GGP is building a 700,000+ sq. ft. retail center in Norwalk, CT
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Know The Facts and Figures
What Is The SoNo Collection? +
The SoNo Collection is a proposed mixed-use development that includes:
- Full Line Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s stores (300,000+/- SF in total)
- 80-100 small shop inline retailers (350,000+/- SF)
- Large public common area (180,000+/- SF)
- Curated selection of food and beverage uses (Up to 6% of GLA)
- Over 87,000 square feet of Public Realm including indoor/outdoor sculpture
garden, rooftop SoNo garden, exterior public plazas, enhanced West Avenue
streetscape, potential museum and education space, and three interior courts
Will This Project Be Good For Norwalk? +
The SoNo Collection is positioned to enhance SoNo, the City of Norwalk, and State of Connecticut.
- Enhance SoNo as a cultural and entertainment destination. The SoNo Collection will attract additional visitors to the City and bolster existing businesses and attractions such as the Maritime Aquarium and the waterfront to create an even stronger destination.
- Generate spillover spending for SoNo restaurants and retailers. With new visitors to the area, there will be a spillover of spending for nearby retailers and restaurants. GGP intends to connect with and complement the existing restaurant, entertainment and retail businesses in SoNo. The project creates a vibrant, exciting, and eclectic hub of activity, which will serve as a strong foundation for future economic growth in Norwalk.
- Bridge the gap between Wall Street and SoNo. The SoNo Collection will build upon the City’s revitalization efforts along West Avenue to help stitch together Wall Street and SoNo. Co-marketing and co-branding with local businesses will encourage visitors to explore the entire West Avenue Corridor from SoNo to Head of the Harbor.
Other Commitments Include:
- $250,000 towards a career training program for local residents, developed in partnership with Norwalk Community College
- $550,000 payment to the City of Norwalk towards a circulator trolley system. GGP has committed to work with Norwalk’s Transportation District on a circulator trolley to get people around the corridor without having to use their cars
- Enterprise Zone agreement that will bring $2.5 million in new real estate tax revenue to the City of Norwalk over 7 years, with $5 million in revenue per year thereafter.
- $800,000 per year in personal property tax revenue
- $1,022,500 payment to the City of Norwalk for necessary easements
- $5,000,000 payment to the City of Norwalk for necessary permit fees
- 5% of the project dedicated to Public Realm space, this includes activated and programmable space for the public to enjoy
- Limit of the project area that can be used as restaurants to 6% of the Gross Leasable Area (GLA). GGP intends to connect with and complement the existing restaurant and entertainment businesses in SoNo
- A single phase development – the entire project will be built all at one time (30 months) versus a phased-in approach which could take 5+ years
- Activated streetscape, landscape and pedestrian enhancements on West Ave and North Water Street
- Upgrades to bike paths around the site and in Matthews park
- Upgraded way finding signage surrounding the site
- A commitment to sustainable development
What Is The Economic Impact To Norwalk? +
According to HR&A Advisors, the project is expected to generate significant revenue and job growth for the City of Norwalk and the State of Connecticut.
One-Time Economic Output: One-time construction economic output (spending) will generate an impact of $773 million in the City and $967 million in the State.
One-Time Employment: The Project will support 1,745 construction jobs in the City of Norwalk. In addition to construction jobs, supporting industries such as architecture, real estate, healthcare, and retail in the state will also benefit.
One-Time Labor Income: Construction will generate $424 million in one-time labor income, with the majority from high-wage construction jobs.
One-Time Tax Revenues: Project construction will generate over $34.3 million in one-time fiscal impact to the City and State. This includes City building permit fees, State sales and use tax for construction materials, fixtures, furniture, equipment, and State personal income tax from direct and multiplier employment.
Ongoing Tax Revenues: The Project is projected to generate approximately $26.6 million in sales and personal income tax revenues to the State each year, equivalent to $299.6 million over 15 years in net present value terms. An Enterprise Zone agreement will bring $2.5 million in new real estate tax revenue to the City of Norwalk for 7 years, with $5 million in revenue per year thereafter. It will become the third largest taxpayer in the City after the Enterprise Zone has phased out. The total tax revenue generated to the City of Norwalk by the Project over 15 years is equivalent to $45.7 million ($2017) in net present value terms.
Ongoing Economic Output: Retail and hotel operations will generate $265 million in economic output (spending) each year.
Ongoing Employment: Retail and hotel operations will support 2,485 FTE jobs, ranging from entry-level to management opportunities.
Ongoing Labor Income: Ongoing operations will generate $105 million in labor income each year in addition to benefits.
