Stamford’s long-derided “hole in the ground” on the corner of Greyrock Place and Tresser Boulevard is finally being filled in.
At an Oct. 3 groundbreaking ceremony, David Barry, president of Ironstate Development Co., touted the $200 million Stamford Urby residential development project on the 4.3-acre site as “a hole that will be filled with something exciting and new.”
Stamford Urby will be completed in two phases, the first of which consists of nine buildings totaling 464 rental apartments. Construction on the second phase is expected to start in late 2019 and will include 184 apartments in two buildings. The apartments will include studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units.
The complex will feature common areas to encourage residential interaction, as well as an on-site coffee shop that will be open to the public during business hours, Barry said. Space will also be available for local entrepreneurs like florists and restaurateurs to show their wares, he noted, in an effort at making Stamford Urby “more interactive.”
Barry’s Hoboken-based real estate firm has opened other Urby developments in Jersey City, Staten Island and Harrison, New Jersey. Stamford Urby is a joint venture partnership of Ironstate and Brookfield Property Group.
Barry told the Business Journal that Ironstate is “very bullish on Stamford as a city.
We have a history of downtown revitalization, and Stamford has a similar environment” to those other markets, given their infrastructure, access to transportation and general economic makeup, he said.
“This site has been a black hole on the streetscape of downtown Stamford for a long time,” Barry said. “We see this as an opportunity to add to the area’s attractions and street life.”
Barry said that Ironstate might explore further opportunities in Stamford and Connecticut, but its focus for now will be on Stamford Urby.
Ironstate and co-developer F.D. Rich Co. of Stamford bought the parcel in 2013 following two years of negotiations.
“We’ve waited a very long time for the development of this property – the elusive, ever-present hole in the ground,” said Chris Kelly, director of development at F.D. Rich. Kelly said he expected Stamford Urby to “bring millions in financial benefits to the city for decades to come.”
Stamford Mayor David Martin took credit for coining the term “hole in the ground” for the undeveloped parcel some 25 years ago during his time on the Stamford Board of Representatives. “It has been a long journey” to the groundbreaking, Martin said, crediting the efforts in the intervening years of the city’s Downtown Special Services District and F.D. Rich owner Thomas L. Rich. Rich, said the mayor, “who was willing to stick his neck out and gain control about four years ago” of the property.
Martin was so enthused about the project that, following the ceremonial turning of shovels in a small box of earth, he dug in again and flung a shovelful over the fence and onto the construction site.
The Stamford groundbreaking ceremony was on the same day that Charter Communications announced plans to build a 500,000-square-foot, 15-story headquarters at 406 Washington Blvd. in the city.