Norwalk is on the move — at least with construction


Work proceeds at 20 North Water St. Friday in Norwalk.

NORWALK, Conn. – Construction workers in neon-colored vests and jackets are busy at two highly visible Norwalk dirt-scapes; other workers are hidden indoors, installing heaters, freezers or revolving doors. It all adds up: the money is rolling in at Norwalk’s building and code enforcement department.

The number of building permits being issued is “way up,”  Norwalk Chief Building Official William Ireland said.

“In January we issued 77 building permits with a value of $24,686,843, February 114 permits with a value of $ 24,214,663,” he said in an email.

That’s a total value of $48,901,506. Compare that to the January and February 2012 building permit values: $9,736,031, according to building permit records.

Fees collected in the first two months of 2013 are $762,493, according to the building permit records; fees collected in the first two months of 2012 were $124,556.

Where is all the building?

Some of it involves remodeling long-time establishments.

A permit was issued in mid-February for a $2 million renovation to the second and third floors at Priceline, at the Darien line on Connecticut Avenue.

Merritt 7 is remodeling:

  • In January there were three permits issued for a total valuation of $610,000. That included demolishing the third floor and part of the second floor at 501 Merritt 7, remodeling bathrooms in another building and remodeling the lobby at 401 Merritt 7.
  • In February three permits at a valuation of $1.915 million were issued for Merritt 7. That included refitting a third floor for a new tenant, MMC Norwalk, and $700,000 worth of work to the fourth floor at 401 Merritt 7.
Norwalk Stop and Shop
New freezers take up space formerly used for bread at the Connecticut Avenue Stop & Shop.

On Feb. 11, the Walmart at 680 Connecticut Ave. was given a permit for a $450,000 interior upgrade. On Jan. 4, The Home Depot got a permit valued at $249,000 to remove and replace 11 rooftop heating units. On Jan. 30, the Connecticut Avenue Stop & Shop got a permit to replace shelves and add freezers, a value of $26,000.

Then there are very high profile projects.

On Jan. 16, Norwalk Hospital got a permit for its new ambulatory pavilion, a $6,229,400 value.

Norden Place is a whopper: a $6 million permit for the shell of Phase II of the Fortis Data Center on Jan. 11; a $4,560,540 permit on Jan. 25 for the interior fit up for office and data center; and, Feb., 11 a $3.944 million permit for an unspecified purpose.

On Jan. 30, the Liberation Program was given permits for $2,278,000 worth of work on 18 residential units at 4 Elmcrest Terrace.

It’s amazing but true: they really are working on Stanley Seligson’s West Avenue dream, Waypointe.

In February, the Waypointe development was given 13 permits valued at $832,000 each; work on the long-delayed project has now become obvious to passersby on West Avenue.

Then there is 20 North Water St., the Spinnaker Partners LLC mixed use development across from the Maritime Aquarium, which got two permits worth a total of $10,532,532.

That is also a busy construction site.

“They’re trying to get it done as soon as they possibly can,” Norwalk Redevelopment Authority Director Tim Sheehan said. “They’re in here like every other day trying to move something faster. They are moving very, very quickly.”

Planning and Zoning Director Mike Greene said building has been above average for a while.

“For 17 months in a row, the number of permits issued in each month has surpassed the 21-year average for number of permits issued for that month,” he said in an email. “For example, the average number of permits for January is 69; in 2011 we issued 47; in 2012 we issued 97; in 2013 we issued 126.”

 “The ‘hot streak’ started in October 2011, when we issued 104 permits.”

20 North Water Norwalk 032213 3
20 North Water Street didn’t stay a stagnant “bomb site” for very long.


4 responses to “Norwalk is on the move — at least with construction”

  1. oldtimer

    Great news ! Will this mean they won’t need to raise taxes next year ?

  2. LWitherspoon

    I believe Bruce Kimmel stated that one of the major reasons that taxes are going up is that the cost of benefits and pensions for City employees is up about 20% this year.
    I’m interested to hear your thoughts on Matt Miklave’s proposal last year to increase current spending by short-funding the City’s pension fund for retired workers.

  3. Dorothy Mobilia

    Thank you, Nancy, for giving us reason to cheer about the state of our city’s economy. We are all weary of the relentless political sniping that beats us over the head every day. Thanks too, to the developers and businessmen on these projects. Clearly, they see the light at the end of the tunnel may be daylight after all.

  4. Tim T

    Was that Bruce Kimmel The Democrat
    Bruce Kimmel The republican
    That stated the reason for the tax increase?
    How can we believe anything he says when he changes parties after getting our votes.

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