How Many Jobs Will Be Created? +
This center will be a catalyst for economic growth and job creation in Norwalk. We anticipate that the project will create thousands of jobs during the 30 month construction phase alone. We are projecting over 1,745 construction job opportunities at an average salary of $76,400. While jobs will be concentrated in the construction sector, they will also benefit a diverse range of supporting industries, including architecture, real estate, healthcare, and retail.
Once operational, we expect the center to create 2,485 permanent full time equivalent jobs, with an average salary of $42,200. Salaries range from $37,000 to over $100,000 covering a whole variety of entry level, mid-level, and management level positions.
GGP has committed $250,000 to a career training program for local residents. We are working with Norwalk Community College (NCC) to develop a curriculum that will focus on retail and customer service. The program will run for a period of 5 years, and NCC is anticipating to begin enrolling students this summer for fall 2017 classes.
Given the national scale of potential retail tenants and hotel operators, employees would have access to career ladders and career development programs that enable them to advance to supervisory and management-level corporate positions.
What About The Design? +
GGP has diligently worked to listen and respond to comments and requests concerning the design of The SoNo Collection. Over the past year, GGP has developed the project with the City’s oversight and review as well as considerable feedback from the community. GGP continues to have an open mind when receiving input regarding the design, including Planning & Zoning and Design Review comments still to come.
When Will The Center Open For Business? +
GGP officially submitted our proposed development to the City in December 2014. We hope to have all necessary city and state approvals by mid-2016. Construction will commence shortly after receiving all of our necessary permits, and the center will be built in one phase. Construction is projected to take 30 months, and the center will be fully open for business immediately following construction.
Who Will Own And Manage The Property When Completed? +
GGP will own and operate the project when complete. We are the second largest retail real estate investment trust in the United States, with a portfolio comprised predominantly of Class A regional malls and flagship urban retail properties. GGP owns approximately 25 percent of the high-quality malls in the U.S.
GGP is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol GGP.
To learn more about GGP, please visit www.ggp.com
Will GGP Incorporate Sustainability Initiatives Into The Center? +
Sustainability is an integral component of GGP’s long-term success. We recognize this in our day-to-day operations and strive to conduct business by exploring ways to:
- Foster energy efficiency.
- Conserve natural resources.
- Reduce waste.
We are committed to improving efficiencies and understand the tremendous impact we have on communities. Our stewardship is vital as we strive to lead by example.
Please review our 2015 Sustainability report. The report includes GGP’s achievements in sustainability during the past year and information regarding GGP’s approach to environmental and social responsibility.
Highlights of the report include the following:
- Awarded the 2014 Green Star and recognized as the North American leader in the Retail – Large Cap Sector by the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (“GRESB”);
- Awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (“LEED”) certification for the 77,000 square foot lifestyle expansion at the Mall in Columbia located in Columbia, Maryland;
- Reduced electricity consumption by approximately 16%, or 200 million kilowatts, since 2011, the equivalent of the annual energy use of nearly 19,000 homes in the U.S.;
- Diverted approximately 33% of waste to recycling, composting or alternative energy generation; and
- Reduced water consumption across the portfolio by approximately 3% and installed smart water irrigation systems at seven properties in Texas saving approximately 10 million gallons within the first four months after installation.
2015 Sustainability Report
What Is The Trade Area Of The Project? +
The primary trade area measures roughly 26 miles from SW to NE along the coast, and covers the towns of Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, Norwalk, Westport, Fairfield, New Canaan, Wilton, Weston, and Easton.
What Will The Traffic Implications Be? +
Preventing traffic congestion is very important to us and we are actively working to ensure that the project will not negatively impact traffic conditions in Norwalk.
Our proposed Concept Master Site Plan has a similar amount of square feet as the current approved plan, and although the mix of uses is different, we believe the planned improvements are likely to accommodate the traffic demand with reasonable modifications. For instance, while it may not be required by the state or local authorities, we are studying a dedicated, below-grade entrance to the parking structure from West Avenue. This entrance would ensure that visitors to the center can turn off of West Avenue quickly and efficiently, while allowing through traffic to move smoothly.
Presently, the site has an approved permit from the State Traffic Commission for the entire development envelope of 1,144,000 square feet of development and the majority of the road improvements have been implemented.
