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Connecticut spending $250K to investigate new train stop for Norwalk

A train platform could be installed along this Mechanic Street parking lot, Norwalk businessman Michael McGuire said.

NORWALK, Conn. – Mike McGuire’s push to get a train station for the Wall Street area has hit pay dirt– the state is funding a feasibility study.

The State Bond Commission on Friday authorized a $250,000 grant under the Let’s Go CT program to investigate adding a train stop along Metro North’s Danbury line, at Wall Street, State Rep. Chris Perone (D-137) announced in a press release.

Perone is Chief Transportation Financial Officer for House Democrats, a.k.a., the transportation “czar.”

“Transit-oriented development in the Wall Street area will help this neighborhood develop and grow,” Perone said in the release. “We have seen redevelopment, like the Wall Street Theater, increasing transportation options will increase opportunities to grow.”

McGuire, owner of a Wall Street office building, has been campaigning to get a Wall Street train, speaking to the Redevelopment Agency and at other public meetings. He recently visited U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-Greenwich) to discuss the issue.

Although McGuire originally talked about putting a train station behind 45 Wall St., more recently he has proposed putting a train platform off the Mechanic Street parking lot, below Burnell Boulevard, which he has said would cost less than $2 million.

Perone noted in the release that the Wall Street area is not as accessible by mass transit as other parts of Norwalk.

“The first step is increasing access to public transportation – money and development will follow access,” Perone said.

The Wall Street area once had a train station, under Wall Street. It was destroyed in the 1955 flood and was not rebuilt.

That was because diesel trains are just getting up to speed with they arrive in the Wall Street area after leaving South Norwalk, Norwalk Chief Building Official Bill Ireland said recently.

“Many residents have expressed interest in bringing back a train station to the Wall Street area of Norwalk and this bonding will provide the necessary financial support to explore this concept further,” State Rep. Bruce Morris (D-140) said in the release. “I appreciate the State Bond Commission’s approval of this funding as it will ensure residents have the essential information they need to make an informed decision about the potential metro stop.”

“A tech oriented live-work neighborhood will be established in an urban downtown in the Westchester/Southwest Fairfield County area over the next three to seven years simply because the market demands it,” McGuire said in an October letter to the editor. “The question is where will it be established?  Here, or in Dobbs Ferry-Irvington, Yonkers, New Rochelle, or Larchmont? Of all these locations Downtown Norwalk has the best attributes to support such a live-work community, except it doesn’t have a train station.”

Comments

17 responses to “Connecticut spending $250K to investigate new train stop for Norwalk”

  1. Kieran Droney

    What a Stupid and selfish Idea! I am a tenant in the adjacent building, 16 River Street. I pay a monthly rate to park, but the other tenants have customers who pay to park. Now you want to add commuters? There is not enough room! Unless the fees and ticket income is the real reason. Don’t waste 1/4 of a million to study stupid!!!!

  2. Tony P

    Bravo Mr. McGuire, bravo. Thank you for your foresight! Next, run for mayor!

  3. Donald

    A complete waste of my tax dollars

  4. Sue Haynie

    Wonderful news. @McGuire thank you for your persistence.

  5. Alan

    Great idea! Spending $250K on a study that can be done with a laptop in a couple of weeks shows why CT will soon be bankrupt.

  6. The Norwalker

    Norwalk has to somehow get its bus and train stations into the same facility.

  7. David Westmoreland

    This is really good news for Norwalk! Thanks Michael McGuire for keeping the issue out there and thanks to Chris Perone for working with the state to get this done. A train station at Wall Street will continue the revitalization of the area.

  8. Nora K King

    Great news for Norwalk. Thanks Mike McGuire for being such an advocate for this issue for years!!!

  9. diane c2

    I love the idea of a train depot there but seriously TWO HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS? during the worst fiscal deficit, rising taxes, service cuts and looming layoffs? What are they smoking up in Hartford?!
    Maybe $50k. Partially funded by the wall st business owners?

  10. Diane Lauricella

    Thank you Chris for moving forward…BUT… Assuming this will go out to bid? Can we lower the baseline ask?
    Consulting firms will temper their fee if client states its limitations …$250K? Seems way too much for a feasibility study…

    Who exactly suggested the $dollar amount???? Pls advise, Vjris.

  11. Donna

    Who benefits directly from this expenditure? 250k is a breathtaking amount of money to spend on a feasibility study for a possible train station that its staunchest advocate, Mike McGuire, says can be built for half a million. I do not oppose the station itself. But the cost of the study is outrageous.

  12. Mitch Adis

    I’m for the station. What I am afraid of is spending $250k on a study the City will ignore. You can add this one to the heap of studies Norwalk has paid for and ignored.

    @Donald. You need to pay taxes in order for the City to waste “my tax dollars”.

  13. Mike McGuire

    Kieran
    The Yankee Doodle garage is roughly 50% vacant on any given day and if you remove the auto dealer car storage increases to 75%.

    The goal here is that many of the commuters will walk to this station from the 2000+ apartment units built within a 10 minute walk instead of driving to SoNo or East Norwalk. The increase to the Grand List and revitalization of the long stagnant downtown are pluses as well.

    I do agree with the premise that $250,000 seems like a very large figure for a study.

  14. Jay

    Awesome work Mike. The entire Wall Street area has been neglected for so long. It is time to start implementing some thoughts on its redevelopment. It’s good for the City of Norwalk.

  15. The Norwalker

    Another factor to think about is that the Merritt/Route 7 Train Station is going to be updated so more Trains may already be planed to use that line to access the South Norwalk Station.

  16. Michael McGuire

    The credit here goes to State Rep. Chris Perone for getting this through the various committees etc.

    While I might be the noisy gong, Chris Perone is the one doing the heavy lifting and will need all of our support to see this through.

    This really is a bi-partisan success story as all of Norwalk’s State Representatives had a hand in this and all support this endeavor.

  17. Joe

    A Wall Street stop would create much needed accessibility and breathe life into this part of the city. We who live here ( I own a condo on Isaac ) knew there was a train so no one can honestly complain about noise…and the train is not going away so let’s make it work FOR us and not AGAINST us! We NEED to keep attracting business to Norwalk otherwise we will face harder times.

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