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Norwalk P&Z sends Milligan’s new hotel plans for architectural review

Architectural rendering of Isaacs Street view of proposed Wall Street hotel (Credit: The Sullivan Architectural Group)

Real estate broker Jason Milligan, who owns dozens of properties in the Wall Street area, is proposing a new 210-unit hotel on Isaacs Street.

The Norwalk Planning and Zoning Commission received its first look at the application at its meeting on Wednesday, when commissioners approved sending the plans out to architectural reviewer. 

The plans call for 210 hotel units, 178 parking spaces in a garage, and four live-work units along the Leonard Street side of the property. 

“We do think this is going to be a great addition to the Wall Street neighborhood,” said Attorney Adam Blank, who was representing the applicant. 

Blank said the hotel would be a “significant improvement to the current state of the property,” which is now a parking lot with a few tenants, and that it would “bring activity to the neighborhood.” 

The property would “not be an amenity-laden hotel,” Blank noted.

“There’s a whole lot of businesses along Wall Street and the idea is to get people out of the hotel and out into the community and supporting those businesses,” he said.

Milligan said the hotel would fit into the growth taking place in the neighborhood.

“The neighborhood is on the rise—there’s many new retailers and restaurants…there’s a new [Wall Street] Theater operator that’s fantastic,” Milligan said. 

He specifically mentioned the theater and the Norwalk Conservatory of the Arts, citing a need for this type of space for people to stay.

“It does fit the neighborhood nicely,” he said.

An aerial shot of where the hotel would be located.

Milligan said they’re in discussions with “several hotel partners” who are interested in operating the site should it be approved.

The four live-work units were something that Milligan said he was “excited about,” as a potential “nice little incubator space” for “budding entrepreneurs”. His vision is for those entrepreneurs to be able to save money by living and working in the same space and then growing to move into another space—ideally in the neighborhood—as a way to support local businesses. 

“I think it’s fun—the next best retailer might come out of that,” he said, adding the spaces would “give some young entrepreneurs a chance.” 

His dream would be to see a “bike shop that also rents bikes,” that would allow people to go between Wall Street and South Norwalk on bicycles or scooters. 

“It would be great to see more people out walking, biking, moving about the neighborhood,” Milligan said.

Currently on the site is Rebel Daughter Cookies, as well as a local art park that Milligan helped start, which commissioners said they enjoyed. 

“I was down in that parking lot for the first time ever this weekend—it’s gorgeous,” said Commissioner Ana Tabachneck. “What’s going to happen to the art?”

Milligan said he “plans to incorporate it into the parking,” as well as to potentially select some of the best to be more prominently displayed on the exterior of the building. He also said the current businesses on the site would be accommodated in “one of my buildings” in the area. 

Once the application receives its architectural review, the project will come back before the commission for discussion and a vote. 

Renderings of the proposed hotel

Comments

One response to “Norwalk P&Z sends Milligan’s new hotel plans for architectural review”

  1. I am obviously biased in that I serve with Jason on the Board of Directors for the Wall Street Neighborhood Association, but as a business owner in the Wall Street area, I have to applaud not only his vision for the area, but his willingness to “put his money where his mouth is,” so to speak.

    As for the hotel itself, people ask why is this needed?

    Consider that we have two thriving and growing Arts-based schools within two-hundred feet of the site (Norwalk Conservatory of the Arts and Factory Underground Tech) so the hotel becomes a place where parents of prospective students can stay when they are come to tour these schools. It adds to the overall campus feel we have tried to create in the area.

    We also have a tremendous number of high profile recording artists coming from out of town to record at Factory Underground Studio, and we are always referring people to hotels and private Air BNB in the area – so having a hotel option across the street is a potential game changer. And then of course, you have District Music Hall, whose operators I am sure would love to have a hotel option directly across the street, where the bands can stay. Where fans coming to shows from out of town can stay as well.

    I am happy that it won’t be the kind of mega-hotel where people never go off the hotel grounds. So while people have a ultra convenient place to stay, they have a thriving neighborhood of shops and restaurants to frequent right beyond the doorstep. For all my experience touring the world with music artists, I can tell you the cities I enjoy the most are the ones where my hotel room, the music venue, and local restaurant options are right within walking distance.

    So all in all, I’m excited about this!

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