FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Fairfield First Selectman Michael Tetreau and state legislators took U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) on a tour of the Fairfield Metro train station Tuesday, in hopes that Murphy will back more federal funding for the site and the development they envision for the surrounding area.
Standing on a glassed-in walkway high above the Metro-North tracks, Tetreau pointed out the nearby Bigelow Tea headquarters, a new 101-unit apartment complex under construction within walking distance and newer complexes just over Ash Creek on Bridgeport’s Black Rock skyline.
Tetreau said he hopes the state will send some of the newly approved federal “transit-oriented development” (TOD) funding it will soon receive to continue progress in the area.
“It’s really the vision we have for the town of Fairfield,” he told Murphy.
Murphy said he could see how federal funding could “really turn this into an engine of retail and residential” space.
He vowed to do more research into what might be appropriate uses of the funding for Fairfield and all of Connecticut.
State Sen. Tony Hwang (R-28), and state Reps. Christian McCarthy Vahey (D-133), Brenda Kupchick (D-132) and Laura Devlin (R-134) along with Economic Development Director Mark Barnhart were also along for the tour.
The new 140,000-square-foot apartment complex under construction on nearby Commerce Drive is a model for what the group envisions. Once completed in spring 2017, it will offer nearly 15,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor and four stories of apartments, including four studios, 73 one-bedroom units and 24 two-bedroom units.
The project will include an amenities deck with a swimming pool, fitness center, bocce court and gardens and an on-site covered garage.
Eleven of the apartments will be designated as affordable housing.
Transit-oriented development such as the site aim to maximize access to public transportation and encourage ridership.
Tetreau said development plans in Black Rock will have a significant impact on the Fairfield Metro neighborhood, especially if the city completes a planned bridge over Ask Creek from the base of Fox Street to the train station.
“Fantastic,” Murphy said.
Murphy made several stops in Fairfield County on Tuesday, from a heroin roundtable discussion in Stamford to a forum on gun violence in Bridgeport.
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