NORWALK, Conn. — It’s premature to provide specifics about the changes to The SoNo Collection, Mayor Harry Rilling said Wednesday.
“We’ve got documents they have been presented to us so it’s really too early for us to talk about the specifics,” Rilling said.
The city on Tuesday release generic info about a deal that has been worked out with GGP (formerly General Growth Properties) to allow the mall development project to move ahead without a hotel component. This includes a $3.5 million payment to the city, in addition to the $550,000 “circulator payment” that was collected last week and the $1,022,500 payment for City easements necessary to get a building permit.
GGP Senior Developer Doug Adams said Wednesday that space planned for a hotel will be filled instead with street retail.
“We expect the hotel lobby that was at grade to become street retail,” Adams said in an email.
The project needs to get new approvals from the Common Council, the Redevelopment Agency and the Zoning Commission. This will result in a series of public meetings; the Council Planning Committee plans to allow public comment at is meeting Monday, to be held at 7 p.m. in City Hall room 231.
NancyOnNorwalk on Wednesday asked Rilling and Assistant to the Mayor Laoise King who had attended the meetings in which this deal was negotiated, and if there was any data to show how much property tax the mall would have paid.
“There is so much going on with that project right now, but we are still in discussions and ironing out how the process has to go forward,” Rilling said. “…To get into the weeds with the specifics right now, it’s a little premature because we have to get everything in order and then bring it to the Common Council, Zoning, Redevelopment.”
Minority Leader Shannon O’Toole Giandurco (R-District D) and Council member Michelle Maggio (R-District C) were part of the discussions, he said.
“We had several meetings with GGP over the past few weeks,” King said in an email. “We did not always have the same people at every meeting so it’s difficult to give you a comprehensive list, but it is safe to say that every meeting included various city staff, the RDA Chairman and staff and Council leadership (President and leadership from both caucuses.)
“As you know the agreement still needs to go through the council, zoning and RDA processes before it is finalized,” King continued. “As reports are prepared for each of those steps we will be sure to share with you.”
NoN asked Adams when he thought construction might begin.
“We are working diligently to try and get under construction as soon as possible,” Adams said. “Likely this spring or summer. I don’t have a date yet but will keep you posted.”