Darien moves for­ward with down­town makeover

Stamford Advocate (Sunday) - - News - By Ly­nan­dro Sim­mons

DARIEN — A long-dis­cussed down­town de­vel­op­ment project has re­ceived its fi­nal ap­proval, af­ter a de­ci­sion on the af­ford­able hous­ing por­tion of the plan was made last week.

The Plan­ning and Zon­ing Com­mis­sion unan­i­mously ap­proved a pro­posal by Bay­wa­ter Prop­er­ties to de­mol­ish build­ings in the Corbin Drive area to re­de­velop Darien’s down­town. This will in­crease of­fice space down­town from 45,961 to 81,200 square feet and re­tail space from 52,279 to 81,730 square feet.

As part of the project, Bay­wa­ter’s plan to place 12 af­ford­able hous­ing apart­ment units in two build­ings on 26 East Lane was also ap­proved. Each build­ing will be 4,500 square feet with six park­ing spa­ces.

Ti­tled the Corbin Project, the mul­tiuse de­vel­op­ment will bring a blend of restau­rant, re­tail lo­ca­tions and so­cial spa­ces down­town. The project was in­tro­duced by Bay­wa­ter in 2017 and will span from the Bank of Amer­ica build­ing on Post Road to the in­ter­sec­tion of Corbin Drive and Old Kings High­way South.

The com­mis­sion agreed to have the af­ford­able hous­ing des­ig­nated for de­vel­op­men­tally dis­abled ap­pli­cants. By ex­clud­ing the orig­i­nally pro­posed se­nior com­po­nent, mem­bers said they hoped to re­duce the in­ten­sity of use.

Ac­cord­ing to the com­mis­sion, el­i­gi­bil­ity for the res­i­dents will be de­ter­mined by state law defin­ing a per­son of spe­cial needs. The com­mis­sion also agreed to set the in­come limit at 80 per­cent of state me­dian in­come, which as of 2017 was around $46,000 for an in­di­vid­ual. Three units will also be placed down­town at 80 per­cent of state me­dian in­come, but will not be re­stricted to those with spe­cial needs.

Bay­wa­ter will be re­spon­si­ble for cer­ti­fy­ing the el­i­gi­bil­ity of the oc­cu­pants and re­lay­ing the in­for­ma­tion to the town. The De­part­ment of Hu­man Ser­vices will con­firm the cer­ti­fi­ca­tions in re­gards to el­i­gi­bil­ity.

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