Bankside Condos To Rise On River

To everyone’s surprise, one unintended consequence of COVID-19 has been a sizzling local real estate market.

Tucked into that surprise: A luxury condominium project that was given up for dead has roared back to life.

Bankside’s 12 units will rise soon on Wilton Avenue, at the site of the now-demolished Save the Children building. The design takes advantage of the Saugatuck River location. There is only one residence per floor — and stunning views.

Artist’s rendering of the Bankside condos.

Bankside began in 2013. David Waldman — the developer of Bedford Square, and many other local projects — joined with Greenfield Partners (whose offices are in nearby National Hall) to buy the Save the Children site.

Waldman and Greenfield hired Roger Ferris + Partners — the architectural firm that designed many new buildings on the river’s west bank — to bring their vision of a spectacular new development to life. It included a new office building, and a land swap to create a right-turn lane at the notorious Wilton Road/Post Road West bottleneck.

The office building was built — and has already been sold. But the 7-year residential slog included the town’s denial of the land swap, and a drying up of the luxury condo market.

A year ago Waldman, Greenfield and their investors were ready to sell that building site at a loss.

Then coronavirus struck. Suddenly the suburbs seemed more attractive than cities. The housing market changed dramatically.

Waldman found a new partner. He sold the land to Eric O’Brien — owner of the innovative New Haven building firm Urbane — but stayed on as part of the development group.

Work begins soon on Ferris’ design. Unlike most condos, 10 of the 12 units will share only floors and ceilings — no walls. Windows will look out on the river and downtown on one side, woods and hills on another. Patios of up to 800 square feet front the water.

The condos feature outdoor living on the river.

Ten of the units are 2,500 square feet, including 2 bedrooms and a den. The other 2 units are 3,400 square feet, with 3 bedrooms. Prices range from $2.25 million to $4.25 million.

Completion is scheduled for spring of 2022. Click here for more details.

23 responses to “Bankside Condos To Rise On River

  1. I don’t get it. You can get a really nice house on the beach for these prices. Who’s going to pay $4M / $1200 per sf for a condo that only has a view…but no Long Island Sound, no swimming pool, tennis court, boat dock…or backyard for that matter?

  2. Also, I don’t get the benefit of sharing floor/ceilings vs walls. From my Manhattan days, the noise came from upstairs and downstairs neighbors, not adjacent apartments. In any event, at these prices, I’d hope units are thoroughly soundproofed, regardless of source…with the busy road being the main issue.

  3. I hope all of these luxury projects being built in the last 30 years don’t BLOCK the view of the river altogether. Westport is NOT a city let alone a high rise city. It’s lost its town charm with behemoth mansions everywhere competing with the next mansion. So sad .. I must be old. I miss 70’s and 80’s Westport.

    • I KNOW I’M OLD….I MISS THE WESTPORT OF THE 50’S AND 60’S

    • I have lived in Westport since 1970 and while there are things from that era I do miss, the Save the Children building is not one of them. If you recall, that building provided NO views or access to the river as it had a 485 foot uninterrupted façade. The new office building at 54 Wilton Road and Bankside House, once completed, will not only provide ample viewing corridors to the river from the road, but also public parking and access to public walking path along the river leading from the boardwalk of National Hall.

    • Diana –

      Your interest in not “walling off” the River from view is commonly-held by many – in fact when I was on the P&Z we passed a “river views” regulation that requires the preservation of a 25% (of the river-frontage) view to the River from the road. Sadly, the P&Z allowed David Waldman to re-write the rules for this parcel of land to avoid having to comply with that regulation, so he can fully block the view to the River.

      And yes, when the old building that housed Save The Children was built over 50 years ago, that River Views regulation was not in place. But we are constantly improving our zoning regulations in Town, and if you tear a building down and start fresh, you do so with the current zoning regulations in mind. Unless you are special.

  4. Ever smell low tide there?

  5. The new definition of affordable housing?.Sublets.AirBandB

  6. Over the years David Waldman has gotten better and better at being involved in projects with fine aesthetics. This may be another example of that, but I await the final look from across the river. I trust the comments of the Architectural Review Board were respected since that Board usually does a fine job, even though without any legal power. As to the prices for the units, time will tell. I hope that at some point a modest grocery store comes back to Main Street or otherwise within walking distance for those who live downtown.
    Don Bergmann

  7. Camilla Tilllman James

    Waldman’s at it again. Zapping the charm of Westport right out from under the town, for the sake of development and profits. There’s literally zero attractiveness to that building and tons of opportunity to build something special.

    • The Westport Bank and Trust (Patagonia) and YMCA (Anthropologie and others) conversions are wonderful. Both a result of David Waldman’s vision.

