New Residences Springing To Life In South Norwalk

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A 108-unit complex on Water Street in the SoNo section of Norwalk is expected to open in spring. Photo Credit: Greg Canuel

NORWALK, Conn. – The SoNo neighborhood of Norwalk has been known for its restaurants, shopping and night life. Now, a construction boom is bringing new residences to the area.

The Pearl, a 66-unit development at 99 Washington St., is expected to break ground in a few weeks and open in 2015. Stamford-based F.D. Rich and Co. is building that development.

Spinnaker Real Estate partners is developing an 108-united apartment building at 20 N. Water St. and plans to open it in the spring.

And the 444-unit Waypointe District, at 515 West Ave., less than mile from SoNo, started leasing last year.

Add in some other projects that have opened in the past few years, and it’s clear that SoNo is becoming a residential destination for people of many ages. Singles, young couples, empty-nesters and commuters are seeing the advantages to making South Norwalk their home.

“I think it’s a real upgrade for the neighborhood,’’ said Stephanie Pelletier of the SoNo Design District. “I think people are coming to realize the benefits of living here.”

Revitalization efforts in South Norwalk have been fluid since the early 1980s, beginning with the construction of the Maritime Aquarium. Significant improvements have been made in the area since as well as a number of delays.

One of the draws for residents is commutability. The South Norwalk train station is a short walk away, and train passengers are whisked to Grand Central in a little more than an hour (when there are no delays on the beleaguered Metro-North). Interstate 95 is also a quick hop for commuters who use cars to travel to their jobs.

The charm of SoNo is also in the character of the buildings, many of which are 100 years old or more. “These are the original buildings for retail and restaurants for people to enjoy,’’ Pelletier said. “We want people to enjoy them.”

In December, Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling appointed former Mayor Bill Collins as the chairman of the new SoNo Task Force. Its primary goal is to develop improvements to assist merchants. One of Pelletier’s primary roles with the SoNo Design District is to acquire tenants for the retail, office and restaurant space in the neighborhood.

Parking has been one of the biggest hurdles for merchants during the revitalization of the high-density district. But the good news for residents who move into SoNo is that with so many shops and restaurants nearby, a vehicle is not required.

“People can make their homes here and have everything they need within walking distance,’’ Pelletier said.

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Comments (4)

ElementGeek:

I purchased a condo last year in Sono thinking it would be fun being so close to everything.... but:

1) The street beggars are ridiculous. I shouldn't have to be subjected to people asking for FREE money every time I come and go from my home. I'm not insensitive... I just can't save everyone.

2) Episode. That place should be shut down. Underage drinking, smoking inside, strange chemical smells coming from it (not sure what it is, probably drugs).

3) Garbage everywhere lately. Who is in charge of cleaning this area? Also, I've almost broken my neck several times on the icy sidewalk. Do we not care about salting the sidewalks?!

4) Empty retail space. I thought this was the "place to be"... guess not, but I'm sure the rent is crazy high.

5) I'm already looking at moving next year and renting my place out unless I see some good and consistent changes made.

Jackie Giamini:

All I can say is I hope all those windows are bulletproof. Your going to need them!

Flo:

YAY! More ill planned residences in over crowded school neighborhoods! YAY!! Awesome planning, Norwalk!!

sononeknows:

Stephanie Pelletier makes a great pitch but what seems to be missing?Shopping?Security?Parking?Rilling?Collins?Stephanie's employer is who?

Nightclub Noise,constant fire alarms with no key holders,trash rats and homeless there is plenty of.

The arts? Those traffic signal boxes are great a little bit of NY city thrown in.

By the time it all gets done construction and building a great team it will be time to replace the Washington st bridge has anyone planned on that?

Communication,planning,parking and many other things have been customized for whom?Singles, young couples, empty-nesters and commuters screw the elderly they complain too much about the noise the bar room brawls.

Number of delays...yes fighting those who were here first and the longest that earned respect.The wrenches were thrown the people lost.

Th street was cleaned up nicely when Linda ran Dick took care of that now its downhill all the way.

Granted the advantage is close to the police station so when you become a victim its easy to make the report and quickly go home.Crime at the Sono Station continues Metro police can verify its not a Norwalk problem,a crime this week has taken place each day.

The nice stores the friendly shops the conveniant spots to grab something nice have dried up bars have replaced the 1980s,up keep of the buildings have been ignored plans to increase the size of the building are kept secret that goes hand in hand its a shame Norwalk has lost its destination for those Norwalk wanted back in the 1980s.

Shame the folks at Washington Village were never invited to make washington st thier home all those old timers long time Norwalkers would of been a plus in Sono they would of brought pride and security to the street but that would of made sense.Kick Norwalkers to the curb make a profit and destroy our seaside community that once was.

One of Pelletier’s primary roles is to acquire tenants for the retail, office and restaurant space for whom? Thats ok I guess we pay for city services that taxes don't cover for those who don't mind supporting private developers.

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