Chicago-based General Growth Properties, which hopes to build a mall on the site it bought in 2013 for $34 million at the intersection of West Avenue and Interstate-95 in Norwalk, recently released what it says are economic impacts of its proposal, called The SoNo Collection.
The report cited 1,900 new full-time equivalent jobs to start, with 2,600 upon completion.
Despite lacking final approval from the city, the mall has attracted retail attention, including from clothier Nordstrom, which in February announced it signed on to anchor the mall with a 150,000-square-foot store, hoping to open in fall 2018. In April, Norwalk Chamber of Commerce President Ed Musante told a cheering crowd at the chamber’s annual lunch that Bloomingdales, too, had agreed to establish a store at the mall. Besides retail, other plans for the 700,000-square-foot complex include public space and a hotel.
The economic report was prepared by Manhattan-based HR&A Advisors Inc., a real estate, economic development and public policy consulting firm. The report summarized what GGP terms “the significant economic benefits that the project would deliver to the city of Norwalk and the state of Connecticut, including job creation and increased tax revenue.”
The study said The SoNo Collection will create an anticipated 1,900 full-time equivalent jobs over the planned 30-month construction phase. Most of the jobs would be concentrated in the construction sector, but the project would also benefit industries including architecture, real estate, health care and retail. After construction, the ongoing retail and hotel operations would support 2,600 full-time equivalent jobs, the majority of which would be in Norwalk.
In addition to job growth, the report cited benefits to Norwalk taxpayers. The project is expected to generate more than$5 million in city building permit fees, it said, and would become the third-largest taxpayer in the city, “once the Enterprise Zone deferred assessment for real estate property tax expires.”
It is expected that the project will generate more than $40 million in taxes to city coffers across a 15-year period. The site currently produces approximately $150,000 in annual city tax revenues and, if left undeveloped, would only generate $1.6 million over the same 15-year period, GGP said.
HR&A analyzed the project’s economic impacts using IMPLAN, a model that studies interactions between 440 industries.
General Growth Properties, Inc. is an S&P 500 company focused on owning, managing, leasing and redeveloping retail properties in the U.S.