Campus Life

The University of Connecticut‘s plan to build a student dormitory in downtown Stamford should to be a boon for retailers and the commercial real estate market.

UConn is studying 11 locations for one or more dormitories within one-half mile of the campus at Washington Boulevard and Broad Street.

“Stamford’s explosive residential growth over the past five years along with the greatly increased vibrancy of its downtown has been noticed by retailers and restaurateurs throughout the region,” said Norman Lotstein,vice president of Pyramid Real Estate Group. “They are telling me that Stamford has now become a key part of their expansion plans, and as a result I’m seeing many more requests for space than I have in the past.

He said adding dormitory space for hundreds of UConn students will enhance downtown environment.

Plans call for a dormitory to house 200 to 400 students.

Among locations under consideration are developer Randy Salvatore’s mixed-use development on Washington Boulevard, a building at St. John’s Towers, a parking lot near the Franklin Street Works gallery and land owned by First Congregational Church.

Neighborhood retailers will benefit from having a college dormitory nearby, said Jack Condlin, president and chief executive officer of the Stamford Chamber of Commerce.

“By adding dormitories, those students will have everyday needs. They’ll add another aspect to the Stamford market,” said Condlin, who several years ago worked with Dr. Michael Ego, former head of the Stamford-UConn campus, backing a dormitory in the city. “Students in a dormitory are a captive market.  And any growth increases property values.”