WILTON — A proposal initiated last year that would see the development of nearly 400 apartments and townhouses alongside the Wilton Mall continues on its path forward.
The parties behind the development proposal recently launched the website “Reimagine Wilton Mall” that points to a detailed timeline of upcoming public meetings with local and regional officials for the purpose of seeking approval for the project.
The project, proposed by the Macerich Corporation and Paramount Development, includes 382 new “luxury, market-rate rental residences,” including both apartments and townhomes, and will feature “premium resident amenities with a sophisticated design,” according to the companies.
“What we see in the Wilton Mall is something that’s got some momentum. We do really well around retail,” Tom Snell, a partner with Paramount Development, told Wilton town officials during a public meeting earlier this year, when Paramount announced its plans to purchase two lots totaling just over 13-1/2 acres on the northeasterly side of the mall for the $100 million-plus project.
Santa Monica, California-based company Macerich has owned and operated the mall land since 2004. They own about 95 acres in all; JC Penney – owns just over two acres, and LBW Saratoga – occupied by BJ’s, owns just under four acres.
Paramount Development, based in Florida, has developed 200 rental apartment communities in dozens of states.
The potential project, which would be developed in two phases, would occur on the northeast side of the mall past Dick’s Sporting Goods, and see the removal of the former BonTon location, which closed in 2018. That was followed by the closure of Sears two years later.
At its peak in 2016, the mall generated about $95 million in sales. Figures provided by Wilton Mall Property Manager Mike Schafer earlier this year showed those figures were down to $55 million. “That’s about a $44 million sales tax loss with the retailers that we’ve lost,” Schafer said. “The sales in the mall dropped in half.” The addition of hundreds of residents to a new space is being viewed as a catalyst for growth, he added.
An application for establishing a Planned Unit Development District (PUDD) at the Wilton Mall to allow the development of 382 luxury rental residences was forwarded for review to the Town of Wilton Planning Board. Upcoming meetings to discuss the project are anticipated to take place at the Wilton Planning Board meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 19, the Saratoga County Planning Board on Oct. 20, and at the Wilton Town Board meeting at 7 p.m. on Nov. 3. All meetings are open to the public.