Norwalk apartment complex complete with bigger one in the works

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NORWALK — In 2010, when Building and Land Technology completed its first Stamford skyscraper in the new Harbor Point neighborhood, construction costs were brought under control as Connecticut struggled through the Great Recession.

A dozen years later, as it gears up for its biggest project since Harbor Point, BLT says it is committed to the North Seven development it plans at Norwalk, despite runaway inflation sending prices skyrocketing. building costs.

BLT has completed the third and final building at The Curb, just north of Merritt Parkway in Norwalk. The project was the largest apartment complex under construction in Connecticut with over 700 units.

The pandemic has driven up costs for builders. Steel prices soared 127% last year, according to the Associated General Contractors of America, with little sign of easing as the summer construction season approaches and sky-high diesel fuel prices create an extra pinch.

BLT is in the planning stages for North Seven, which would add an additional 1,300 apartments in seven buildings just steps from the Merritt 7 Metro-North station and a pair of office parks housing the headquarters of Xerox, Terex, Frontier Communications, FactSet, Emcor and the Financial Accounting Foundation, among others. BLT also owns the One Glover building, which has approximately 130 units.

“If you think about what we’re going to build here, that piggybacks on what we’ve done at Harbor Point,” Stamford-based BLT co-chairman Ted Ferrarone said this week during a tour of the newest building. by The Curb.

“If you think about the original Merritt 7 plan, it was just offices, and at the time, I think that was probably how the main planners thought of things. But what we’ve seen in Harbor Point is that you really need housing and offices together, make it a place where people want to live and work – especially during the pandemic.

Ferrarone said about one in four residents move to The Curb from Norwalk, and a slightly higher margin from other cities and towns in Fairfield County.

“There is a strong correlation with local employers – many of their employees live here to be close,” Ferrarone said. “If you live and work in New York, you pay a lot of money for a small space. Here, you get a lot of space for a reasonable amount.

Families make up between 15% and 20% of tenants, according to Rebecca Marlowe, area manager for BLT.

Ferrarone said a number of retirees have also taken up apartments after selling their homes during the pandemic housing boom, as an interim step to finding their next home.

“People are calling and saying, ‘I’m thinking of putting my house up for sale and I’m afraid the market is so hot that I have to move quickly’ – we see quite a bit of that,” Ferrarone said. “We also see a lot of people renting and using it as a base to get a better sense of Fairfield County before buying.”

As of this week, studio apartments at The Curb are priced between $1,900 and $2,000 per month on Apartments.com. One-bedroom units ranged between $2,200 and $3,000, while BLT was asking between $3,100 and over $3,400 for a two-bedroom.

If built to BLT’s plan for more than 2,000 units, North Seven would only follow Harbor Point and Danbury’s Reserve as the largest residential neighborhood under construction in Connecticut.

Includes earlier reports by Verónica Del Valle.

Alex.Soule@scni.com; 203-842-2545; @casoulman


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