Letter: The time is now for development
Published 5:05 pm, Saturday, August 27, 2016
To the Editor:
In the last ten plus years Darien has become more vibrant, and many exciting new merchants and restaurants have opened in downtown Darien. Grove Street Plaza, envisioned and built by Penny Glassmeyer, has become a wonderful center in town for concerts, arts fairs, and gatherings. 1020 Post is an elegant building built by David Genovese that is loved and frequented by so many Darien residents.
Darien has a unique opportunity to redefine its downtown and compete with neighboring towns and cities by approving the Post Road/Corbin Drive project. The time is right, and the timing is now.
Since 2003 David Genovese and Penny Glassmeyer have worked tirelessly to revitalize the town. David had the vision to acquire all the properties and put together a comprehensive plan for Post Road/Corbin Drive. It took over 11 years to be able to present the new plan (check out www.yourdariendowntown.com for visuals, the team, past history and the details). It accomplishes so much in one project and moves Darien forward.
1. It provides open space and green space for kids to play, movies, and general enjoyment by the community.
2. It improves the flow of traffic with Market Lane which passes by businesses and residences and allows for multiple parking options off the Post Road.
3. It keeps residents in town as they right size with in town apartments and condos which are very hard to find in Darien. It also provides much needed affordable housing in Darien.
4. It is designed by Robert AM Stern architects and includes a top quality team - a reflection of the many other first class projects in town that David Genovese and Penny Glassmeyer have built in Darien.
5. It creates a village and makes Darien much more walkable.
6. It provides space for local unique businesses to thrive and grow and positions Darien as a special destination that is not chain store dominated.
7. It increases the tax base by over $3.5 million per year.
8. It is important to be aware that if this project is not approved, the property could be sold to another developer who could override local zoning laws by putting in affordable housing units to satisfy 830g and develop this property not in the best interests of Darien.
Major developments have been approved in neighboring towns including the General Growth Properties mall in Norwalk. We need to approve this project NOW to support local businesses and ensure that downtown Darien remains competitive and vibrant.
Susan Cator-Executive Director
Darien Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors