Vita District Revitalization Plan
Stamford Hospital has long served the neighborhood’s disproportionately uninsured population, and is investing in innovative programs to address the social determinants of health in the community. Additionally, they need strategies to accommodate their long-term growth in a land-constrained community. Charter Oak Communities, a community development corporation, was leading the mixed-income development of a former public housing project, and wished to continue this momentum by focusing on the nexus between Stillwater Avenue and the adjacent hospital.
Development Strategies—working alongside planning firms David Gamble Associates and Madden Planning— identified market-based development opportunities to rejuvenate Stillwater Avenue, including mixed-income housing, senior housing, storefront retail, medical office, and institutional space. Development Strategies developed a retail tenanting strategy and modeled several financial and legal arrangements for the lynchpin of the project—a new, 500 space parking garage to serve the hospital and the business district. Although it will take time to see the results in the community, the Vita Health and Wellness District has already seen successful outcomes, including precipitously reduced rates of crime and an increase in recreational use of public parks. Community leaders have since been exploring the expansion of these approaches to encompass all of Stamford.