Pirelli Building Gets New Lease on Life

Folks driving past IKEA in New Haven often wonder what this building is — designed by legendary Bauhaus architect Marcel Breuer, it was the world headquarters for Pirelli Tires. Later, IKEA bought the land but left the building unused. Working with landscape architect Earl Govens and others, LANDTECH is spearheading design plans to renovate the structure into a very cool state-of-the-art hotel. And now we’ve moved one step closer with New Haven’s Planning & Zoning green-lighting the project to start work.

Now the only thing that could hold up the project is figuring out how to assemble the furniture…

Celebrating the season

Once again, a remarkable holiday Gathering of the Tribes for LANDTECH Friends and Family last night. We assembled with staff, colleagues, clients and friends in Tim’s Kitchen at Wakeman Town Farm for our annual Christmas party. In keeping with tradition there was food and drink, drink and food and still more food and a noisy assembly of partygoers going strong “Til the Cows Came Home.” [special thanks to Dave Matlow for the pics]

Connecticut’s first farm brewery

LANDTECH is proud to have helped make Kent Falls, Connecticut’s first farm brewery, into a reality. We provided site planning, waste water plan design and saw the project through a lengthy permitting process that included overcoming local opposition — one that now celebrates the craft brewery.

The state of Connecticut is trying to regulate the field but so far the legislation is causing more confusion than encouragement… meantime, Kent Falls is brewing on and folks are enjoying their Thu-Fri-Sat afternoon tasting rooms… Read more…

Moving forward on the electric vehicle service center

Following LANDTECH’s successful application in November for a zoning text amendment, last night’s Westport Planning and Zoning Commission voted 5-0 to approve expanding the planned property that was once used as a classic car showroom at 176 Post Road West and converting it to an electric vehicle service center with almost double the square footage. The site plan calls for extensive environmental cleanup and other repairs and improvements to the property.

Al’s Holiday Angels

Al’s Angels were out in force today, some 500 strong, packing up 1,680 holiday meals and an unbelievable 15,000+ wrapped gifts, all for local families in need. Norwalk’s Monsignor Orlowsky gave a blessing, the volunteers enjoyed breakfast and lunch, a DJ provided music and Al DiGuido and LANDTECH’s own Pete Romano spent the day shepherding volunteers – including lots of adorable kids, all eager to help. A great job on every one’s part! [tx to Dave Matlow for great photos!]

Santa comes to Saugatuck

A little misty rain never bothers Santa, and he and his elves arrived on schedule at Saugatuck Center for a tree lighting, christmas carols, candy cane and lots of little ones getting to meet Santa. Oddly, we looked all over and no one could find Pete Romano all evening – luckily, he was spotted at work this morning… Perhaps its a bit like Superman and Clark Kent? Anyway a jolly time was had by all! [a tip of Santa’s hat to Dave Matlow for some pics]

Studying the Norwalk river

Down by the River… LANDTECH wetland scientist Chris Allan was brought in to predict possible impacts of Aquarion Water Company’s application to withdraw 1+ million gallons daily from its well in Cannondale CT. Chris did impact studies on the nearby Norwalk River and neighboring wetland and provided recommendations on water management and preserving and enhancing wetland and fish habitats. Public hearings are anticipated, and Chris will be on hand to discuss his findings with the many groups and interested parties planning to attend. [photos courtesy of Good Morning Wilton]

Electric Car Dealership coming to Westport

Shocking News! Last night in an inspiring collaborative effort between the Westport P&Z Commission, their Staff, Land Use Attorney Eric Bernheim, Architect Richard Becker, Land Use consultant Mel Barr and LANDTECH, the Commission approved an amendment to the Planning & Zoning Regulation that will allow an Electric Car Dealership to come to the vacant site at 176 Post Road West. It was a perfect storm! A challenging site, a diligent property owner Dave Ross who sought to bring by all accounts an innovative tenant to the site, the Land Use attorney to craft the amendment , a P&Z staff to support it and the Commission who conscientiously reviewed, tweaked and then voted to approved it last night. A win, win, win for Westport.

