Thursday, 02 May 2024 14:14

Nearly 400 New Apartments, Townhouses Coming to Wilton Mall in 2026-27

Sketch Plan of Planned Unit Development District (PUDD) at Wilton, where 382 units are anticipated to be constructed by 2026-27. Sketch Plan of Planned Unit Development District (PUDD) at Wilton, where 382 units are anticipated to be constructed by 2026-27.

WILTON — A large multifamily housing project recently given the thumbs-up to proceed is anticipated to offer hundreds of new residential units as early as the summer of 2026 in the town of Wilton.

The project will take place alongside the existing Wilton Mall and is expected to be developed in two phases, with 296 apartments available for occupancy in the summer of 2026 and 86 townhomes made available the following year. 

The Wilton Mall will remain largely operational, and the hope is it will gain new interest as a result. The space formerly housing the Bon Ton store will be demolished and atop nearly 9 acres of land, 296  “market rate apartment units” will be constructed in its place. Demolition may take place as soon as this spring. 

The additional 86 townhome units will be developed just across the road in the northeast corner of the property and on nearly 5 acres of land during the project’s second phase. 

Mike Shaffer, general manager of Wilton Mall, is hopeful the combined 382 new units will provide a financial boost for the mall. At its peak in 2016, the mall generated about $95 million in sales, but by 2022 sales had dropped in half, due to factors such as the closure of Bonton and Sears, the pandemic, and a public shift to shopping online. 

“The mall needs that residential catalyst to attract new interest,” Shaffer told the Wilton Town Board during its April meeting when it approved the creation of a Planned Unit Development District (PUDD) to allow the project to move forward. Specifically, Shaffer cited the project as catalyst to potentially attracting national retailers, restaurants and new uses such as entertainment. 

The evolution of the mall over the past decade or so has included bringing in Healthy Living, Planet Fitness and a 22,000 square feet Home Goods store as a tenant. It transitioned the vacated Sears box store to Saratoga Hospital for primary care, clinical care and administrative uses, sited Orangetheory  Fitness and recently celebrated the reopening of a cinema. The redevelopment of the vacant BonTon marks the next step in the evolution of the mall.

To meet the spring 2025 construction plan, design and preparations are anticipated to take three to four months, site plan subdivision approval four or five months, and building two or three months in time. The hope is to have the first apartments online and for rent in the summer of 2026. 

The Macerich Corporation and Paramount Development are collaborating on the project. “For the construction, we have 318 jobs, $14.5 million in associated earnings, $37.5 million in sales spent locally,” Tawney Farmer, of Macerich, told the Wilton Town Board during the 35-minute presentation and vote, which was approved 4-1, with Wilton Supervisor John Lant casting the lone vote against.  “Annually, after the apartments are built, we will generate 125 permanent jobs, $5.6 million in associated earnings and $16.6 million in annual sales.” 

Additional estimates point to the Town receiving $368,000 in new sales tax revenue annually, and the Saratoga City School District experiencing a net benefit of $809,000 after estimating 25 new enrolled students the project may produce.

The proposal for the project had been in the discussion and debate stage for at least two years. The Wilton Planning Board and the Saratoga County Planning board had each previously issued a positive recommendation for the project.

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