Stamford’s revitalization continues to draw attention not just from local developers, but from out-of-staters as well.
The 19-floor Vela on the Park, at 1011 Washington Blvd. – consisting of 176,785 square feet of residential, 3,669 square feet of retail, and 6,166 square feet of amenity space – opened in 2018 as the second Stamford project of Boston developer Trinity Financial, while Urby Stamford, a combination 648-unit, 5,100-square-foot retail property at 57 Greyrock Place, is now under construction courtesy of Hoboken’s Ironstate Development Co., its first such project in Connecticut.
And now LMC, a subsidiary of Miami-based Lennar Corp., has gotten into the act, having recently broken ground on the 15-story, 414-unit, high-rise The Smyth at 885 Washington Blvd., not far from Vela. The building, across from Stamford City Hall, is replacing one of the three cylindrical towers of the St. John affordable housing project, which was demolished earlier this year. LMC is also providing $4.3 million to St. John Urban Development Corp. to renovate the remaining two towers, rather than including affordable units in The Smyth.
“We believe that Stamford has emerged as a legitimate urban residential mecca,” said LMC Divisional President, New York/Tristate Area Greg Belew. “Between all of the new institutional-quality, high-end residential buildings that have risen in the downtown area, plus all of the new activity in the South End, there is now a meaningful density of in-town residents.
“There are plenty of people living in these new high-end rental buildings who don’t even work in Stamford, but who want to live here to be part of the social scene. They commute to other parts of Fairfield or Westchester County, or get on the train and commute into Grand Central every day. It is no secret that a lot of people have been priced out of New York City and are finding the easily commutable urban/suburban areas such as Stamford a great alternative with a lower cost of living and a great lifestyle.”
There has also been a steady stream of good news regarding new jobs due to companies growing or moving to the area, he noted.
The Smyth will provide 19,330 square feet of retail space and three stories of garage parking in addition to high-end homes. The apartments will range from 574 to 2,065 square feet, with an average size of 854 square feet, and will come in layouts ranging from studios to three bedrooms. Den layouts and two-story penthouses will also be offered.
Belew said LMC first learned about 885 Washington three years ago. “We were initially attracted because it was apparent to us that it is the best location in Stamford due to its proximity to both the train station and the core dining and entertainment destinations in downtown Stamford,” he said. “We also recognized that, given the size of the property, it presented an opportunity for a development of significant scale. It took quite a bit of time to work through the purchase, design, approvals, demolition of the existing building on the site, etc., but the wait was worth it.”
That wait is scheduled to end in the summer of 2021, when the first units are due to be completed. The ground-floor retail space, which will include restaurants on the endcaps, should be ready for build out starting in the late fall of that same year.
Although LMC has no additional deals pending in the state at the moment, “We are still bullish on southern Fairfield and also are looking at New Haven,” Belew said.