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Brookfield’s tenant hunt for The SoNo Collection yields work for Norwalk P&Z

The SoNo Collection, as seen April 25 from Oyster Shell Park.

NORWALK, Conn. – A large beer-centric restaurant titled Yard House is planned for the corner of North Water Street and West Avenue, with a smaller Chinese restaurant next door.

No word yet on the rest of the ground floor restaurant space for The SoNo Collection.

NancyOnNorwalk reviewed Zoning permit applications in the Norwalk Planning and Zoning office to come up with this list of confirmed non-anchor retail tenants for the mall, long touted as opening in October:

  • Barry’s Bootcamp
  • Abercrombie & Fitch
  • J. Jill
  • Yong Kang Street
  • Chico’s
  • White House Black Market
  • Yard House
  • Sephora
  • ZARA USA Inc
  • Tutti Nails
  • Made in China

In addition, there are applications from Nordstrom, one of the anchor tenants, for Bazille, a restaurant, and EBAR, an artisanal coffee shop, to be in its space.

Pinstripes, which mixes mixes bowling, Bocce courts, a bar and bistro food with lounging areas popular with both small and large groups according to its website, announced last week that it’s going into The SoNo Collection, but had not submitted an application to Planning and Zoning as of Friday.

A NancyOnNorwalk reader recently asked how much of the mall’s retail space had been rented out. Brookfield Properties, which bought mall owner GGP last year, declined in mid-April to provide any information about its tenants.

Zoning permit applications, FRiday in the Norwalk Planning and Zoning office. The large roll at right is for Bloomingdale’s.

We totaled the known square footage of the tenants, from the applications, as 72,470 square feet. The non-anchor space in the mall is said to be 415,000 square feet. This makes the known rented out non-anchor space as 17.4% of what is called in-line retail space.

If you estimate Pinstripes as occupying 30,000 square feet, a reasonable assumption based on its other locations, the rented non-anchor space is 24.7% of the in-line retail. If you add Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom to the mix, then The SoNo Collection is 58% rented out.

Brookfield execs did not reply to a Wednesday afternoon email asking if these figures are correct.
Yard House

 

“At Yard House, our passion for great beer, great food and great music runs deep,” the company’s website states. “You’ll find the world’s largest selection of draft beer along with a menu with more than 100 items made from scratch daily.”

The restaurant is planned for 11,779 gross square feet on the West Avenue sidewalk, opposite Bloomingdale’s. It is planned to have 1,200 square feet of patio space and 4,218 square feet of active restaurant space.

Yard House is a chain that has spread across the nation.
Yong Kang Street

Yong Kang Street aims to “provide fresh, authentic Taiwanese dishes” to its customers, it states on its website. “We want you to feel like you are dining in the famous Yongkang street in Taipei.”

The menu is “structured differently than a typical Chinese restaurant,” the website states, promising that everything is made fresh.

The restaurant is planned for 2,130 gross square feet, right next to Yard House. There’s one in Brooklyn, at 5100 Kings Plaza.

 

Made in China

Made in China is a restaurant planned for the third floor of the mall space, with 2,606 gross square feet, 1,208 of which will be active.
Nordstrom eateries

Nordstrom’s Bazille is planned for 5,091 square feet on the third floor.

“Bold flavors elevate beloved bistro classics in chic and inviting Bazille,” Nordstrom states. “Meet up with friends at the bar for internationally sourced wines and handcrafted cocktails. Stay for appetizers, salads, brick-oven pizzas and our tempting housemade desserts.”

“It’s named for the short-lived French impressionist Jean Frederic Bazille, who died at age 28, during the Franco-Prussian War,” the Daily Breeze states.

“When your energy starts to dip, head for our Ebar, where you’ll find artfully prepared espresso drinks, delicious coffee and fresh, locally sourced pastries. Healthy snacks, grab-and-go lunch options and made-to-order smoothies are all on hand to revive you,” Nordstrom states.

 

Barry’s Bootcamp is a fitness business founded in 1998 by Los Angeles-based celebrity trainer Barry Jay, its website states. It expanded globally in 2011-15.

It’s planned for 4,550 gross square feet.

 

Zara USA Inc.

“Zara is one of the biggest international fashion companies,” its website states.

“Zara USA, Inc. retails men’s and women’s clothing. The company was founded in 1988 and is based in New York, New York,” Bloomberg states.

There’s also one in Greenwich.  This is planned for 30,000 gross square feet, 21,524 of that active.
J. Jill

The woman’s clothing store already has locations in the Trumbull Mall, the Danbury Fair Mall and The Westchester in White Plains, N.Y.

“J.Jill is easy, relaxed, inspired style that reflects the confidence of a woman with a rich, full life,” its website states. “We’re a national omnichannel retailer of women’s clothing (we design for all sizes—misses, petite, women’s and tall), accessories and footwear. We’re committed to providing friendly, guiding service wherever you choose to shop: at our more than 270 stores, online or through our catalog.”

Norwalk’s version is planned for 3,500 gross square feet.
Chico’s

“Chico’s was founded in 1983 as a small boutique selling Mexican folk art on Sanibel Island in Florida,” its website states. Then one day, our founders discovered the sweater that made literally everyone look fabulous, pivoted the business, and retail was never the same. The rich colors, bold prints, unique artisanal details, problem-solving styles, and amazing personal stylists made a lasting connection with customers.”

There are more than 600 Chico’s boutiques nationwide, it states, promoting Chico’s sizes 000-4 (U.S. sizes 0-20), Petites and Tall as “there’s a size for just about every body.”

