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The Fairfield Metro station on Metro North received its first train at 4:37am this morning (seriously, if you're leaving that early, move closer), meaning one more stop for Connecticut commuters. But it also portends something much greater for Fairfield: On the 35 surrounding acres, 1M SF of office, 30k SF of retail, a 180-room Hilton, 190 apartments, and an 11-acre waterfront park are now on the way.
Bill Finch, Dan Malloy, and James Redeker at Fairfield Metro Center on Dec. 2, 2011
On Friday, we headed up the New Haven line for the station's ribbon-cutting and snapped Bridgefield Mayor Bill Finch, Connecticut Gov.Dan Malloy, and Connecticut Transportation commissioner James Redeker. It's the line's first new station in 100 years. The LEED Gold Metro Center is being built by Fairfield-based Blackrock Realty and New Rochelle-based Rugby Development. PS: Our camera played a mean trick on Bill, who did not actually wear a blue leisure suit to the event.
Blackrock's Kurt Wittek at Fairfield Metro Center on Dec. 2, 2011
Blackrock's Kurt Wittek tells us the office will have five 200k SF buildings, and negotiations with a tenant are in the final stages. As soon as that lease is signed, the $70M, 14-month build-out can begin. The developers are submitting plans for the apartments for approval this month and hope to start construction on those early next year. The hotel is planned to go up in Phase 2, along with the second office building. The retail will likely include a handful of full-service restaurants, a bank, a ubiquitous coffee purveyor “that begins with an S,” and some quicker food options. He imagines 5,000 people eventually working in the center.
walkway over the tracks
We snapped this from the walkway over the tracks. There's plenty of parking (1,470 spaces), which Fairfield lacks. Cushman & Wakefield's Leroy Wilde, whose firm is handling retail and office leasing, told us on the drive back to the other Fairfield Metro North station (a cruel and ironic commute for a reporter attending a train station ribbon-cutting) that parking permits at that station are sold out.