Another issue for the city was that part of the commercial half of the 40 acres was filled with wetlands.
“About 10 acres of the 20 commercial acres are not really suitable for retail buildings without a ton of work filling wetlands that we didn’t want to see filled,” Stuart said.
The idea to turn that into a new city park helped the development take a step forward.
The project has three parts: about 20 acres for the 300-unit apartment complex, about 10 acres for the commercial space and about 10 acres of green space connecting the residential and commercial developments.
“Instead of trying to pave (the wetlands) over, we’re going to use part of it as a central park, with play areas and picnic areas,” Stuart said. “It will connect people with the natural environment and connect residential with commercial.”
“Parking is the most complained-about thing here,” he said.
Edwards said that while Felida Village has been a success, as all commercial and residential space is currently leased, the Ridgefield project won’t necessarily look similar.
“We’re going to build a community-focused mixed-use development that is scaled appropriately for Ridgefield,” he said. “It will be something unique for an area that is underserved.”