One of the most challenging aspects for a development company when a construction project begins is to be a good neighbor in the area where we are working because sooner or later we’re actually going to be neighbors.
Most construction projects can create some sort of friction between the developers, their crews, and the people who live or work in the adjacent businesses, apartment buildings and homes. In some cases, there are nearby schools, hospitals, or public safety sources that can be affected too.
Minimizing the friction that occurs during a project makes every aspect of construction a little smoother.
Keep the Community Informed
In our case, we ensure our neighbors are made aware that we are trying to keep a job site clear of unnecessary trash and debris, reduce the noise and dust that is always a sore point, and keep local street closures and traffic disruptions to a minimum. This way, residents are more understanding when these issues may occur.
When a complaint is called into the town or an issue is raised with a construction supervisor at a job site, we often meet with neighbors, listen to their complaint and work to stop or mitigate it before it becomes a contentious issue.
Since we’ve been doing a significant amount of work in the Darien, CT, area, we’ve worked with the town to ensure that our job sites create as little dust and noise as possible. When demolition and earthwork were going to be performed, we had noise and dust suppression measures in place to produce as little dust and noise as possible.
We’ve also limited our work to normal business hours so any disruptions occur only during the day and not at night when neighbors are home from work, trying to enjoy family time and a meal, or are trying to sleep.
These may seem like logical and sensible directives for anyone, but we know of numerous construction projects that have been shut down by towns for causing excessive dust and noise, or for working late into the night to make up for the many unforeseen delays that can put a project behind schedule.
There are other ways that we are trying to be good neighbors that may not be as noticeable.
Neighborhood Continuity & Architectural Design
We make it a point to design our buildings to “fit in” with the areas where they are being built. We’re not going to construct an ultra-modern building in an area that is filled with century-old colonial structures. Instead, our design team goes out, surveys the surrounding neighborhoods and develops plans that take into account the construction peculiarities of everything nearby.
This attention to detail is evident in the mixed-use buildings we’ve already finished in Darien, which includes the renovation of the historic Darien Playhouse in the center of town. Instead of demolishing the familiar red-brick building that has faced the Post Road for more than a decade, we integrated new retail space into the ground floor while creating four second-floor apartments that incorporate the same broad millwork and elegant trim pieces that were a part of the original building built in the 1920s.
One detail that is certainly noticeable is the red-brick pavers that were used to match the existing sidewalks and common areas of the adjacent businesses. We also used the red brick to create an expanded patio area for the apartment tenants at the rear of the new building, and a town-mandated crosswalk where Grove Street empties in the parking lot behind Darien Place was also finished with red brick.
The only other current project underway in Darien is at 1897 Post Road in Noroton where we’re creating another mixed-use building that will once again incorporate retail clients and residential apartments.
We look forward to the completion of this project in early 2022 and becoming a good neighbor with the residents of the Noroton community.