In a 5-0 vote, the Norwalk City Council has approved plans to redevelop a large section of its Civic Center with housing and commercial uses, reports the Whittier Daily News.

Northeast cornerJerde

The Norwalk Civic Center, which spans approximately 13.2 acres at the intersection of Norwalk Boulevard and Imperial Highway, features a large surface parking lot and front lawn, which are to serve as the site for the new development. In partnership with Primestor Development, the city is anticipating the construction of a mixed-use project that would replace those spaces with 350 residential units and 110,000 square feet of commercial uses, including shops, markets, and health and wellness businesses.

Plans also call for expanding an existing parking garage on the south side of the complex with up to two additional levels. The completed project would be served by roughly 651 parking spaces in the new mixed-use buildings, as well as 1,050 stalls located in the existing garage.

Jerde is designing the proposed development, which would feature two buildings rising up to seven stories in height. The new construction would be centered on a walkway cutting through the heart of the Civic Center property, and lined with ground-floor shops and restaurants. In total, plans call for more than 100,000 square feet of publicly accessible open space across the property.

Site plan for Norwalk Civic Center projectJerde

The housing at the Civic Center project would include a mix of studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom dwellings, approximately 15 percent of which would be reserved as affordable housing.

Construction of the Civic Center project is expected to occur over a roughly 23-month period, according to the environmental impact report circulated by the City of Norwalk.

While the loss of the Civic Center's front lawn would eliminate a public open space in favor of development, Norwalk officials are pursuing an expansion of Holifield Park, according to the environmental study.  The expansion of that park, located roughly two miles south, which would add 15 acres of new green space, and potentially serve as a replacement site for city events.

Site plan for Norwalk Civic Center projectJerde

The Civic Center redevelopment is not the only large project in the works for Norwalk. Just a quarter-mile east, the city hopes to bring 700 homes and retail to the site of the shuttered Southern Youth Correctional Reception Center and Clinic.