norwalk project

Image: Groundbreaking ceremondy at Summerview Square Photo: Planning meeting

while Reenergizing neighborhoods

Summerview Square is respectful of Norwalk's past and good for its future. A 63-unit townhome-style rental community in Norwalk, Connecticut, surrounding West Main, Summer, and Jefferson Streets, Summerview Square received unanimous approval from the Norwalk Planning and Zoning Commission. Construction began in November 2009, and a Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for completion of the first phase of the community was held on August 18, 2010.

From the moment Summerview Development Group undertook the project our team recognized the need to establish ourselves as friendly, credible developers who take a real interest in the neighborhood. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, an earlier proposed residential development slated for the West Main Street neighborhood had stopped construction several years earlier, leaving several abandoned buildings scattered over four different tracks of land in various states of disrepair and a general blight on what had once been a very solid community. Summerview immediately joined the West Main Street Neighborhood Association and communicated to them they would be good neighbors, by first making a promise to keep the neighborhood association informed of all future development plans. Summerview set about securing the abandoned buildings and chasing away undesirable illegal activity, and fencing and making safe all of the various sites located throughout the neighborhood. Summerview sponsored a neighborhood spring cleanup. Along with multiple roll-off containers, doughnuts and coffee, all supplied by Summerview, the neighborhood experienced a spring cleanup unlike they had ever before. We removed 90 yards of whatever the neighbors wanted to get rid of in less than seven hours. It was also a great way to get to know our neighbors on a first-name basis.

Our next step, in keeping our promise to the neighborhood, was sponsoring meetings with the neighborhood association, where together, we began the process of redesigning the neighborhood. Roughly seven months later, we attended our final zoning hearing with approximately 20 of our neighbors in full support of our project.

In the last year, we have completely transformed the face of Summer Street, which was the first phase of a proposed four-phase development. The neighbors who attended our Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony and Norwalk’s Mayor agreed that Summer Street was the beginning of the fulfillment of our promise to the neighborhood.

In addition, while completing the first phase of construction, we were made aware that both the Norwalk Police Department and the Fire Department needed a site for S.W.A.T. training. After brief meetings with representatives from both departments, Summerview made available to both agencies a multi-unit residential property slated for demolition for a week each of realistic training scenarios. The Norwalk police were first to gain access to the recently vacated building and they ran S.W.A.T. scenarios, drug raids, worked canine patrols, and rookie training for two days. We were told by the police elite training officers’ force this was the best live simulation practice they have ever offered their officers.

The Norwalk Fire Department practiced all of their battering entry techniques and spent many hours practicing venting, smoke and fire direction techniques. Here again, the training officers commented on how valuable the donated building was for their live training experience.

The culmination of our commitment to the community is the 2010 Community of the Year award that Summerview Development Group has received for Summerview Square from the Home Builders Association of Connecticut, and two Home Building Industry Awards (HOBIS) – Best Rental Community and Best Rental Unit for Summerview Square. These awards reflect what a successful collaboration can be between neighborhood and developer.