NORWALK, Conn. – Construction has not yet begun at the Globe Theater.
Although developer Frank Farricker said two weeks ago that he was closing on his loan with Patriot Bank within the week and would begin construction as soon as that happened, nothing is going on behind the plywood facing the street at the venerable theater. Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Tim Sheehan said that is because Farricker needs an environmental review certification from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Until Farricker gets that, he’s prohibited from doing any work, Sheehan said.
Farricker said two weeks ago the project had been delayed previously by a HUD request of Norwalk regarding an environmental waiver. “Between (U.S. Rep.) Jim Himes’ office, Redevelopment and our attorney, we got it sorted out. But it did delay the project,” Farricker said.
Sheehan characterized HUD requirements as “pretty complex.”
“The environmental review report waiver has gone down to Washington, (and) hopefully will get a response soon,” according to a Redevelopment Agency staff member. “It was supported by HUD Hartford, which is good, because if they don’t support it, it’s pretty much dead in the water.”
HUD Hartford said it was hoping the waiver would be granted within two weeks, but “they don’t know how buried they are in work,” the staff member said Friday.
Until then, “He can unlock the door and look at it, and that’s about it,” the staffer said.
Farricker declined to elaborate, but said in a Sunday email that he’s still planning to open in September. “We’re not behind,” he said.