AP NEWS

Stamford’s Atlantic Station construction resumes

May 9, 2019

STAMFORD — Construction has started on the second apartment tower at the downtown Atlantic Station complex, one of the city’s most-ambitious development projects.

Excavation and foundational work are underway at 405 Atlantic St., on a 325-unit structure that is expected to take about two years to complete. The edifice would complement a similarly sized, glass-sheathed building — which opened next door about a year and a half ago — and complete a property that has helped to revitalize the southern end of the downtown.

“Atlantic Station, as a development, is really creating that connectivity between downtown living and mass transit,” said Joseph Graziose, vice president-project executive of RXR Realty, the Manhattan-based owner and co-developer of Atlantic Station. “Our project really connects the downtown to the (Metro-North Railroad) transit station like no other project, in my opinion.”

Downtown development

RXR has developed Atlantic Station with the White Plains, N.Y.-based Cappelli Organization.

The RXR multi-family housing portfolio encompasses approximately 2,600 units under operation or development. The Cappelli team was familiar with the city having developed, with Stamford-based F.D. Rich Co., the Trump Parc condominium tower that opened in 2009 at the corner of Washington Boulevard and Broad Street.

At Atlantic Station, the developers took over a site that had languished empty for a number of years after a commercial strip center there had been torn down.

But the developers saw potential in a site that stands yards from the downtown Metro-North train station and Stamford Town Center mall and a short walk from the city center’s restaurant rows.

Construction of the first Atlantic Station apartment tower started in early 2016. Today, 93 percent of its 325 units are leased, according to RXR.

On the ground floor of the existing structure, about 16,000 square feet are allocated for retail. No ground-floor tenants have been signed, but the leasing negotiations could bring in grocery and cafe businesses, according to RXR officials.

“We’ve seen a tremendous amount of positive feedback on the phase-one product, so it feels only natural to continue that momentum with phase two,” Graziose said.

Next door, the second apartment tower would start to take shape during the next one to two months. Its finished exterior would emulate the first building’s glass “curtainwall.”

Next steps

Adjacent to the apartment towers, Cappelli and RXR are renovating a former U.S. post office on Atlantic Street.

At the post office site, the developers have signed an early-childhood day care center to take about 12,000 square feet and a co-working center to use about 36,000 square feet. Those tenants, which the developers declined to name, are scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2020.

Redevelopment is moving ahead at neighboring buildings as well.

The approximately 700,000-square foot office complex, at 677 Washington Blvd., has landed the future headquarters of WWE and also signed professional-services firm KPMG and architectural firm Perkins Eastman. The latter moved last October into about 13,000 square feet on the building’s ground floor.

“I see this area as becoming a hub and link to the downtown,” Mark Creedon, co-managing principal of the new Perkins Eastman offices, said in a recent interview. “I think we’ll see more diversity of tenancy in the building. It’s a great place to be.”

Before the recent lease signings, 677 Washington had languished for a couple of years as the city’s largest vacant office property, following banking giant UBS’ 2016 relocation of its offices across the street, to 600 Washington Blvd.

Down the street from Atlantic Station, the north building in the St. John’s towers apartment complex was torn down earlier this year to make way for an apartment block.

The neighborhood’s new development has also spurred the arrival in the past year of a number of businesses, including, California Tortilla and Spavia on Atlantic Street.

pschott@stamfordadvocate.com; 203-964-2236; twitter: @paulschott