Over the past 13 years, the South End of Stamford, Connecticut, a 322-acre peninsula on Long Island Sound, has gained more than 4,000 new rental apartments, most in luxury skyscrapers. Part of a mixed-use development project called Harbor Point, the apartments have helped inject new energy into an area once filled with decaying industrial sites and brownfields.
Aakash Patel, 27, moved from his 400-square-foot Manhattan studio to a one-bedroom apartment in Harbor Point’s newest apartment building, Opus, last September. Mr Patel, vice president of a venture capital firm, said he searched for a bigger apartment in New York City, but ultimately decided it was not worth the price since he was working from home for several days. per week.
“I also saw that a lot of my friends who were previously in the city were not coming back,” he said. “It became evident that there was not as much of a social or professional benefit for me to be in Manhattan proper.”
Mr. Patel pays about $ 4,200 per month for a corner unit overlooking the Strait. While not cheap, he said, similar views and amenities, including a concierge and spa, were unattainable at this price point in Manhattan. “Stamford was a good first step, given its proximity to the city and the fact that Harbor Point felt quite busy given the concentration of commuters,” he said.
By Shakiban, 78, chose Harbor Point as a convenient location to downsize his Bedford, NY home. He already had a deep connection to the South End, having run an Italian restaurant, Eclisse, for 26 years until it closed in 2016. He still runs European-style cafes, called Patisserie Salzburg, in Rye, NY and New Canaan. , Connecticut, as well as its new location at Harbor Point.
He and his partner have lived in their two-bedroom apartment at the Beacon for about four years. Harbor Point is certainly just a “stopover” for some tenants, but “we have a lot of people who make Harbor Point their home,” Shakiban said. “It’s a great neighborhood to live in and the accommodations are first class.”
But developer Building and Land Technology’s ongoing transformation of the South End has also angered some longtime residents who live in the modest multi-family homes around Harbor Point. Years of seemingly uninterrupted construction – with the dust and noise associated with it – and the emergence of one luxury skyscraper after another feels like a takeover to some.
Building and Land has done most of the development in the area, including the construction or redevelopment of 14 apartment buildings and over two million square feet of office space. Another building with 180 units is under construction.
“It’s not the same neighborhood feeling it has when I first came here,” said Marlene Rhome, who owns a two-family home and has lived in the South End for 43 years. “Don’t get me wrong, it’s good that they’ve done a bit of development. It was acres and acres that were bare. But it’s got to the point now where it’s just ridiculous.
She and other residents are trying to get the city’s approval from a local historic district commission to protect the historic structures that remain in the area.
What you will find
Directly below Interstate 95 and Stamford Station, the South End is a jumble of repurposed factory buildings, bodegas, turn-of-the-20th-century multi-family homes, new high-rise apartment buildings, small restaurants and pocket parks. Once cut off from the rest of Stamford, the district is now better connected to the city center, where development has moved south even as construction in the South End has moved north, said Ferrarone, co-president of Building and Land Technology.
The development boom has dramatically increased the population over the past decade, to around 7,500. Businesses are also moving in – Charter Communications, the Internet and cable service provider Spectrum, recently opened a new headquarters on Washington Boulevard near the train station.
Another newcomer is a glass and brick building on the eastern shore of the peninsula. Called The Village, the 133,000-square-foot waterfront building is anchored by Wheelhouse, a media, marketing and investment business platform founded by entrepreneur Brent Montgomery in 2018. A restaurant in service Full operates downstairs and Cisco Brewers of Nantucket operates a beer garden during the summer months.
Rob Lia, president and legal counsel for Wheelhouse, said the company relies on the building’s industrial-style interiors and fittings to attract some of the local talent now coming to New York.
Among the newer small businesses in the South End is Third Place, a renovated factory space on Pacific Street that allows people to work and drink coffee, congregate over craft beers, or host private events. . The owners of Half Full Brewery, in the Waterside section of Stamford, came up with the concept, in part as a way to help create a sense of community, said Conor Horrigan, the brewery’s founder.
What you will pay
Rents at Harbor Point average $ 1,974 for a studio; $ 2,568 for a one-bedroom; $ 3,699 for a two-bedroom; $ 5,905 for a three bedroom; and $ 27,500 for a four-bedroom penthouse, according to information provided by Building and Land Technology.
The inventory of multi-family homes and condos is very limited – none were on the market in early January. The median selling price of the six multi-family properties sold over the past two years was $ 522,500, according to data provided by Aida Pedroza, an agent for William Pitt Sotheby’s. Four condos sold last year, with a median price of $ 341,875.
A Co-ownership of 23 units currently under construction on Washington Boulevard will provide homeownership opportunities for households at or below 50 percent of the region’s median income. (For a four-member household, the income limit is $ 75,900.) The project involves the restoration of a historic, three-family Victorian farmhouse. Sixteen units are already booked, with prices ranging from $ 240,000 to $ 310,000, said Joan Carty, executive director of the Housing Development Fund, the non-profit developer.
Since most of the buildings in Harbor Point are pet-friendly, dogs are almost as numerous as the people on the sidewalks and the waterfront promenade. Commons Park, in the middle of Harbor Point, has a dog park, playground, and coffee kiosk.
The waterfront is teeming with boaters, scheduled events and a water taxi service in the summer. The Ponus Yacht Club has a dining clubhouse and a waterside terrace.
At the foot of the peninsula, Kosciuszko Park has a circular hiking trail, ball fields and a playground.
Harbor Point can “look like a bubble at times,” as the areas around it “have received less love,” Patel said.
South End students attend Springfield Elementary School, Kindergarten to Grade 5; Dolan Middle in grades 6 to 8 and Stamford High School. SAT scores for the 2018-19 class (the state’s latest available data) averaged 492 in evidence-based reading and writing, and 484 in math, compared to state averages of 514 and 500.
The Academy of Information Technology and Engineering is an inter-district magnetic high school in Stamford. Admission is based on an application and lottery system.
The independent School by the water has approximately 150 students from Kindergarten to Grade 5. Enrollment is limited to low-income students and tuition is covered by private donations, said David Olson, the school’s executive director. The acceptance rate is around 20% and around 80% of current students are from Stamford.
“We work hard to be good neighbors in the community,” said Mr. Olson. “Every day, when the school lets out, the neighborhood children come to use our soccer field. We try to share our resources.
The journey to Grand Central Terminal on the New Haven Metro-North Line takes approximately one hour from Stamford Station. A round-trip ticket costs $ 23 to $ 30.50, depending on the time of day, and a monthly pass costs $ 335.
Driving to Midtown Manhattan on Interstate 95 takes one to two hours, depending on traffic.
In 1892, George Blickensderfer, a resident of Stamford, received a patent for his design of a typewriter much more portable than the bulky machines of the day. Its South End plant has grown into one of the largest typewriter manufacturers in the United States, according to ConnecticutHistory.org. In 2020, Building Land and Technology dismantled part of the vacant factory, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is currently working on a redevelopment plan.
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