There’s a Chico’s in the Stamford Town Center and in Fairfield, in addition to locations in New York and New Jersey. It’s planned for 2,977 gross square feet.

 

White House Black Market

You’ll find “elevated fashion” at White House Black Market, with “exclusive signature designs” to help you develop a polished style, according to its website.

There’s a WHBM in the Danbury Fair Mall, the Milford Marketplace and in White Plains, N.Y. The Norwalk version is planned for 3,400 gross square feet.
Abercrombie & Fitch

This one’s been around for 125 years, “a leading, global specialty retailer of apparel and accessories for Men, Women and Kids through three renowned brands,” according to its website.

“{T}he iconic Abercrombie & Fitch brand has outfitted innovators, explorers and entrepreneurs,” it states. “Today, the brand reflects the updated attitude of the 21 to 24-year old customer, while remaining true to its heritage of creating expertly crafted products with an effortless, American style.”

It’s planned for 3,500 gross square feet.
Tutti Nails & Spa

Tutti has been the experts in “manis & pedis” since 2003, its website states. There are locations in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

This is planned for 1,500 gross square feet.

 

Sephora

Another familiar name, Sephora is a “leader in global prestige retail, teaching and inspiring clients to play in a world of beauty,” according to its website. “…Today, Sephora is not only the leading retailer of perfume and cosmetics stores in France, but also a powerful beauty presence in countries around the world thanks to its unparalleled assortment of prestige products in every category, unbiased service from experts, interactive shopping environment, and innovation.”

“Sephora operates over 2,500 stores in 32 countries worldwide, with an expanding base of over 460 stores across the Americas. Sephora opened its first U.S. store in New York’s Soho neighborhood in 1998, and its first Canadian store in Toronto in 2004,” the website states.

Sephora is planned for 4,428 gross square feet.
Pinstripes

Pinstripes was named by Restaurant Business Online in 2014 as one of the country’s fastest-growing small chains.

“Another mash-up of game playing and dining, Pinstripes enjoys a booming group business, from holiday parties to business meetings and even weddings. The concept touts itself as a source of sophisticated fun for white-collar consumers who want their night out to encompass more than just a meal and some drinks,” the website states.
When will it open? 

Although it’s always been said that The SoNo Collection will open in October, Hearst newspaper group on Wednesday reported that Brookfield is considering a November target date.

Then-GGP Vice President Doug Adams said in 2017 that the company’s contracts with Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom require an October 2019 opening.

Brookfield plans its 2019 First Quarter Conference Call for 11 a.m. today, Thursday May 9.

16 comments

Sue Haynie May 9, 2019 at 6:15 am

@NON great summary, thank you. Interesting and fun selection of new businesses.

Norwalk Native May 9, 2019 at 7:46 am

Wow.

I don’t want to shop at any of these stores. I though the Collection was supposed to be upscale??

john flynn May 9, 2019 at 8:12 am

They applied for the liquor permits. How many bars?? Great summary. Getting information from them is not easy. I hope they know what they are doing, because tax incentives at a mall normally kill the local downtown who pay the taxes. The lower the tax the faster the exit. The City is raising the other business taxes to fund the mall. The City needs to lower all mill rates or they will be bankrupt. We support 16,000 illegals, that’s a lot of medical expenses, school expenses, food stamps, and section 8. There are many fires, many watermain breaks, and look at the police blotter. Upscale?? or another cheap crap mall catering to people selling food stamps at 50 cents on the dollar to buy drugs and hookers.

Kurt Reply May 9, 2019 at 9:21 am

Wow this mall is looking more and more like that half witted market that Grasso had on down on Meadow st. A&F closed more than 60 stores just last year. Chico’s announced plans to close 250 stores. Zara’s too What’s next? Maybe they’ll sell us on a Gap store or Loehmanns, yeah Loehmann’s. Food truck parking spots? Maybe another Dollar store? What sort of kiosks will they?

AL May 9, 2019 at 12:08 pm

Destiny Mall, upstate NY, is going to be the model for The SoNo Collection.
In a word…default.

Bob Welsh May 9, 2019 at 12:36 pm

@Dave

We’ve asked Brookfield for the latest on that, and will post any reply here. Last I heard, which was more than a year ago, the plan was to charge for parking, but an automated system would recognize well-heeled “frequent fliers” and give them discounted/free parking.

Ed May 9, 2019 at 7:06 pm

I was in the Stamford Town Center a few weeks ago, and I noticed empty retail spaces in several prominent locations inside the mall. I’ve never seen those spaces empty in the past 20 years. Things can’t be looking good for malls if this is case.

Michael Foley May 9, 2019 at 8:57 pm

I Would have preferred a office complex here but that went away, I never thought we would have a mall in this spot but we do ! My only hope is that it succeeds .

Mike K May 10, 2019 at 4:01 pm

@ed I believe a lot of those spaces are from companies not renewing leases in preparation for a move to SONO as is higher quality space. Looked like the same in Westport where Williams Sonoma closed there and would seem to be a fit for the SONO mall.

joseph June 6, 2019 at 4:46 pm

I am very disappointed with the vendors going in.
I thought this would be high-end. i would like to see Hermes,
gucci and LV or louboutin. i am in high fashion in NYC This is what brings in all the clients.
Hope to see some of these vendors in this location.

paula kelliher July 24, 2019 at 12:25 pm

Do you have information regarding parking and Valet? Will parking be complimentary? Where will Valet be located. Will they have anything for kids, a play area?

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