Seeking answers about Metro Center

To the Editor:

As BRR (Blackrock Realty) said in their editorial, “I’m willing at all times to submit to the facts.” Here are a few questions on the proposed residential component of the Metro Center development which deserve some facts.

Will BRR designate a percentage of the apartments for low income housing? This will give BRR tax credits through CFHA. Will BRR threaten a lawsuit under the state’s affordable housing laws if Fairfield does not approve the permits?

Would the presence of a residential tower increase or decrease the likelihood of an office tower being built next to it? Would BRR then submit permit applications for additional residential towers on the remaining building sites? Would permitting the first residential tower set a legal precedence for additional residential towers at Metro Center or elsewhere in Fairfield?

How will 131 one bedroom and 66 two bedroom apartments only generate 20 students? What are the “student to bedroom” ratios in similar mid-rise residential towers in Fairfield County?

What are the facts to support BRR’s $75 million construction cost estimate? Can we have the square footage of the building and the cost per square foot BRR is basing this on? This is needed to calculate the anticipated tax revenue.

What services need to be upgraded? Will a larger sewer line need to cross Ash Creek which is still contaminated with PCB’s and casting sands? How much will that cost and who will pay for it? What other services need to be upgraded and who will pay for them?

Here’s a fact. BRR is proposing a residential tower because it has the highest profit margin for BRR. BRR can rent a square foot of residential for a higher price than a square foot of Class A office building. BRR would also have a better option to sell the residential tower to a REIT such as Avalon at a higher profit than selling an office tower. I respect BRR’s goal to maximize profit but not at a permanent financial burden to Fairfield.

 

Kevin Jennings

Fairfield

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