," he said.
"I'm cautiously optimistic," said Jeff Roseman of David Harvey Jewelers. "I'm very pleased with what has happened at the Avalon project, and if the Avalon is any example of what will happen with this project then my business stands to do quite well and flourish."
Ursula Schuerch agreed. "Hopefully it will make a pleasanter environment, because right now there's nothing that makes me want to go down there," she said. "We've been waiting 21 years for something to happen."