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Wednesday, August 23 News

First building in transit-oriented district now open

FAIRFIELD — While a second transit-oriented district and large apartment building is being contemplated for Unquowa Road, the town’s first such project is already being occupied.

The project, which features 101 apartment units at 665 Commerce Drive, broke ground in March of 2016 and leasing began in June of this year. Built on 2.5 acres on the site of a former gym, the first floor of the five-story building features 14,900 square feet of retail space. Dubbed Trademark Fairfield, the building is within walking distance of the Fairfield Metro train station.

So far, 15 apartments are occupied, according to Tracie Shock, with Pacific Blue Consulting, and by a mix of millennials and empty-nesters. There are 11 apartments set aside as affordable, as required by the transit-oriented district regulations, and

Shock said they are in the process of qualifying the 75 people on the wait list.

The mix of tenants “has always been our expectation,” said Ross Ogden, from Abbey Road Advisors. The project is a joint venture between Abbey Road, Skala Partners, and ELV Associates.

Rents for the market-rate units range from $1,955 to $4,060, depending on the location and square footage. The set-aside units will rent for $1,100 to $1,400 to qualified applicants.

The building includes studio, one-bedroom, one-bedroom-plus-den, and two-bedroom units. There is an outdoor pool area with cabanas, a large screen television, a fire pit and a small lawn area, as well as raised garden beds that tenants can lease to grow flowers or vegetables. A bocce court is under construction.

“It gives residents a sort of feeling of having a backyard,” Ogden said.

An indoor lounge for residents, as well as a 24-hour fitness center, helps lend a “club” feeling to the development, he said. There will also be a walking path from the apartment building to the train station,

The reception from residents and the town, he said, has been positive, and they hope to develop more sites in the neighborhood, once home to Fairfield’s industrial center.

“I think that’s the market that’s out there,” Ogden said. “That’s what we have our eye on.”

Ogden said they are carefully “curating” the occupants of the first-floor retail space, which sits on the corner of Commerce Drive and Black Rock Turnpike.

“We’re close to two primary tenants,” he said. “We want to make sure we get the right mix, not only for our own residents, but for the neighborhood.”

He and Shock said it is a great retail location, with about 2,000 people a day in and out of the medical office building across the street, and Bigelow Tea next door.

Another neighbor is the Abbey Road offices, which, Ogden said, made it easy to keep an eye on progress.

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