Who Is Involved With The Project? +
GGP has put together a best in class team with depth, experience, and true passion for this type of development. Members of our team on this project include:
Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP
Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP is a Connecticut based law firm with offices in New Haven, Stamford, Waterbury and Southbury. With over seventy five (75) attorneys, it is recognized for its work in real estate development, litigation, business services and public utility law. The firm’s real estate practice group has led the land use entitlement programs for significant properties throughout the state. In Norwalk, the firm has entitled Waypointe, Pepperidge Farm, Norden Park, The Pearl, Ironworks, Swim Seventy Aquatics Center, and Point Rock, and more. In Stamford, the firm’s work includes the RBS North American headquarters, Harbor Pointe, Trump Parc, Stamford Hospital’s new campus, Metro Green and many others.
Gaffney, Bennett and Associates, Inc.
Gaffney, Bennett and Associates currently represents more than 70 clients on various legislative, regulatory and administrative matters in both Hartford, Connecticut and Washington, D.C. These clients include numerous Fortune 500 companies; utilities; telecommunications providers; health care institutions; municipalities; trade and nonprofit associations; and a large number of small- to medium-size businesses and organizations.
Gaffney Bennett Public Relations
Gaffney Bennett Public Relations (GBPR) is a full-service public relations and strategic communications firm. GBPR has had the privilege to work with a variety of clients in Connecticut, New England and across the U.S. and engagements span a wide range of industries, from utilities and real estate development to financial services and labor unions.
HR&A Advisors, Inc.
HR&A Advisors, Inc. (“HR&A”) is an industry-leading real estate, economic development and energy efficiency consulting firm with offices in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. The firm has provided strategic advisory services for some of the most complex mixed-use, neighborhood, downtown, campus, and regional development projects across North America and abroad since 1976. HR&A conducts fiscal and economic impact analyses on behalf of a range of public, private, and non-profit organizations and has estimated the economic and fiscal impacts of more than $50 billion in proposed development since 2006. HR&A has studied the impact of the High Line, Times Square, and 111 Westminster (Providence, RI) amongst other major projects, policies, and places. The firm and its partners have also worked extensively throughout Connecticut, including a strategic plan for retail development in South Norwalk, an economic and fiscal impact analysis for a mixed-use development in Stamford, economic development planning for the State Department of Economic and Community Development, and studies of transit-oriented development opportunities in Stamford, New Haven, West Haven, and Bridgeport.
JAA Consulting is a construction related consulting firm that specializes in assisting, developers, contractors, owners, and engineering firms. We work closely with the owner, architects, engineers, and other consultants to develop the overall plan for the project along with coordination of state and local officials, entitlements, recommendation of contractors and consultants, assisting in traffic assessment and overall development coordination, assisting in overall design related coordination with the design team, and assist in pre-construction services with construction manager and contractor. JAA Consulting offers dispute resolution services satisfying the client’s need for accurate analysis of disputed issues, impacts, delays, acceleration and damages. Our major objective is to analyze what was required by the contract, what actually happened and why, and to provide an opinion on the causes and effects of the disputed issues.
Langan provides an integrated mix of civil engineering and environmental consulting services in support of land development projects. Our clients include developers, property owners, public agencies, corporations, institutions, and energy companies around the world. Founded in 1970, Langan employs more than 900 professionals in its Elmwood Park, NJ headquarters and among 18 regional offices.
RTKL is a worldwide architecture, engineering, planning and creative services organization. Part of the ARCADIS global network since 2007, RTKL has over 1,000 employees in 14 offices around the globe and specializes in providing its multi-disciplinary services across the full development cycle. As leaders in the field of retail and entertainment design, RTKL has driven the evolution of retail centers from shopping malls to vibrant mixed-use environments in world-class cities around the globe. Our time-tested retail design process begins with utilizing market data to generate brand experiences and transform program goals into leasable and navigable site and plan diagrams. RTKL combines experiential concepts with practical anchoring and circulation strategies to create successful shopping centers tailored to each specific site and client. This blend of the creative and the practical distinguishes RTKL’s retail design from that of its many competitors.
Silver Creative Group
Silver Creative Group is a full-service branding, web-development and marketing agency combining creative thinking, smart design and category experience to deliver thrilling results. Based in South Norwalk and regarded as one of the leading creative agencies in the New York Metro area, Silver Creative works with top-tier clients in categories such as real estate, gourmet natural foods, nutraceuticals and technology to produce award-winning, industry-recognized creative. With a strong business presence in SoNo, Silver Creative Group strives to serve clients nationwide as well as cultivate a meaningful position in the community through work with local companies and non-profits such as the Human Services Council and Norwalk Little League, and Connecticut companies like Seligson Properties, Haynes Materials & Development, RMS Companies, Heavenly Bites, Cognate Nutritionals and Torie & Howard Hard Candy.
Who Can I Contact If I Have Questions Or Concerns? +
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General Growth Services, Inc.
Attn: Digital Marketing
110 N. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606
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