The public-private partnership between the town of Greenwich and Greenwich Plaza, owned by The Ashforth Co., will redevelop and construct a modern transportation center, with a price tag of $45 million.
The project will include the development of an entirely new train station to replace the existing train station on the north side of the tracks; a new train station on the south side of the tracks; expanded and improved drop-off and pick-up areas for both stations; new pedestrian and commuter pathways; a new privately owned public park on the corner of Greenwich Avenue and Railroad Avenue; new luxury movie theaters above the existing parking lot on Railroad Avenue; and modernized retail space along Railroad Avenue.
New York City architectural firm Beyer Blinder Belle, lead designer of the restoration of Grand Central Terminal, is designing the project.
“The town of Greenwich and The Ashforth Co. have had a successful public-private partnership for more than 50 years since the current train station, the town commuter lot and the Greenwich Plaza office buildings were constructed,” Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei said. “We are pleased to renew our partnership to revitalize this part of downtown and to modernize one of the major gateways to Greenwich.”
Ashforth will provide funding for the project, with the town contributing toward the public benefit improvements portion of the redevelopment by transferring to Greenwich Plaza, upon the successful conclusion of the project, the air rights currently owned by the town and leased to Greenwich Plaza on the south side of the tracks.
As part of that transfer the town also will receive a perpetual easement for the use of all of the A-level commuter lot, including the portion owned by Greenwich Plaza, replacing the license currently held by the town that expires at the end of the air rights lease.
“Our initial partnership, created in 1967 when Greenwich Plaza was first developed, was a complex yet mutually beneficial arrangement,” Tesei said. “It involved the selling and sharing of land parcels, air rights and the shared ownership of a parking structure.
“This was one of the first public-private partnerships formed at the time,” he said. “We are now working together to restructure the partnership, in order to create a modern transportation center.”
“Our family has been committed to Greenwich for multiple generations,” said Ashforth Co-CEO Darrell Harvey, “so the continuation of this public-private partnership project is very personal for us.”
“We look forward to working closely with the town, Metro-North Railroad and the Connecticut Department of Transportation to create a redevelopment based on a shared vision that will revitalize this complex and the surrounding area, and create an exciting new experience for a new generation of Greenwich residents,” Harvey said.
As part of the approval process, representatives of the town, Ashforth and Beyer Blinder Belle will be coordinating presentations with the Board of Selectmen, Planning and Zoning Commission, and the Representative Town Meeting to present the proposed plans this summer. The targeted start for construction is mid-2020.