CNI News - Press Coverage

This page chronicles the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative and Washington Village in the news.


The HourNorwalk Housing Authority awards $205K in college scholarships
By Kaitlyn Krasselt - Wednesday, June 21, 2017

NORWALK — Jericha Robinson was only one semester into her education at Norwalk Community College when she found out she was pregnant. Suddenly, finding the time to pursue her education - let alone affording it - seemed impossible, and she dropped out.

Now, with her son in kindergarten and a revived determination to pursue her dream of being a social worker, she's attending the University of Connecticut's Stamford campus.

PDF Read more: NHA Awards College Scholarships
world wide web icon Visit the website for article and images: The Hour

~ Top of Page ~


The HourRyan Park will get revamped
By Robert Koch - Friday, April 28, 2017

NORWALK - A lawn area, basketball court, children's playgrounds, pavilion and splash pad are all part of the master plan for Ryan Park in South Norwalk.

PCBs, metals and petroleum products, however, must be removed first before improvements can be made to the 2.2-acre city park at the corner of Day and Raymond streets near Washington Village.

PDF Read more: Ryan Park will get revamped
world wide web icon Visit the website for article and images: The Hour

~ Top of Page ~


Nancy on NorwalkNorwalk looks to stick to $2M budget for Ryan Park cleanup
By Nancy Chapman - April 28 2017

NORWALK, Conn. - Cost cutting measures are planned in the environmental cleanup of Norwalk's Ryan Park, a licensed environmental professional said Thursday.

"We have a $2 million grant, we are doing our best to reduce costs as much as possible," Zoe Belcher of Weston & Sampson said at a community meeting held in the Norwalk Housing Authority's Choice Neighborhood Initiative office on North Water Street.

It's necessary to dig down 14 feet to remove soil contaminated with PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyl) in the area that used to be a junkyard, Malcom Beeler said, of a procedure governed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). To save money, less-contaminated soil from another area of the park will then be used as fill, Belcher said.

PDF Read more: Norwalk looks to stick to $2M budget for Ryan Park cleanup
world wide web icon Visit the website for article and images: Nancy on Norwalk

~ Top of Page ~


Nancy on NorwalkRyan Park design features amenities including pagoda bells
and Port-A-Johns

By Nancy Chapman - April 28 2017

NORWALK, Conn. - The plan for Ryan Park has been refined and is nearly finalized.

"We really wanted to bring something in here that you just don't see in another park around here, we wanted to really bring something dynamic and challenging," Jeff Olszewski of Stantec said Thursday, describing a multi-age playground that features ropes, slides and climbing walls.

Work on the new Ryan Park will begin after remediation efforts are complete, which is expected to be November, he said. It's expected to open in late 2018.

PDF Read more: Ryan Park design features amenities
world wide web icon Visit the website for article and images: Nancy on Norwalk

~ Top of Page ~


Nancy on NorwalkNorwalk officials remain confident that Ryan Park will be upgraded, pollution addressed
By Nancy Chapman - Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Norwalk Redevelopment Agency has scheduled a meeting to discuss Ryan Park.

NORWALK, Conn. - There's contamination more than 10 feet below Ryan Park, a team of licensed environmental professionals said, in summarizing their Phase III environmental study.

Weston & Sampson's full report is not yet available to the public, Norwalk Redevelopment Agency Senior Project Manager Susan Sweitzer said last month. On Wednesday, she said further questions can be addressed at a public meeting to be held at 6 p.m. April 27, in the Choice Neighborhood Initiative office at 149 Water Street.

PDF Read more: Norwalk officials confident Ryan Park will be upgraded
world wide web icon Visit the website for article and images: Nancy on Norwalk

~ Top of Page ~


The HourWashington Village construction is under way
By Eva Erlich, Vice President, Development, Trinity Financial - Wednesday, March 8, 2017

In late November, we were thrilled to come together with the Norwalk Housing Authority, the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency, the City of Norwalk, the residents of Washington Village and greater Norwalk community, and our public and private sector partners to break ground on the first phase of the redevelopment of Washington Village.

This first phase represents the new construction of 80 units on 13 Day St. (10 units) and 20 Day St. (70 units). We're excited to share with the community that construction activity on Phase One has commenced.

PDF Read more: Washington Village construction is under way
world wide web icon Visit the website for article and images: The Hour

~ Top of Page ~


The HourNorwalk DPW inherits Washington Village infrastructure project
By Robert Koch Published - Thursday, February 9, 2017

NORWALK - The Norwalk Department of Public Works has inherited the public infrastructure improvements needed for the reconstruction of Washington Village.

Trinity Financial, the Boston-based real-estate development chosen to rebuild the public-housing complex, was supposed to lead the $9 million project, which will relocate utilities and raise the intersection of Day and Raymond streets.

While city and federal dollars remain in place for the work, how the project will proceed has changed as members of the Common Council's Public Works Committee recently learned.

