The “Live, Work, Play” community model has become a common enough refrain around the country, including in Fairfield County.
But Building & Land Technology (BLT), one of the area’s major developers, is taking the “Play” concept a step further by announcing the opening of a new “social destination,” Junction at North Seven, which opened May 2 at 87 Glover Ave. in Norwalk. A former warehouse, the pop-up party space features an indoor beer garden and food hall, which will be open Wednesdays through Fridays from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
BLT Chairman Carl Kuehner noted that North Seven – which is being marketed as “Connecticut’s Premier Pop-up Market,” the first of its kind – is located across from the Merritt 7 train station with easy access to I-95 and the Merritt Parkway.
“Ultimately what we’re trying to build is an ecosystem,” Kuehner said. “What we want to do is tie in Merritt 7’s office tenants with Glover Avenue to create another urban village, similar to (Stamford’s) Harbor Point.”
North Seven has over 30,000 square feet and is situated next to a large parking lot that the Stamford developer established last year. Food trucks scheduled to ply their wares at the site include Tap Truck New England, Cowabunga (burgers), El Placerito Tacos, Hapa (American/Asian Pacific), Carmela’s Italian Kitchen and Lobstercraft. Additional vendors are encouraged to apply on the North Seven website.
Kuehner said he hopes to turn the Glover Avenue neighborhood into “the ultimate live, work, play location” – perhaps a tall order, given Harbor Point’s success. He noted that the Stamford site’s first restaurant was also a pop-up beer garden, “which brought in lots of people. We surveyed the people living and visiting there, and found that this is the kind of thing that can build out the kind of ecosystem we’re talking about.”
BLT has developed over 3,000 apartments at Harbor Point, which recently marked its 10th anniversary, and recently received approval from Stamford for two more buildings – provisionally known as P3 and P6 – at Harbor Point, each consisting of 180 apartment units.
BLT is also working with Charter Communications, which plans to build a second building next to its new headquarters already under construction at 406 Washington Blvd. at Gateway at Harbor Point. And in April it announced that Diageo is moving its North American headquarters from Norwalk to approximately 40,000 square feet at 200 Elm St. in Stamford, bringing along some 250 jobs.
Since BLT relaunched the renovated property in 2017, 200 Elm has become home to Henkel Consumer Goods Inc. – which relocated its North American Consumer Goods headquarters there from Scottsdale, Arizona, in 2017 – RSM and Tudor Investment Management Co., among others.
“We’re glad Diageo is staying in the BLT portfolio,” Kuehner said. “We’re very positive about Stamford – and about Norwalk as well.”