Wesport YMCA Phase II Tour

LANDTECH principal Pete Romano accompanied members of Westport’s Planning & Zoning Commission today on a guided walk-through of submitted plans for “Phase II” of the Westport Weston Family YMCA’s renovations… [tx for photos to Dave Matlow & WestportNow]

Laughter is the best medicine

As a sponsor of the American Cancer Society’s “Comedy Against Cancer” tribute to the Gault Family’s heritage of service to our community, the LANDTECH crew turned out in force to support the evening’s festivities, a salute that included stand-up comedy, food, drink and much merriment in honor of our friends…

Fun and games at Annual Beer Garden

A great time was had by all Sunday for the Wakeman Town Farm’s Annual Fall Beer Garden event. We had games, hula hoops and arts and crafts for the kids, plenty of tasty BBQ and other treats, craft beers on hand for the grown-ups, live music, a scarecrow workshop and lots more… and all for a great cause! [photos courtesy Dave Matlow]…

280 Main Street moving forward

Connecticut architect Bruce Beinfield’s creative designs for the redevelopment of 280 Main Street in Norwalk have cleared another recent hurdle. A recent Connecticut Appellate Court ruling removed final obstacles preventing developers from moving forward. The project will convert a large vacant lot (at one time an EPA superfund site) into a retail center with the potential to revitalize a large section of Norwalk’s Main Street. The project’s design calls for front-facing buildings to present as small, manageable individual structures in a town-house setting. LANDTECH is providing civil engineering, site planning and management of permits and the approvals process.
 

Approvals for YMCA Phase II

LANDTECH is sometimes accused of Approval-Seeking Behavior, and happily for us and our clients, it’s working… so far, for the second phase of construction of the Westport Weston Family YMCA, we have secured…
– Flood & Erosion Control Board – APPROVED
– Architectural Review Board – APPROVED
– Historical Commission – APPROVED
– Conservation Commission – APPROVED

Fun at Lobster Fest

LANDTECH was delighted to be a Siver Sponsor for this year’s hugely successful Westport Rotary Club Lobster Fest at Compo Beach. Over 1,200 attendees and volunteers showed up for the sold-out event, and a great time was had by all! [tx for photos by Dave Matlow and WestportNow]…

Phase II for the Y

The Westport Weston Family YMCA’s new location is one the of the projects LANDTECH is most proud to be a part of. The Y has announced a phase II expansion plan which will include gymnastics, spinning, yoga, kids club and lots more. LandTech is thrilled to be site design engineers of record and administering local land-use design and permitting for the project… [hat tip to Dan Woog’s 06880 blog]

Wetland restoration in progress

Work is plowing ahead, so to speak, as our work on the Maplewood Senior Living facility in Southport CT continues. LANDTECH is doing a complete ecological restoration of the grounds, includes environmental cleanup, replanting with native species and creation of a permanent, protected biodiverse habitat for plants and wildlife…

Thank you to our interns

Hard to believe school is coming fast! LANDTECH’s interns, who have been a fabulous bunch this summer, are getting ready to mosy back to school, starting with Tyler Smith, who is headed to Georgia Tech. He will be missed, but we had a nice picnic send-off in the Grill Section of our World Headquarters – on National Interns Day no less!

Family Fun Day

A hopping Saturday here in lovely Westport, Connecticut, with a fine arts festival downtown, the library’s huge outdoor book sale, and our favorite: Wakeman Town Farm’s Family Fun Day. “The Two Peters” are dishing out Saugatuck Sweets ice cream while the music plays, the kids do sports and face painting and everyone has a great time, for a great cause. [photos courtesy of Dave Matlow and WestportNow]

Saugatuck Sweets garners top honors

Saugatuck Sweets, the sweet shoppe owned by Al DiGuido (of Al’s Angels Fame) and our very own Pete Romano, garnered top honors – and is featured on the cover of July’s WESTPORT Magazine – for the Best of Gold Coast Award for the best Ice Cream and Candy Shop! The editors complimented the shop’s offerings in an ‘old-fashioned, slow-down shoppe’ atmosphere. We noted with delicious irony the same cover featuring an article on “220 Top Dentists”…

Intern Spotlight: Samantha Cheruk

Samantha Cheruk is back for her third summer interning with us here at LANDTECH. The Villanova senior is majoring in environmental science and geography, and will be working in the field and helping with filing, writing reports and other office duties. One of her focuses will be assisting our transition into GIS (Geographical Information Systems) software for projects, a major part of her school studies. Very cool stuff.

