Har­bor Point FAQs,

Stamford Advocate - - Front Page -

What is Har­bor Point?

⏩ Har­bor Point, the 80-acre devel­op­ment site orig­i­nally planned more than a decade ago, com­prises two main tracts of land, both old in­dus­trial sites in Stam­ford’s South End.

To the north­east, Har­bor Point is the en­tire old Yale & Towne fac­tory site, roughly the block be­tween Henry Street to the south and Mar­ket Street to the north. To the south­west, Har­bor Point is the old Pit­ney Bowes fac­tory site along with the so-called HELCO site, also known as North­east Util­i­ties or Ad­mi­ral’s Wharf. The sites have been re­de­vel­oped with bil­lions worth of rental, restau­rant, re­tail and of­fice space.

Har­bor Point, from the start, in­cluded the old boat­yard penin­sula, though Antares In­vest­ment Part­ners — which planned the devel­op­ment — had pledged to keep those 14 acres a boat­yard or “wa­ter-de­pen­dent use.”

Who owns Har­bor Point?

⏩ Build­ing and Land Tech­nol­ogy, which bought the devel­op­ment from Antares, still owns the bulk Har­bor Point, but has sold sev­eral build­ings in the last few years.

In 2016, the de­vel­oper sold off much of the north­east­ern tract and one build­ing in the other lot. Build­ings sold in­clude The Key at Yale & Towne, Vault Apart­ments, The Lofts at Yale & Towne, 111 Har­bor Point and Post­mark Apart­ments.

That sale of some 1,200 apart­ment units was for nearly $400 mil­lion.

Does Har­bor Point, and BLT, pay taxes?

⏩ Yes, Har­bor Point and prop­erty own­ers within it pay city taxes, but through a more com­pli­cated sys­tem than send­ing the city an an­nual check, or see­ing prop­erty taxes tacked on to a monthly mort­gage pay­ment. Har­bor Point is housed within a “tax-in­cre­ment fi­nanc­ing” district, or TIF. In short, the district sold $145 mil­lion worth of bonds to im­prove the neigh­bor­hood’s in­fra­struc­ture and now a por­tion — an “in­cre­ment” — of all the new prop­erty taxes gen­er­ated goes to pay prin­ci­ple and in­ter­est on those bonds. This sys­tem, although some­times abused by mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, is used be­cause a city gets dra­matic im­prove- ment it can’t other­wise af­ford and is some­what in­su­lated if plans fail. Once bonds are paid off and all in­fra­struc­ture is ap­proved by the city, the city gets the full prop­erty tax pay­ment from each prop­erty — worth far more than if it re­mained va­cant in­dus­trial land — and takes hold of the streets and in­fra­struc­ture im­prove­ments.

To date, the devel­op­ment has paid the city $18.6 mil­lion in fees and con­veyance taxes, and some $100 mil­lion in prop­erty taxes.

What is Build­ing and Land Tech­nol­ogy’s fu­ture plans?

⏩ The builder, though of­ten tight lipped, has told neigh­bors and city boards gen­eral out­lines of its plans for the neigh­bor­hood out­side of Har­bor Point.

BLT is now urg­ing Zon­ing and Plan­ning board mem­bers to ap­prove its pitch to build an­other high rise with some 670 units to­tal in a com­plex be­tween Wood­land Av­enue and Wal­ter Wheeler Drive. The south­ern por­tion of that block was al­ready part of Har­bor Point while the north­ern half was once the site the B&S Cart­ing, a garbage trans­fer fa­cil­ity. BLT bought out the trash hauler and razed the block.

BLT owns an­other block fur­ther north. On that site — be­tween Henry and Dock streets north and south and Gar­den and At­lantic streets east and west, where the old Blick­ens­der­fer fac­tory sits — BLT Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer Ted Fer­rarone has said the builder wants to build a mixed-use devel­op­ment, but has said lit­tle more. BLT is also build­ing the Char­ter Com­mu­ni­ca­tions head­quar­ters just south of the rail lines and I-95. It’s now pitch­ing a sec­ond build­ing for Char­ter and wants to take back 500 park­ing spots it had pledged rail com­muters. And there is the now va­cant 14-acre penin­sula in Stam­ford Har­bor, site of the for­mer boat­yard BLT razed. The com­pany has not an­nounced plans for the site.

⏩ Neigh­bors, through the South End’s Neigh­bor­hood Re­vi­tal­iza­tion Zone, say they want BLT to stay within city zon­ing and plan­ning out­lines and pre­serve all homes and busi­nesses within the neigh­bor­hood’s 177-acre South End His­toric District.

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