NORWALK, Conn. — You can get a drone’s eye view of The Sono Collection in GGP’s glitzy new video – including the glitzy interior.
GGP execs have tried unsuccessfully twice to show city officials this video. Perhaps they will have better luck at Thursday’s Common Council Planning Committee meeting, where the debate about GGP’s request to excise the hotel planned for its development will truly begin.
GGP has agreed to pay Norwalk $3.5 million in exchange for dropping the hotel plan, a figure derived by calculating how much property tax the hotel would have generated over the next two decades. GGP is also seeking to revise the definition of Class A anchor, to include the possibility of “high-end entertainment concepts, high-end fitness centers, high-end or specialty grocers and high-end furniture stores.”
Retail is changing, generating many news stories. A Bloomberg story, headlined “Desperate Malls Turn to Concerts and Food Trucks,” states that mall owners are hosting events in their parking lots to draw customers. That includes GGP, the story said, shedding some light on the mall of the future with this excerpt:
“Sandeep Mathrani, chief executive officer of GGP, said at a conference this month that the perfect mall now would include one department store, a supermarket, an Apple store, a Tesla store and businesses that started out online, like Warby Parker, the purveyor of prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses.”
The SoNo Collection may include a store that rents outdoor power equipment, GGP shareholder Rick Reardon said at Monday’s District B meeting.
Georganna Rucker also attended that meeting. The South Norwalker walked in expressing doubt and concern about the plan to drop the hotel, but at the end of the meeting was back onboard with her longstanding support for the property.
South Norwalk needs the $3.5 million, she said.
Her own neighborhood could use it, Rucker said before the meeting; the affordable housing complex she lives in, across the street from the South Norwalk train station, is deteriorating but residents don’t have the money to fix it, she said, expressing a plan to attempt to get funding for new windows and siding.
GGP’s video has one odd moment: about 15 seconds in it shows high-rises in Norwalk, behind the mall. Perhaps it’s Merritt 7.
It provides a great simulation of the three-story tall atrium, the rooftop plaza, the North Water Street underpass and the view of the parking garage from the vicinity of Oyster Shell Park, including a rather modern-looking train on the Danbury line.