Black Rock is benefiting from commercial, state, federal, and charitable development money pouring into our small area. The area south of Fairfield Avenue and west of Ellsworth Street has always been the highest value area of Black Rock, but much development is taking place north of Fairfield Avenue and east of Ellsworth Street.
THE TRAIN STATION EFFECT
Studies have shown that a new train station can boost prices between 14-18% within a mile radius of the station.
THE WHOLE FOODS EFFECT
A 2007 study in Portland, Oregon found that property values typically go up by about 17.5% percent if you live near a Whole Foods store. The impact of all the developments together is actually called the “Whole Foods Effect” according to urban planners. The process of gentrification of an area starts with one anchor store, such as Whole Foods, which attracts other high end stores.
In addition to the new train station and the Whole Foods store, there are other developments that will give a lift to areas to the east of Ellsworth Street. Let’s take a closer look at these new, exciting developments that benefit Black Rock:
Whole Foods opened one of its largest stores on June 3, 2011 just across the border from Black Rock in Fairfield. The 45,000 SF store has features that many of the smaller stores lack, including freshly made mozzarella from Friday through Sunday each week, computer screens to obtain recipes online, free WiFi in the cafe area, and cooking demonstrations. Whole Foods is noted for its wide variety of organic and specialty foods.
FAIRFIELD METRO TRAIN STATION
A one mile radius around the new train station includes most of Black Rock.
The new train station (officially called the Fairfield Metro Station) near B.J.’s opened on December 5, 2011. The station has 1,400 parking spaces and has express trains for Grand Central Station and Stamford.
Fox Street Pedestrian Bridge. Plans are underway for a pedestrian bridge from Fox Street to the new train station, which would provide easy access for Black Rock residents. Streetscape improvement funds were obtained from the state for the gateway to the pedestrian bridge along Fairfield Avenue and Fox Street. Work is scheduled to begin in 2015.
The Smilow-Burroughs Clubhouse is a 23,000 SF building featuring a nearly 8,000 SF gymnasium that will has seating for 250, a teen center, game room, arts and science center, technology center, community room, two learning centers, a café and kitchen, and a multi-purpose room for dances, fitness and yoga programs. Boys & Girls Clubs of America programs focus on five areas including education and career development, character and leadership development, the arts, health and life skills, and sports, fitness and recreation. The Clubhouse was built entirely with private funds at a cost of $6.7M. It opened in June 2011.
ALBION STREET MEDICAL COMPLEX
The Albion Street medical/housing complex is located on a 1.16 acre lot between the Stop & Shop center and Captain’s Cove. There are 35 two-bedroom apartments as well as a dental center and a medical center. The 19,000 SF medical center also houses the Southwest Community Health Center’s medical, behavioral, and administrative functions.
CAL RIPKEN YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PARK
The Cal Ripken Senior Foundation created a 55,000 SF Youth Development Park at an estimated cost of $1.5 million. The state was provided some of the money through a grant from the bonding process. The field will has a synthetic, multi-purpose (AstroTurf) surface that will be used for softball, soccer, lacrosse, and by the Black Rock Little League.
ELLSWORTH FIELD IMPROVEMENTS
BLACK ROCK COMMUNITY BLOG
For more information on the Black Rock Community visit www.blackrockonline.org