In a little over two years this building will go from abandoned bank to residential apartments.
"Over time, we are going to put 600 people in the downtown area, which is 600 people who don't live here now. This is the least populated part of the city and we're going to put a lot of people on the street," said Kenneth Olson, CEO of POKO Partners, LLC.
City officials and POKO Partners announced the beginning of environmental remediation and demolition of the old Merchant's Bank on Wall Street Wednesday morning.
"They are starting the abatement process today as we speak. That will take about 30 days. After the abatement, they need to get the approval from the city and then they will start demolition of what we know as the old merchant's bank," said Mayor Harry Rilling.
"In both buildings there are a lot of partitions, there is carpet. All of that is clean demolition work. They have to pull all that stuff out to get to the asbestos, especially in the bank building. Then down below there are two above ground oil tanks and they need to be removed. There is probably a little bit of oil in those tanks - not much - but they need to be cleaned out and then they can be dismantled and removed," added Olson.
Olson also said the process will be done with containment practices like sealing off the interior with plastic sheeting to minimize risk outside the building.
According to Olson, the first phase of the project will cost about 43 million dollars & take 30 months to complete
Mayor Rilling says redevelopment of the area is part of revitalizing Norwalk.
Rilling said "30 months from today, phase 1 which is 101 housing units - 60% market price and 40% affordable housing - which is very important to the City of Norwalk, as well as 16,000 sqft of retail space in this area. It's going to be an amazing project for Norwalk Center."
"This will be a dynamic community and it will change the entirety of the Wall Street area," said Olson.