  8. Getting onto Wilton Rd in traffic will be fun….

  9. Thank you Peter for your comments. It is clear you will not be one of our future buyers. That said, my partners and I feel that the superior design created by Roger Ferris & Partners will, as it has time and time again, generate the interest from buyers needed too sell these twelve waterfront residences. Additionally, our brokers, KMS Compass, led by Kim Harizman, helped guide us on our pricing, which was based on actual comparable sales in neighboring towns (New Canaan, Greenwich) and local signal family sales. Since our launch last week, we have seen a tremendous amount of interest in the property and have already come to agreement with a buyer on one of the units.

    While it is true we do not have a swimming pool or back yard, we do offer other amenities which we feel buyers are looking for, including: Large private exterior terraces designed to accommodate a wide range of outdoor uses (hot tub, BBQ, exterior living room). Maintenance free exterior finishes so the unit owners can enjoy lower HOA charges. A generous multi-purpose room designed to be flexible to meet the ever changing needs of the future homeowners. We provide secure covered parking, access to the Saugatuck river and magnificent and ever changing views of the Saugatuck River, Downtown, and Old Hill. The best part is that all of this is in walking distance of some of the finest restaurants and shops the tri-state area has to offer, not to mention the best library in Connecticut and the Levitt Pavilion.

    As for the ceiling/noise/road comments, we spent a great deal of time and money creating, with the assistance of our acoustical engineer and our seasoned architects, a building envelope which will insure a level of quietness one would expect in a Condo of this quality. To achieve this our final design included acoustically rated glass and window units to accommodate the wide range of noise levels on Wilton Road. The configuration and design of the units further reduced the transmittance of sound by inclusion of the private inner courtyards with green walls, which make it so only one wall of a unit fronts the road. To address the floor to ceiling sound transmission you mentioned, we again feel we went above and beyond, Our interior finishes will be isolated from the main structural elements of the project through the use of resilient clips. We also placed all of our mechanical equipment servicing the units in private closets located in the common core. This helps isolate sound and vibration and as an added benefit, allows the equipment to be serviced without entering the unit. Lastly we added significant acoustical underlayment’s on all floors.

    I am proud of Bankside House, as i am of all my the projects I have been fortunate enough to be part of, and look forward to its completion in early spring of ’22.

    • David, sounds like a great complex. You are right. I represented the seller of a Greenwich condo several years ago for a selling price in the several millions. There is definitely a market for this kind of living arrangement and the Bankside location is perfect for those seeking a slightly more “urban” environment. Building condos in this type of area also acknowledges our more traditional residential neighborhoods and protects them from incursions that often create major controversy. Well done.

    • “It is clear you will not be one our future buyers.”

      That speaks volumes. No further comment needed!

  10. It’s almost like these architects and developers live on another planet. They demolished one ugly box and are literally replacing it with another charmless box. Westport is known for its rich and eclectic history of design and architecture, which is now being taken over by thoughtless, generic design unbefitting of the location and natural landscape.

  11. I don’t know David Waldman but I applaud this effort. I live and work in Westport and I love the idea of enhancing the appeal of our wonderful town with new and exciting projects like this one. Imagine the alternative…forlorn antiquated structures, business’s and people leaving, etc. I understand nostalgia, I’m often nostalgic. But please folks, stop bellyaching and understand that this in my view is a positive!

  12. I don’t really understand how a person or family can rationalize buying a $2.25 million to $4 million dollar condo unit in Westport when so many families and individuals are experiencing so much financial difficulty. Perhaps if the people buying these units gave just as much to help others much less fortunate than themselves, we would all share a much happier and healthier world in the near future?

  13. Anyone moving into this building better hope someone can persuade the Town of Westport to finally take just a little responsibility for the out-of-control sound bleed coming from the new Levitt Pavilion.

    If you live downtown and occasionally value/require some peace and quiet in your own home, the “50 free nights of music” gets pretty old by, say, night 37; the sound blasting out of that poorly engineered venue rolls up the river like Sherman through the South.

    Of course, this is a total and complete violation of our zoning regs. But downtown residents who file complaints have noticed something interesting: those complaints all disappear. Like magic.

  14. There goes the neighborhood!

  15. Tough crowd…. Good luck David! My guess is they sell before the landscaping is completed. #newwestport

  16. Elizabeth Thibault

    How much tax will the project generate for the town? There will be the initial tax at sale, and annual assessments. 🤔 There won’t be the same infrastructure burden an office building would bring, and these are clearly not designed for large families. They won’t help our 8-30g numbers, but perhaps Mr. Waldman can be convinced to use some of his development prowess on another project in town to not bury us further, in that regard.
    There seem to be some concerns that he can work on here, to lessen negative impacts and benefit the neighbors, but there are worse things to build here.

    • Actually the developer of this project is required to provide off site affordable units. not sure how many since I believe it was downsized after approval

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