Darien Commons Development in Downtown Noroton to Open Stores in Fall 2022, Apartments in Spring

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Federal Realty Investment Trust says Darien Commons, its business/residential development being built in downtown Noroton Heights, will have new retail and restaurant tenants opening doors within 18 months, with some by the fall of 2022.

Apartments can be reserved this coming January, and they should be available this coming Spring, the company says.

— an announcement from Federal Realty


A recent announcement from Federal Realty included these elements relating to timing that Darienite.com presents here as a single timeline:

—January 2022 — pre-leasing for apartments

—Fall 2022 — new stores begin to open

—”Within the next 18 months” (up to late February 2023) — other stores will open

In Spring 2022, apartments are expected to be ready for occupancy, a publicist for Federal Realty said.

Darien Commons prospective rendering

Image from Federal Realty

Rendering of what Darien Commons is expected to look like (although you’d have to be pretty high up).

When complete, Darien Commons will feature over 110,000 square feet of retail space and 122 apartments. Apartments for lease will have a range of sizes from studios to two-bedroom homes with secure, underground parking.

Part of the customer base for the businesses is expected to come from the development’s residents as well as neighbors and commuters using the nearby Noroton Heights train station, but Federal also wants Darien Commons to be a “destination” for others.

Retail Lineup

New tenants coming to Darien Commons include:

Glosslab (a hygiene-first, membership-based nail studio operator)
Gregorys (coffee roaster, tea, pastries and packaged goods)
Molto pizza (Fairfield-based Italian eatery and wine bar)
Van Leeuwen (ice cream & vegan ice cream, new to Connecticut)

The line-up includes Manhattan-based brands making their first foray into Fairfield County as well as regional and local emerging businesses.

“Darien Commons is an ideal destination for these food and service options to expand in Fairfield County,” said Patrick McMahon, senior vice president for Federal Realty.

“Our company has a long history of bringing high quality convenience and boutique retail to our mixed-use centers and creating a desirable mix both for residents and visitors, as evidenced by this first group of tenants,” McMahon said. Federal Realty’s announcement said the company looks for

Existing tenant Walgreens recently opened a new 12,000-square-foot drugstore in the development, next to the store’s former location. In 2019 the existing Equinox fitness club underwent an extensive renovation.

Other tenants will be announced in upcoming months. Federal Realty is looking for a mix of national, regional and local retail businesses to fill out the rest of the 63,000 square feet of retail space on-site.

Here are descriptions of each of the new stores (quotes are from the news release):


Rachel Apfel Glass founded Glosslab with a mission “to modernize the nail studio experience with its hygiene-first, membership based concept.”

The company aims to both focus on the client experience and “provide employees with a safe working environment, fair wages, and a true career path.” Glosslab is totally water-free, “as water is a breeding ground for germs.”

“Hygiene is Glosslab’s guarantee, with strict measures in place long before COVID-19 guidelines were developed.”

The nail studio features online booking, cashless payment, contactless check-in and check-out and products including long-lasting vegan polish, gel, and non-toxic polishes.


Gregorys was founded in 2006 in Manhattan. Though it is primarily a specialty coffee brand, the company says it “incorporates lifestyle and wellness into a holistic approach to food and experience.”


Molto (meaning “a lot” or “many” in Italian) has a Roman café style décor, circa 1950, with a 40-foot Carrera marble-top bar. The restaurant features a long wine list and “spirited” cocktail menu.

The restaurant offers square brick oven pizza, fresh mozzarella, seasonal salads, and paninis, as well as a variety of salumi and formaggi (cheeses), Italian tapas, and hearty classic Italian fare, including penne alla vodka, gnocchi Bolognese, chicken parmigiana and veal Sorrentino.

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream was started out of a yellow scoop truck in New York City in 2008 by Ben Van Leeuwen, Pete Van Leeuwen and Laura O’Neill, who were on a mission to make good ice cream from good ingredients that makes you feel good.

Since 2008, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream has innovated beyond the original dairy recipe and added cashew-milk vegan ice cream and oat-milk vegan ice cream to the lineup. Across the three lines, they offer 32 flavors and four special flavors every month.

The business has grown into a chain of more than 25 scoop shops in New York City, Los Angeles, Houston, Philadelphia, grocery stores across the country and now with a store in Connecticut.

More About Darien Commons

A transit-oriented development close to Interstate 95 and is just across Heights Road from the New Haven Line, Darien Commons was designed by Beinfield Architecture of Norwalk. A.P. Construction Company of Stamford is the general contractor.

Apartments in the development will have access to a “curated lending library of must-have items” and below-grade parking.

The nine-acre site will have 422 parking spaces, according to the Darien Commons website.

For more information on retail leasing, contact Vanessa Mendoza at (301) 998-8218 or vmendoza@federalrealty.com. For more information on residential leasing, or to sign up for alerts, visit DarienCommons.com.

About Federal Realty

Federal Realty owns, operates and redevelops properties mostly in major coastal markets from Washington, D.C. to Boston, as well as San Francisco and Los Angeles.

These properties are meant to provide unique and vibrant environments that combine shopping, dining, living and working to create a destination experience valued by their  communities.

Founded in 1962, Federal Realty’s mission is to deliver long-term, sustainable growth through investing in communities where retail demand exceeds supply.

The business’ 105 properties include about 3,000 tenants, in 25 million square feet, and about 2,900 residential units.

Federal Realty has increased its quarterly dividends to its shareholders for 54 consecutive years, the longest record in the REIT industry. The company is an S&P 500 index member and its shares are traded on the NYSE under the symbol FRT.

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