‘Heritage Square’: New Units on Forest Street Are Selling, Bucking 2015 Trend in Condos

Five of the seven new condominiums going up on Forest Street downtown are in various stages of being sold—bucking an overall trend among New Canaan condos and a nod to the strength of new construction in this buyer’s market, Realtors say. Located above what will be street-level retail in a mixed-use development near the corner of Locust Avenue that’s been named ‘Heritage Square,’ the condos include four 2- and 3-bedroom units in the 1,800- to 2,000-square-foot range, two 4-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot penthouses and a 3,500-plus-square-foot “duplex” that encompasses two floors, according to Bill Hecker of Houlihan Lawrence, sole agent representing seller/developer Chris Gatto. Just two of the smaller-sized 3-bedroom units are available—they’re listed at $1.8 million—and the condos should be move-in ready next spring, Hecker said. “This to me is a really good sign because there is not a whole lot you can see there right now,” Hecker told NewCanaanite.com. “You can see the structure but if you walked into any of the units it’s just studs—there’s no drywall in yet, so for the buyer to envision what is being delivered is a very big challenge on the part of myself and Christopher Gatto, the developer.

Forest Street Businesses on Parking Plan during Construction: ‘It’s Just Nuts’

The one-way block of Forest Street—narrow, bursting with restaurants, halted during deliveries and drop-offs and home to a newly designated loading zone—will lose 10 parking spaces for a two-week stretch next month and then three separate spaces for about one year, as a widely anticipated building project at number 21 gets underway. Demolition of two buildings there—the former Forest Street Deli and Farmer’s Table (going further back, BMW Lindner Cycle Shop)—starts today (Thursday) and continues through midday Friday. It’s the first step toward what eventually will be a three-story, mixed residential-and-retail complex that will lie roughly between the New Canaan Dance Academy and brick building at the Locust Avenue corner, home to the Board of Education’s administrative offices. Saying they’re supportive of the overall project and that it ultimately will be good for New Canaan, business owners on the street expressed frustration Wednesday with what they called poor communication about the imminent parking disruption. “The stop-and-drop people who are there with the dance studio and that kind of thing have gotten to a point where Forest Street is clogged up entirely, people can’t park on the street and now we are told today—today—that there will be [10] more spaces taken out of the loop, which is insane,” Tequila Mockingbird owner Paul Mauk (speaking mostly on behalf of Gates, where he’s a partner), said during a meeting of the Police Commission, held in the New Canaan Police Department training room.

Parking, Traffic Concerns Arise as Forest St. Construction Nears

As the start of a major construction project along the narrow, one-way stretch of Forest Street draws near, planning officials are urging those in charge to coordinate and communicate with police and merchants on matters of parking and traffic. Construction will start this summer of a three-story mixed residential-and-retail complex at 21 Forest St. The project will see two commercial spaces, seven residential units, a pocket park and 48-space parking lot go in where The Farmer’s Table (now across the street), Forest Street Deli and a long-vacant parking lot have been located for years. The street will be “shut down for hours at a time,” Planning and Zoning Commissioner Dan Radman said Tuesday at the group’s meeting. “You’re going to be staging, bringing steel in, and cement trucks and everything else,” Radman said at the meeting, held in the Sturgess Room of the New Canaan Nature Center’s Visitors Center.

Looking Back: Forest Street Deli to Close Next Friday


The single breakfast item that remains from the original Forest Street Deli menu these 22 years is the ‘Big O’: A grilled cheese with tomatoes, scallions, black pepper, roast beef and an over-easy egg. [selfie]

Asked Friday where the name came from, owner Bob Watters said in typically playful fashion: “That’s classified information.”

“I’ve got people here who used to come in when they were five years old,” Watters, an Easton resident and 1978 Stamford High School graduate, told NewCanaanite.com. “And now they’re adults, they’re out of college. I’ve got kids who are now coming in here with kids who were their age when they started coming here. And it’s really funny, a lot of them still eat the same sandwiches they ate when they were 12 years old.