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Fairfield Metro Builder Plans More Retail, Dining

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Picture a spot in Fairfield not unlike Grand Central Terminal. Alongside a commuter train line are sit-down restaurants, a food court and retail stores where commuters and locals alike would eat and shop. A few floors up are commercial offices, where people arriving via the train would go to work without getting in a car.

That’s what Kurt Wittek and Black Rock Realty have in mind for the first building at the Fairfield Metro Center. Wittek went before the Plan and Zoning Commission on Tuesday night to ask for permission for more space in the concourse area than he originally planned.

“It’s set up to be something more than a train station building,” said Peter Wang, an architect working on the project.

Wittek has had approval for a 1-million-square-foot complex adjacent to Fairfield’s recently completed third train station since 2005. The development would include a commercial office park across from the new station’s access road, an apartment complex and other features along with the concourse connected to the train platform.

Black Rock’s proposed changes would not add square footage to the overall development. He instead is asking the commission for permission to alter his plan to add space on the concourse building to make room for more restaurants and retail space in lieu of a parking area that would have been connected to the concourse.

The Plan and Zoning Commission will vote on Black Rock’s proposed changes at its next meeting. But Wittek said he expects his designs to change as tenants sign on.

“I would venture to guess that we’ll be back several times with various tweaks in response to what we’re being asked to do by the marketplace,” Wittek said.

Many potential retail and restaurant tenants are lined up for the building, Black Rock Realty’s representatives said Tuesday night. The company is, however, still looking to finalize a deal with a company to take up a large portion of the office space before it starts construction. They said they expect that deal to close in the coming weeks.

“We are going to make this happen,” said John Fallon, Black Rock’s attorney. “This is going to become a reality.”

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