The Norwalk Redevelopment Agency is a proactive partner in the development and redevelopment of Norwalk’s Urban Core, which is easily accessible from Interstate 95. Norwalk’s urban center is rapidly transforming into an area of Fairfield County known for quality retail, housing, restaurants and entertainment. We provide developers seeking to expand our commercial and residential offering with significant technical assistance as well as numerous financial resources, including local, State, and Federal funds targeted for investment in Norwalk’s Redevelopment Plan areas. You can learn more about Norwalk’s dynamic economy, cultural attractions, and diverse neighborhoods in the “Our City” section of this website.
Design Review helps to ensure that changes to buildings in redevelopment plan or urban renewal areas of Norwalk’s Urban Core align with the design guidelines contained in Council-approved plans. The redevelopment and urban renewal areas of Norwalk are South Norwalk, West Avenue, Reed Putnam, and Wall Street. Businesses looking to construct a new building or renovate an existing building (including signage, lighting, and façade treatment) in these areas should contact the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency regarding Design Review. You can learn more and obtain necessary forms here.
In little over a decade the entire approach to redevelopment in Norwalk has changed from arbitrator to implementer. The Redevelopment Agency Development staff works in Public Private Partnerships to find creative solutions to address complex urban development needs and problems.
As a public agency we consistently explore new ways to do economic development and assist the City and developers in advancing Norwalk projects forward using our land use incentives, financing tools and experience as never considered before.
The project development staff collectively engages in assisting public and private developers in all phases of project development, including pre-development planning, financing, local entitlement, environmental remediation and construction mitigation. Additionally, the Agency skillfully employs the powers associated with Connecticut General Statutes Chapter 130 in each of its plan areas and has uniformly implemented the requisite zoning to support the development goals and objectives of its plans which saves project advocates and investors time and money.
The development experience of the Redevelopment Agency makes it uniquely qualified to assist and advise both developers and the City in achieving their common developmental aspirations within an urban context that is rich with aesthetic character, social offerings and a welcoming environment. Urban real estate markets that have the demographics and economics of Norwalk are rare and present real investment opportunities.
The use of redevelopment financing incentives and grants for urban development projects exists and our staff has experience in using these tools to fill project financing gaps and get them done. As a local agency we have the tools that can be used to leverage urban development and foster public and private investment to finance much needed economic development, infrastructure and public amenities. We work with the City and developers in deploying such economic development tools as New Market Tax Credits, Enterprise Zone Benefits, Brownfields Grants and infrastructure financing.
With the Redevelopment Agency in the forefront of economic development in Norwalk it continues to deliver investment annuities to both the City and developers in the form of jobs, new taxes, continued investment in the City’s urban core and an expanding residential base that provides the market demand for new goods and services.
The Redevelopment Agency is particularly aware that the City’s urban economic and cultural diversity is what makes its urban tapestry interesting and strong. Maintaining such diversity, requires working with public and private developers to expand the pool of existing affordable housing opportunities. Our affordable housing expertise includes the development of ownership and rental housing projects, funding compliance with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, density bonus issues, inclusionary housing, compliance with CGS 8-30g, and funding programs including low income housing tax credit financing, state and federal grant and loan programs such as CDBG, Connecticut Department of Housing, and CHFA.
The Redevelopment Agency is experienced in providing advice to public agencies and developers regarding public funding and finance structures for their projects. We work closely with our Washington D.C. based finance consultants to consider various factors and structures before suggesting a variety of financing options. The Redevelopment Agency is also highly experienced in applying for, and complying with, federal and state funds for both commercial and housing developments through Community Development Block Grants, Section 108(a) Loan Guarantee Program, Urban Mass Transit Program, Connecticut Department of Housing, Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development and the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority.
The Norwalk Redevelopment Agency assists eligible businesses and property owners to obtain Enterprise Zone (EZ) benefits for qualified projects. An EZ is a designated geographic area (Census Tracts 441, 444, and 445 in Norwalk) in a Targeted Investment Community that meets specific distress criteria as defined by Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development. Eligibility criteria are established by State statute and generally include manufacturers, warehouse distributors (new construction/expansion only) and certain service-related businesses. Benefits can also be extended to property owners in the EZ who are making investment in their properties. Enterprise Zone Highlights
The Urban Jobs Program provides real and personal property tax abatements for eligible manufacturing projects that are within Norwalk’s municipal boundaries but outside of the Enterprise Zone. The abatement benefits are identical to those provided in the Enterprise Zone, however, they are not available “by right”. The applicant must demonstrate to Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development that the availability of the benefits was an “inducement” for the applicant prior to initiating the project. Urban Jobs Program Highlights