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Wall Street Place Construction Delays Continue

Architect Michael Weissbrod show updated Wall Street Place rendering to the Planning and Zoning Commission during its June 7, 2023 meeting on Zoom.

The long-awaited, hotly debated, and stalled Wall Street Place development is still not yet under construction, even though work was expected to begin in early 2024.

“The project involves a complex financial transaction, including with state and federal funding sources,” Michelle Woods Matthews, Norwalk’s director of communications, said in an email. “We know that the developer’s legal counsel is in the process of working diligently with various funding sources to try to get the deal closed within the next few months. We expect construction to begin this year in the late spring or early summer.”

The project, at the corner of Wall Street and Isaacs Street, has been stalled, stopped, changed hands, and more over the past decade. It’s been derisively nicknamed the Tyvek Temple, due to the covering that’s draped the building since 2016, after construction stalled due to a $9 million shortfall and the bankruptcy of its original developer, POKO Partners.

Construction on the property stopped in June 2016 when Citibank took control of it through a deed-in-lieu-of-foreclosure. The bank negotiated with the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency and the City to restart the project, in compliance with a Land Disposition Agreement calling for 100 public parking spaces. That parking launched the city into a legal battle with Wall Street area real estate developer Jason Milligan. Milligan bought the site that was going to be the second phase of the project. That purchase became the center of a major legal battle, which Milligan eventually settled in 2023. 

But it also required the new developer, JHM Group, to scramble and purchase the adjacent Garden Cinemas to provide space for a parking garage.

The developer appeared before the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission in November 2023, and received a one-year extension on its approved plans. 

“We have made progress on the site, including the completion of the demolition at 17 Isaacs Street, and we’re hoping to have our financing secured to pull the building permit and continue site activity in early 2024,” Attorney Jason Klein, who was representing the applicant, told the commission at the time

The approved plans call for completing the construction of the existing six-story frame structure at 61 Wall Street as a mixed-use building, with 101 workforce residential units, just over 10,000 square feet of retail space, and approximately 40 parking spaces. On the former Cinemas site, JHM plans to construct a new building with two residential stories, consisting of 50 units above two parking garage levels offering about 152 parking spaces.

But construction has yet to start this year.

Milligan, a Wall Street Neighborhood Association Board member, issued a statement on behalf of the organization.

“I think the WSNA and the whole neighborhood is extremely eager to see the project finally get started, Milligan said. “It will provide an emotional and physical lift to the whole area.”

Comments

One response to “Wall Street Place Construction Delays Continue”

  1. Mark Hankin

    3 months = 6 months = Next Year.

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