The Fairfield County Business Journal spoke with Laure Aubuchon, director of economic development for the city of Stamford, about how the coming year looks for growth and economic development.
What industries and areas of development are most directly linked to downtown Stamford’s economic development over for the next year?
“In the immediate downtown area the growth over the next year will focus on residential development from the ‘Advocate site’ to Canaan Lofts at North and Washington Boulevard.”
What current national affairs most greatly affected the economic health of Stamford?
“Given the concentration of financial service companies here in Stamford, changes to financial regulation.”
The city seems to be in need of greater central development in terms of residential real estate; what is being done to encourage more professionals to live downtown? How does this relate to the city’s bulging infrastructure and ability to retain and attract new businesses?
“Stamford is experiencing significant downtown residential development with more projects being built and more in the pipeline. We are seeing more people in the downtown as well as the South End who love living there and commute into New York City as well as in the other direction.”
What is the city’s take on reverse competition? How aggressively, if at all, does the city feel New York is attempting to woo Stamford companies to relocate there?
“I don’t know of any company that has moved completely into New York City from Stamford. UBS is shifting some of their staff, but also made a commitment to staying in Stamford.”
Can we expect any changes in tax policy for the coming year; any changes that might be in store that will help the city better attract or retain employers?
“The key local tax policy centers on property tax. The Pavia administration has put together two back-to-back years of below two percent property tax increases, which has not happened in 20-plus years.”
What are the “coming attractions” in the city in terms of new buildings in the pipeline for the next year or two?
“There will be residential construction in the downtown on at least two sites with several others in discussion. The South End continues on target and is the largest redevelopment project on the East Coast. The gateway site adjacent to the train station is on schedule and there is the ongoing retrofit of the former Clairol site to accommodate both Chelsea Piers and NBC Sports Group.”
What is coming before the planning and zoning boards that most directly affect Stamford’s Central Business District.
“The change in the parking regulations to permit one-for-one parking.”