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STAMFORD, CT-Demolition activity has started at the 22-acre former Pitney Bowes complex at Peninsula Bay here. It is the start of what city leaders hope will be a multi-year $2 billion redevelopment program targeting some 82 acres of brownfield properties in the South End section of the city.

The first stage of the demolition will include lead paint and asbestos removal from the Pitney Bowes buildings. A majority of the structures at the site are expected to be leveled by May of 2006.

Antares Real Estate and its financial partner Lubert/Adler Fund IV of Philadelphia purchased three South End parcels, comprising a total of 82 acres, over the past nine months. The company acquired the 22-acre Peninsula Bay (the former Pitney Bowes) site in March, the 40-acre Admiral’s Wharf area in June and the 20-acre Yale & Towne manufacturing site in October.

Within the next two months, Antares expects to select a master planner for the three sites and then eventually submit plans for a large residential/retail development that will encompass all three sites. Bruce Macleod, chief operating officer of Antares Real Estate, says that although no formal plans have been formulated as yet, the company expects the project will involve somewhere between 2,000 to 3,000 residential units and some retail space. He adds the development will consist of both for sale and rental housing and will most likely include a number of architectural styles.

Antares officials note that there is currently 600,000 sf of existing manufacturing space at the former Yale & Towne property. Macleod says that some of the buildings there may be preserved. The Adam’s Wharf property is vacant. Some environmental remediation will be done prior to the start of construction, while some work will take place during the construction process. Macleod estimates that construction on the yet-to-be-named $2 billion development could begin within the next 12 months to 15 months.

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