Lisa Burns, principal engineer at the public works department, said it was contemplated that Trinity Financial would lead the project with funding advanced through the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency.

PDF Read more: Norwalk DPW inherits Washington Village infrastructure project
world wide web icon Visit the website for article and images: The Hour

~ Top of Page ~


Nancy on NorwalkNorwalk DPW adds Washington Village roadwork to its to do list
By Nancy Chapman - Friday, February 10, 2017

NORWALK, Conn. - As if the Norwalk Department of Public Works didn't have enough to do, it is now in charge of raising the intersection of Day and Raymond Streets up six feet to provide that long-talked about "dry egress" for the new Washington Village.

"We shuffled our resources in the department," DPW Principal Engineer Lisa Burns said Tuesday to the Common Council Public Works Committee. "You know, we weren't ready to do this project. We admit that. So now we're doing a lot of work because reviewing plans is a lot different than being a project manager of plans, and we are catching up on that."

Burns and DPW Director Bruce Chimento said Trinity Financial, the developer working with the Norwalk Housing Authority to rebuild Washington Village, was estimating the project's cost as more than the $9.5 million authorized by the Council. So, they took it over.

PDF Read more: Norwalk DPW adds Washington Village roadwork to its to do list
world wide web icon Visit the website for article and images: Nancy on Norwalk

~ Top of Page ~


The HourDay Street land transferred, clearing way for phase one of Washington Village rebuild
By Robert Koch Monday, January 23, 2017

NORWALK - The Norwalk Housing Authority and developer Trinity Financial have gained control of two Day Street parcels that will become home to 80 apartments as part of the Washington Village Transformation Plan.

On Monday, the city's law department filed with the Norwalk Town Clerk's Office real-estate conveyance papers transferring the land at 13 and 20 Day St. from the city to the Housing Authority.

Under plan, the Housing Authority purchased the parcels for $1 apiece and will lease them to Trinity Financial, the Boston-based real-estate development chosen to rebuild Washington Village.

PDF Read more: Day Street land transferred, clearing way for rebuild
world wide web icon Visit the website for article and images: The Hour

~ Top of Page ~


The HourWashington Village tenants excited to finally move
By Kaitlyn Krasselt, Saturday, January 7, 2017

NORWALK - After more than a decade of planning, the residents of Washington Village are getting antsy as they wait to move out of the decades-old housing project.

"It took us a long time to get this far," said Michele Bonet, who's lived in the complex for two years. "I'm packing. I'm ready to go as soon as they say so. Just give me my voucher and I'll be on my way."

Bonet, who has attended most of the public meetings regarding the project, and receives a phone call from the Choice Neighborhoods team every month updating her on the status of the project. She said she feels well-informed on the project and the process, and doesn't anticipate any difficulties in the move.

PDF Read more: Washington Village tenants excited to finally move
world wide web icon Visit the website for article and images: The Hour

~ Top of Page ~


The HourFor Washington Village redevelopment,
lofty goals, in phases

By Robert Koch, Saturday, January 7, 2017

NORWALK - With construction soon to start on 80 new apartments along Day Street in South Norwalk, the Washington Village Transformation Plan is in motion.

When the apartments are completed - tentatively by early next year - work will proceed on razing and rebuilding the existing public-housing complex, which is among the oldest in Connecticut.

"We are excited for the imminent start of construction for Phase One of the project and are currently working toward lining up financial resources, in addition to the already committed CNI funds, for the subsequent phases," said Michael Lozano, senior project manager for Trinity Financial, LLC, the Boston-based real-estate development firm chosen by the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency to rebuild Washington Village. "In fact, we recently submitted an application to the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority and Connecticut Department of Housing for Phase Two which - if awarded - would allow us to commence construction on that phase in early 2018."

PDF Read more: For Washington Village redevelopment, lofty goals, in phases
world wide web icon Visit the website for article and images: The Hour

~ Top of Page ~


The HourNorwalk's Urban Core To See Further Redevelopment In 2017
By Robert Koch, Sunday, January 1, 2017

NORWALK - Norwalk's urban renaissance will continue to gather steam in 2017 with the reconstruction of one of Connecticut's oldest public-housing complexes.

For decades, Washington Village residents have suffered undersized apartments and the constant threat of flooding.

In January, the Norwalk Housing Authority and Trinity Financial plan to break ground on 80 new apartments at 13 and 20 Day St. as part of the first phase of a roughly $140-million Washington Village Transformation Plan.

"We're looking forward to it. Our clients will not have to worry about stuff like this," said NHA Executive Director Curtis O. Law while pointing at rain falling on South Norwalk on Thursday afternoon.

PDF Read more: Norwalk's Urban Core To See Further Redevelopment In 2017
world wide web icon Visit the website for article and images: The Hour

~ Top of Page ~