When she isn’t busy mastering ArcGIS, Samantha can be found doing her Navy Seal-type swimming and diving training and practices. She continues to excel in Villanova’s record-holding Big East championship swim and dive program, participating in multiple teams.

Intern spotlight: Skylar Capasso

LANDTECH is proud to have Skylar Capasso interning with us for the summer. In the fall she will be a returning sophomore at Cornell where she’ll continue her computer science studies in the College of Engineering. Sklyar was recently recognized as a John McMullen Dean’s Scholar. She also volunteered for 50+ hrs of community service focusing time on helping with the Special Olympics.

Posting notice for a new project

LANDTECH summer interns & aspiring engineers Samantha Cheruk and Skylar Capasso help out posting legal notice that paves the way to make room for an outstanding new project coming later in the year, a custom-designed luxury residence on Saugatuck Island.

Intern Spotlight: James O’Brien

LANDTECH intern James O’Brien just completed the Fairfield Faxon Law Half Marathon at Jennings Beach. His first half marathon, he scored 44th place in a field of 1,980 finishers, in just under 1.5 hrs! Congratulations to James, who says “I’m working to build up to a full marathon, and always enjoy exploring new areas!” We are proud of you!

Ecological restoration at Maplewood Senior Living

LANDTECH’s work on the ecological restoration of Maplewood Senior Living’s extensive grounds in Southport CT is continuing. These aerial photos give a good overview of work in progress, including a complete environmental cleanup, replacement of invasive plants with native species, the creation of a permanent biodiverse and protected habitat for plants and wildlife. Plus, beautiful scenic views to come…

Intern Spotlight: Tyler Smith

Each year The Society of Women Engineers presents awards for achievement to two high school students, one female and one male. One of this year’s recipients is our very own Tyler Smith, who is interning with LANDTECH this summer. Tyler is interested in engineering, is a hard worker and easy-going company, and we’re delighted he’s with us for the summer. He is headed to Georgia Tech in the fall, and they will be fortunate to have him…

Welcoming our summer interns

The Interns are Coming! The Interns are Coming! LANDTECH is pleased to welcome our interns for the summer season of learning. From left to right are Samantha Cheruk, James O’Brien, both returning from last year, and newcomers Tyler Smith and Skylar Capasso. More about each of them will follow soon…

Tom Ryder: Frog Whisperer

The Frog Whisperer: some folks spend their free time bowling, others like to read or binge-watch favorite shows. And some, like LANDTECH scientist Tom Ryder, spend their off hours inspecting vernal pools, doing deep diving to bond with tadpoles, spring peepers, wood frogs and more…

AIA Design Award for Choate Project

LANDTECH is part of the team awarded an AIA Connecticut Design Honor Award for the Lanphier Center at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford CT. Designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, this math and science center was designed using sustainable architecture to promote a combination of science and art interests for students. LANDTECH provided civil engineering and environmental science, and guided the project through the multi-step approvals process. Read more…

 

 

LandTech Team Members certified by NCEES

Andy Soumelidis and Curt LowensteinFor our team members Andy Soumelidis, PE and Curt Lowenstein, EIT, months of hard work and relentless study into the wee hours paid off. They both passed the NCEES Fundamentals of Engineering exam, which comes with great satisfaction and some letters after your name. LANDTECH is tremendously proud of both of them, and the champagne was served all around….

LandTech Awarded Design Award for Civil Engineering

LandTech has been awarded a 2017 AIA Connecticut Design Award for contributions to the Trolley House in Norwalk, CT. The 3,400 square foot house sits on a narrow spit of land surrounded by a tidal estuary. Landtech provided site planning and environmental engineering, as well as coastal permitting and management of the approvals process in this environmentally sensitive location. Read more…

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