The SoNo Collection

Route 1 in Norwalk has been known as a retail mecca for decades, and now the Wall Street-West Avenue district will soon expand the city’s shopping opportunities.

Construction of the SoNo Collection, a 700,000-square-foot retail center, is expected to start within weeks south of the junction of Interstate 95 and Route 7 in the Reed Putnam Urban Renewal area.
Planned by developer General Growth Properties, the complex will be anchored by a three-level, 150,000-square-foot Bloomingdale’s store and a 150,000-square-foot Nordstrom store, also on three floors.
The Chicago-based developer, traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol, “GGP,” also plans to have 80 to 100 smaller retailers and restaurants at the complex, which also will include a 150-room boutique hotel.
Planned for completion in the fall of 2018, construction of SoNo Collection comes after POKO Partners began building the first phase of Wall Street Place in 2015. The project includes 101 housing units and 16,000 square feet of retail space.

The first housing units are scheduled for completion by the end of this year.
Farther to the south on West Avenue, Greenwich-based Belpointe Real Estate has constructed Waypointe, an upscale apartment complex that includes more than 90,000 square feet of retail space.
Thus far, 465 apartments have been built, and another 198 are under construction.
Belpointe plans to replace Loehmann’s Plaza and the building that housed Stark Carpet on West Avenue with 90 apartments, and retailers such as Nordstrom’s Rack and the Container Store, as well as a King bowling center, an iPic movie theater and a fitness center.

Of the planned 134,000 square feet of commercial space, only about 11,000 square feet remain available.
The addition SoNo Collection adds to the resurrection of the district where plans for redevelopment were hit hard by the recession which began in 2008.

But SoNo Collection will fill a large void in the neighborhood and be a major tax producer. Over 15 years, the project will produce $327 million in city and state tax revenue.

It will provide 1,900 construction jobs and 2,500 full-time equivalent retail and hotel jobs.

While the developments are revitalizing a stalled series of projects, Norman Lotstein, vice president of Pyramid Real Estate Group, said they do not constitute a retail corridor.

“While each of these projects is good, and getting a Bloomingdale’s and a Nordstrom is particularly good,” he said, “Norwalk missed the opportunity to make them great by not insisting that they be located within reasonable walking distance of each other.”

Each location is an independent, shopping or dining environment, Lotstein said.

“Together, they are not a regional center,” he said.