Norwalk receives $6 million grant for development near SoNo station

NORWALK — The city has received $6 million in state funding to support developments in South Norwalk as part of a governor’s plan to improve community livability.

Governor Ned Lamont announced last week the distribution of $45 million divided among 12 municipalities that aims to improve “struggling municipalities” and add to downtown areas.

Norwalk received $6 million to upgrade property adjacent to South Norwalk Station at 30 Monroe St. and 15-17 Chestnut St., according to the release. The work at SoNo will be a collaboration with the city, the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency and Spinnaker Real Estate Partners.

Planned development for the area will include at least 200 mixed-income residential units, 10,000 square feet of retail, a public plaza and 60 public off-street parking spaces, according to the release.

“By investing in infrastructure and streetscape, such as improving road safety with new sidewalks, mitigating stormwater runoff to prevent flooding, and planting more trees, this project essential infrastructure will increase livability and add vibrancy to our city,” said Mayor Harry Rilling. . “This initiative also allocates funds to preserve existing affordable housing, supporting our vision to make the city a more accessible and equitable place to work and live.”

Norwalk’s plans will transform the development of vacant and underutilized parcels as part of the city’s transit-oriented development to accent South Norwalk Station, according to the release.

The infrastructure upgrades will also allow for the potential development of 500 new residential units in the area, according to the statement.

Norwalk applied for the grant and chose the area for its proximity to public transit and its potential for development, city spokeswoman Michelle Woods Matthews said. Spinnaker Real Estate also neighbors the selected plot.

Woods Matthews said construction likely won’t begin for another 18 to 24 months.

The $45 million is the first round of funding distributed under Lamont’s Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, according to the release. The second round should be announced in the fall.

“The grants leverage approximately $74 million in non-state and private dollars and will support projects that improve the quality of life and the vibrancy of communities across the state,” the governor’s statement said. “Consistent with program goals, more than 50% of the funding will be invested in struggling Connecticut municipalities.”

Norwalk’s $6 million grant is the second largest of 12 distributed under the Connecticut Community Challenge Grant Program, behind the $6.3 million awarded to Hartford to create a two-phase mixed-use development that will generate about 60 new residences, according to the statement.

The Connecticut Community Challenge’s new grant program was created last year with the goal of revitalizing communities and creating about 3,000 new jobs, according to the release.

The department and the grants program are expected to award $100 million in grants over the next few years, according to the governor’s office.

“The program is an important part of Governor Lamont’s Economic Action Plan – a strategic set of initiatives totaling more than $750 million over five years, matched roughly dollar-for-dollar by private funding and other non-state funds. which will result in an expected 80,000 new jobs,” the statement read.

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James H. Wright