Christie Lane Industries (CLI) is moving closer to establishing an Uptown Norwalk presence.
CLI is in the process of purchasing the former Crider Jewelers building located at 16 W. Main St.
“Christie Lane’s bottom line is that we want to be involved in Uptown Norwalk’s revitalization and we are excited to have a presence on Main Street,” said John Schwartz, director of Christie Lane Industries.
Schwartz said the push, both on the state and national level, is for community integration.
Schwartz added the ways to accomplish that integration are still “in flux.”
Either way, CLI is looking to establish a location that can provide day services for three individuals and also studio space, open to the community.
“The goal of this project is to give the community something that will give even more reasons for people and families to spend time uptown as well as increase the diversity of what we offer our clients with developmental disabilities,” Schwartz said.
“We are really striving to take a fresh look at all opportunities to engage people with developmental disabilities with the community,” he added.
Once the deal finalizes, there will be a period of renovation at 16 W. Main.
“There is a little asbestos in the basement above the old boiler that has to be removed,” Schwartz said.
“We’ll probably keep the interior walls on the first floor toward the back,” he said. “We also need to renovate the back of the first floor for a large bathroom and kitchenette. The rest of the first floor I want all open. I want a big, street presence.
“The second floor is a circa 1970s apartment and the third floor needs some work,” Schwartz said. “I know we’ll replace the windows on the second and third floors.”
Schwartz said he didn’t feel comfortable revealing the building purchase price until the deal closes.
The building also needs electrical and heating/air-conditioning work.
“I like this building because it is a manageable size,” he said.
“Not at the moment,” Schwartz said, when asked if CLI is shopping for more buildings.
“One step at a time,” he said.
Schwartz said Christie Lane will be part of Imagine Norwalk this summer.
“It is really a vibrant downtown and we want to be a part of that,” he said.
The building should be open for business in six months.