The construction of Chelsea Piers Connecticut, a 400,000-square-foot sports complex located at the former Clairol site in Stamford, has officially begun.
With a tentative opening of June 2012, Chelsea Piers Connecticut will boast similar features to that of Chelsea Piers New York, which opened in 1995 on the West side of Manhattan: two NHL regulation ice rinks, turf fields for soccer, lacrosse, football, field hockey, softball, and baseball, a gymnastics center, an aquatics center with an Olympic-sized pool, seven tennis courts, 12 squash courts, a trampoline center, a baseball/softball training area, childcare/preschool, food service, pro shop, catering and party/special event spaces.
According to David Tewksbury, co-founder of Chelsea Piers New York and president of CPCT, the site at 1 Blachley Road was an ideal place for the company to build its new complex. "We found this piece of property very suitable for reuse," he said. "This building has been very well maintained."
Tewksbury told Patch that some of the changes being made to the site, which is comprised of a single story building connected to a two-story building, include the removal of all of the steel beams on the main floor, the removal of concrete walls to make room for 12-foot glass walls and the addition of 150,000 square feet on the roof of the site's warehouse to accommodate turf fields and tennis courts.
While Chelsea Piers New York is spread out over four different piers, patrons of Chelsea Piers Connecticut will enter through one main area and check in at the main desk. They will then find a spacious sitting area where parents can grab a bite and relax while waiting for their kids to finish a game. "It will be a more exciting place and more efficient," Tewksbury said.
He added that the city itself is ideal because of its proximity to the well-populated Westchester County as well as its reputation as a sports-loving community. "[Stamford] is the heart of Fairfield County," Tewksbury said. "The area has a significant population level and the people here are very enthusiastic about sports."
The complex's proximity to emphasizes its potential to partner with the city's educators and coaches. “This is a great opportunity for us, especially when it comes to afterschool programming," Tewksbury said. "Our partnership with schools and families will be the lifeblood of this facility."
The complex's first programs will start next summer and include both recreational and competitive summer sports camps in ice skating, ice hockey, squash, gymnastics, tennis, baseball/softball, and swimming. Fall classes and programs will begin in September 2012.
Chelsea Piers Connecticut is part of The Campus, which is owned by Stamford Exit 9, LLC, and a partnership consisting of affiliates of Spinnaker Real Estate Partners, Steven Wise Associates and the , which has plans to set up additional production space at the site.