The long awaited Glenwood Village will soon begin to take shape in Bloomfield, starting with the construction of a 468-spot parking garage for commuters, shoppers and residents.
The deck, located across the street from the Bloomfield Avenue train station, is the first phase in the town's downtown redevelopment project. It will be located at the heart of Glenwood Village, a three-acre hub comprised of 50,000 sq. ft. of retail space, 10,000 sq. ft. of restaurant space and 224 apartments.
"This is more than just a parking garage. It's more than just residential," said Mayor Raymond McCarthy Monday at a ceremonial groundbreaking. "It is truly the heart and soul of what Bloomfield is about."
Glenwood Village was approved by the town's planning board last May, with the demolition of a laundromat and yoga studio in late August. McCarthy put the price tag of the total Glenwood Village project at $80 million.
Construction of the job, which is slated for completion by the end of this year, is expected to create 350 jobs and 240 permanent jobs at the property, according to Bill Colgan, managing partner of Bloomfield Center Urban Renewal, the project's lead developer.
The parking garage should be ready for use by spring 2013 and will have multi-space parking machines, according to Russ Moserowitz, secretary of the Bloomfield Parking Authority, which will manage the garage.
"Of course, what makes a thriving downtown is people. It's not just buildings," said Moserowitz, calling the parking garage construction a "catalyst" of more to come to the area.
The site, situated between Lackawanna Place, Washington Street and Glenwood Avenue, once housed a gas station and dry-cleaning plant and has undergone site remediation for contaminated soil, Moserowitz said.
Redevelopment of the embattled property has taken years to get off the ground, following eminent domain-related lawsuits and a court appeal claiming the project failed to provide an adequate traffic plan and on- and off-site loading areas. According to the appeal, filed in August, a portion of the property is owned by Bloomfield Daval Corp., which did not authorize the land to be included in the redevelopment project.