Launch Slideshow

Metro Green Apartments Architect: Perkins Eastman Architects, New York. Completion: 2009. Brief: 50-unit multifamily project is the state??s first LEED Gold affordable housing.

Stamford, Conn.

The strength of Stamford's commercial sector is driving a demand for workforce housing, which is helping keep a downtown construction boom moving along.

Stamford, Conn.

The strength of Stamford's commercial sector is driving a demand for workforce housing, which is helping keep a downtown construction boom moving along.

  • Old Town Hall Architect: Fuller and DAngelo, Elmsford, N.Y. Completion: 2010. Brief: $14.5 million renovation/expansion holds museum, commercial space.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmp77CD%2Etmp_tcm20-229758.jpg

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    Old Town Hall Architect: Fuller and DAngelo, Elmsford, N.Y. Completion: 2010. Brief: $14.5 million renovation/expansion holds museum, commercial space.

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    Fuller and D’Angelo

    Old Town Hall Architect: Fuller and D’Angelo, Elmsford, N.Y. Completion: 2010. Brief: $14.5 million renovation/expansion holds museum, commercial space.

  • Stamford Courthouse Architects: Ehrenkrantz Eckstut and Kuhn Architects, New York, and Preiss Breismeister, Stamford. Completion: 2007. Brief: $93 million, 252,000-s.f. facility has 24 courtrooms; largest, most technologically advanced justice building in the state.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmp7D91%2Etmp_tcm20-230284.jpg

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    Stamford Courthouse Architects: Ehrenkrantz Eckstut and Kuhn Architects, New York, and Preiss Breismeister, Stamford. Completion: 2007. Brief: $93 million, 252,000-s.f. facility has 24 courtrooms; largest, most technologically advanced justice building in the state.

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    Patricia K. Gill

    Stamford Courthouse Architects: Ehrenkrantz Eckstut and Kuhn Architects, New York, and Preiss Breismeister, Stamford. Completion: 2007. Brief: $93 million, 252,000-s.f. facility has 24 courtrooms; largest, most technologically advanced justice building in the state.

  • Metro Green Apartments Architect: Perkins Eastman Architects, New York. Completion: 2009. Brief: 50-unit multifamily project is the states first LEED Gold affordable housing.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmp7D92%2Etmp_tcm20-230291.jpg

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    Metro Green Apartments Architect: Perkins Eastman Architects, New York. Completion: 2009. Brief: 50-unit multifamily project is the states first LEED Gold affordable housing.

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    Ruggero Vanni

    Metro Green Apartments Architect: Perkins Eastman Architects, New York. Completion: 2009. Brief: 50-unit multifamily project is the state’s first LEED Gold affordable housing.

  • Harbor Point Architects: Sasaki Associates, Boston, and Cooper, Robertson and Partners, New York. Completion: 2019. Brief: 80-acre, LEED-ND project has 4,000 residences, 400,000 s.f. of retail, office, and hotel space.

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    Harbor Point Architects: Sasaki Associates, Boston, and Cooper, Robertson and Partners, New York. Completion: 2019. Brief: 80-acre, LEED-ND project has 4,000 residences, 400,000 s.f. of retail, office, and hotel space.

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    Jock Pottle (model: Cooper, Robertson & Partners)

    Harbor Point Architects: Sasaki Associates, Boston, and Cooper, Robertson and Partners, New York. Completion: 2019. Brief: 80-acre, LEED-ND project has 4,000 residences, 400,000 s.f. of retail, office, and hotel space.

Stamford, Conn., isn’t just a bedroom community or summer-home place for New York City, a mere 45 minutes to the southwest. It comes by its nickname, the City That Works, honestly. The fourth-largest city in Connecticut is a thriving outpost for entertainment companies such as NBC Sports, World Wrestling Entertainment, and the A&E Television Networks, which seek refuge from Manhattan’s sky-high rents. And Stamford has its share of corporate head­quarters, too—most notably, the Royal Bank of Scotland, which located its North American operations there earlier this year.

The strength of the commercial sector is driving a demand for workforce housing. “Stamford’s a major employment center, and many people who are now commuting to work here would rather walk, bike, or bus to work,” says Kip Bergstrom, executive director of the city’s Urban Redevelopment Commission. “There are so many people who ‘drive till you qualify,’ who live all the way out in Bridgeport and further east. They’d rather live in town, but they can’t afford to.”

The housing demand is a big factor in a downtown construction boom that is continuing despite the sour economy. “There are limited development opportunities in surrounding no-growth towns,” says Michael Freimuth, director of Stamford’s Office of Economic Development. “That’s why growth is projected—both in population and in the number of units and residences—in the downtown core.”

POPULATION/EMPLOYMENT

Current population: about 120,000. Job growth is flat.

OFFICE MARKET

Office vacancy: 24%–26%; average asking rate: $40/s.f.

RESIDENTIAL MARKET

Median home sale price: around $600,000, down more than 7% in the past year.

MARKET STRENGTHS

  • Proximity to New York City and Boston
  • Vibrant entertainment industry presence
  • Downtown revitalization under way

MARKET CONCERNS

  • Transportation integration
  • Little affordable housing inventory
  • General economic malaise

FORECAST

“I hope we’ll see more housing development than offices,” says Kip Bergstrom of the city’s Urban Redevelopment Commission. “We do have the first inclusionary zoning ordinance in the state. But the city will need to proactively work to preserve and develop affordable and workforce-affordable housing.”