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Ribbon Cutting Marks Fairfield Metro's Opening

'This is a great day in the history of Fairfield,' according to First Selectman Michael Tetreau.

 

With the snip of an oversized pair of scissor, the is officially open for business. The first train rolls in -- and stops -- at 4:37 a.m. on Monday.

“This is a great day in the history of Fairfield,” said First Selectman “This is the the town of Fairfield has been a part of.”

The station portion of the project, which cost $40.8 million to construct, is nearly complete, but the next phase of development is about to begin.

“The ball is in your court now,” Tetreau said to Kurt Wittek, principal of BlackRock Realty, the Metro Center’s developer.

The project’s campus will eventually house multiple buildings, including:

  • A concourse for commuters and visitors, complete with 200,000 square feet of commercial office and retail space; three to five full-service restaurants; a bank; coffee shop; and newsstand
  • A 180-room Hilton hotel
  • A 190-unit residential apartment complex
  • One million square feet of office space among several buildings

The Metro Center is bordered by Ash Creek and its surrounding 11-acre nature preserve, which includes walking trails and boardwalks and pedestrian access to the station.

The foundation has been set in place for the concourse building and Wittek expects to begin vertical construction in early 2012.

The timeline for future phases, like additional office buildings, will be “market-driven,” Wittek said.

All the buildings included in the Metro Center project will be set to achieve LEED Gold Level certification, which means they will be “high-performance, environmentally sound green buildings,” according to a Metro Center press release.

Wittek said such buildings could reduce tenants’ electricity costs by 25 to 40 percent.

He added that he sees an “economic revitalization” in the town’s future, as the Metro Center continues developing into a retail and commercial focal point.

“It can be a model for the way projects are developed going forward,” Wittek said of the high-density, transit-based project. ‘There is a lock of this type of thing in this corridor…it was visionary of the town of Fairfield to embrace this.”

Wittek echoed a theme Gov. Dannel P. Malloy echoed prior to cutting the ribbon -- that in developing the New Haven rail line, more people will find it convenient to use the train rather than the traffic nightmare that is I-95.

“If you live around here and travel on I-95, you know it’s bad,” Wittek said. With the addition of stops on the Metro North line, “you can jump on a train and know it will pull into the station when it’s supposed to.”

This is the idea encompassed by Malloy when he said his administration aims to revitalize public transportation in the state.

“If the rest of the state is to prosper as I hope it will, we have to take care of the transportation at our gateway,” he said. “We are celebrating something that will be here long after we will. The proof? You don’t see too many train stations disappearing.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TJC December 02, 2011 at 10:01 PM
“It can be a model for the way projects are developed going forward.” Ohhhhhhhh yes. it suuuuuuuuuuure can.
Jim Eastwood December 03, 2011 at 12:25 PM
Good Morning Fair ??? Field Oh the railroad station !!! How Much did it really cost the taxpayers?? How many jobs wher REALLY created for Fairiled residents?? Wittek Says !!!! Hah How much is that really going to cost the Fairfield Taxpayers ?? We are quite possibly the ONLY place in the world that has 4 Railroad Stations in 5 Miles of Track !! Constant Comment Drive Yah you bet ya !!!!!! More to follow Have a Great and Mass Transit Day !!!
Brian Baker December 03, 2011 at 12:58 PM
“This is the largest project the town of Fairfield has been apart of.” Might want to re-edit this quote.
Mom December 03, 2011 at 02:03 PM
Dear Gov. and other elected officials: If you want to revitalize public transportation (a great idea BTW) how about lowering the COST of a ticket. Right now getting to NYC and back is way too expensive! We 99%'ers really can't afford to use the trains. Love the new station but make the trains affordable.
Rob S December 03, 2011 at 04:12 PM
Mom, only 1%'ers can buy train tickets? The 1% doesn't ride the train. Those of us who do are far from the 1%, but I am with you, the tickets are getting too expensive and going up on January 1.
cheers December 03, 2011 at 07:13 PM
Currently, there is only one automated ticket machine on either side of the station... better get there early and wait on line in the ice, snow and wind to save a few dollars...(for non-pass customers)
steve sheppard December 03, 2011 at 10:23 PM
I was on TPZ when this went thru, there was suppose to be no residential living. So to not impact schools. What happened?
John Jameson December 03, 2011 at 11:04 PM
He needs to go back to TPZ, according to the Fairfield Citizen, to get an okay on the housing. And in regards to comments on the number of ticket machines on the platforms--there are NONE on the platforms at Union Station in New Haven.
Fairfield Resident December 04, 2011 at 12:36 AM
The ticket machines are INSIDE Union Station.
tony December 04, 2011 at 02:34 AM
For the people who are criticizing this new station and project you really need to get real. Yes it had cost over-runs for which I like many others are not happy, but for one who has been commuting for over 10 years at Fairfield, a solution to the overcrowding at Fairfiled was needed and long awaited. Yes maybe a garage could have been built but at the end of the day this new station is a long welcomed relief. You think a metro north ticket is expensive try driving back and forth in traffic, with the high CT gas prices and I think you will agree taking the train is a bargin.
MW Glover December 05, 2011 at 04:45 PM
After waiting in line in cold and you drank a lot of coffee to keep warm, there are no public restrooms.
CAB December 05, 2011 at 05:07 PM
Just found out that Whole Foods will be selling coffee at the new station. Right now they have a truck there but I think there will be something more permanent in the future!!
Caitlin Mazzola (Editor) December 05, 2011 at 05:10 PM
Thanks CAB for the info -- that's great!
Eli December 05, 2011 at 09:50 PM
The real winner was "He looked at Kurt Wittek and said: The ball is in your court." Then Wittek blathers on about 1mm sq ft of office space. Kurt, there are empty storefronts and offices all around the train station. The last thing that area needs is another empty building with "for lease" signs in the windows.
TJC December 05, 2011 at 10:10 PM
maybe we can put a new school in that office space after it sits empty for a while.
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