Stamford advocate: Former “Hole in the Ground” now boasts luxury apartments

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Stamford Urby, a new 648-unit luxury residential development located where the previously infamous “hole in the ground” was,
opened this week in downtown Stamford.

In a city that keeps growing and bringing in millennials, it’s obvious as to whom the new luxury apartments at 1 Greyrock Place are appealing.

Environmentally-minded features — both in natural bamboo trees and trinkets like water fountains — are scattered throughout the Urby cafe and courtyard. Technology is king; heating, air conditioning and lighting in rooms are controlled via mobile apps.
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A view of a M1 apartment at the Stamford Urby

“If you don’t have a phone, we’re going to get you a phone,” Alexandra Novoa, Stamford Urby leasing manager,joked on a tour of the edifice.

Two years ago the parcel where the apartments now stand was The Hole in the Ground, a lot that had been vacant and mostly untouched for nearly half a century in the Stamford downtown, which earned itself its nickname.

This week, 464 units will become available for lease as part of the first of two phases to bring a total of 648 units at the intersection of Greyrock Place and Tresser Boulevard.

For Ironstate Development Co. President and Urby creator David Barry, who partnered with Brookfield Property Group for this project, this type of residential complex is about customizing the needs of the modern young professional.”

For one, you need less space, you need smart storage and if you think of this on-demand and on-convenience (economy) … right now it’s a demand world and I think people need less space and at the same time, with all the digital trends, there is also this need to create moments where people can socialize or be with others,” Barry said.

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A view of a M1 apartment at the Stamford Urby

Downtown locations close to mass transit stations are key for Urby sites, Barry noted, pointing to the Stamford Train Station that is about a 10-minute walk from the apartments.

For the New Jersey native, who has been in development since the 1990s and is working on bringing the Urby concept to other parts of the country, designing a space that relies on technology and community engagement is a trademark.

Attesting to that mindset, the Stamford Urby includes services like Amazon Locker — a self-service kiosk where one can pick up their packages — and Uber, with which the apartment complex has partnered to provide rides to the city train station.

The pool, located in the center part of the courtyard that also boasts firepits and barbeque grills, is expected to open around Memorial Day next year. Around 10 to 15 community events are expected to be scheduled once residents start moving in, according to Stamford Urby General Manager Jason Pennypacker.

The new complex also brings in local talent like Greenwich native Chef Mike Pietrafeso, whose Darien eatery

Roost will see its second location at the Urby cafe, a space that will be open to the public.
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A view of a M1 apartment at the Stamford Urby

The second phase of the development will see the construction of 184 more units; shovels are expected to hit the ground by January. Stamford-based developer F.D. Rich, who had been part of the groundbreaking ceremony in October 2017 as a co-developer, is no longer part of the project per George Cahn, a public relations agent hired by Ironstate.

A representative for F.D. Rich did not respond to multiple requests for comment. October will be an important month for the new luxury apartments as incoming residents dot their Is and cross their T’s on new leases with move-in dates expected as early as November.

Rooms come in three sizes: studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units that range from $2,090 to nearly $3,000 a month for rent.

With leases now available, Urby offers a batch of incentives like a free month rent on a 13-month lease, 1.5months on an 18-month lease or two free months on a 26-month lease.

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Seeing the project near its completion is a gratifying experience for Barry.
“It’s been amazing, I’m really happy with how it looks,” Barry said. “It’s fun to do these projects and bringing the next elements we have (from other Urbys) to the next one.”
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For more photos, click here. 

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