Mixed-use building to rise on former gym site in Fairfield’s transit corridor
FAIRFIELD — Local officials were on hand Tuesday for a groundbreaking ceremony marking the start of construction for a new mixed-use development on Commerce Drive, the first taking advantage of the town’s transit-oriented zoning regulations.
The project calls for a five-story building, with the first floor dedicated to retail and commercial space, while the remaining floors will house 101 residential apartments. Of those apartments, a mix of studios, and one- and two-bedroom units, 11 will be set aside as “affordable” in compliance with state rental criteria.
The 2.5-acre site at the corner of Black Rock Turnpike, home to the former Fitness Edge gym, is within walking distance of the Fairfield Metro Railroad Station.
“There’s no better statement about our vibrant economy,” First Selectman Michael Tetreau said at the groundbreaking. “This is our future.”
Economic Development Director Mark Barnhart said, “This is really a significant project for both this area and the town.” He added that the project will be a “tremendous asset.”
“We are excited about this project, which is slated for completion in the spring of 2017,” said Abbey Advisors’ Mark Keeney. “We are so excited to be part of the vision set forth by the town well over a decade ago.”
Keeney said the developers received help shepherding their plans through the approval process, including from lawyer William Fitzpatrick and Gooding Architecture.
“We wanted (the building) to be in the context of this neighborhood,” said Aristedes Koutoutvides, one of the principals in Skala Partners. He described the building’s design as clean and modern with an “industrial feel.”
The project was approved unanimously by the Town Plan and Zoning Commission last July. The demolition of the former fitness center took place over the past month.
The mixed-use building is rising next to Bigelow Tea’s corporate headquarters, and across Commerce Drive from the new Orthopedic Specialty Group medical complex currently under construction.