The Corbin District: How Downtown Darien is Changing

Julianne Bauer, Writer

The Corbin District is re-imagining Darien. From new restaurants to new apartments, there are certainly many changes to come. This transformation began in 2019, with “extreme attention to detail.” When it comes to shopping, you have many options in the Corbin district. Barrett bookstore, Darien toy box, and Darien sports shop are just a few of many places to shop.

The plan is to “offer the best in fashion, design, and lifestyle.” This is not all that the Corbin district has to offer. Dining is also a large part of downtown Darien. Just some of the restaurants here are Gofer ice cream, Bodega taco bar, and The melting pot. Offices and residences such as luxury apartments will soon be a part of the district when construction is finished. While some are supportive of this change, others fear the loss of small businesses and the “homey” feel of the town.

A picture of what downtown Darien will look like. (Federal Realty )

While some are opposed to the new buildings, a new change for Darien would be very beneficial. Students at DHS are looking forward to all of the new dining and shopping options available. At a freshman lunch table, students chatted about how they were looking forward to new shops so close by. Freshman Lauren Savino and Lola Byrnes talked about how they were happy they wouldn’t have to drive to Greenwich of New Canaan for shopping.

When asked about the Corbin District, Byrnes said “I love it. They need more [new] buildings because our town is boring. Modernize with plants” This perspective is pretty understandable. Darien hasn’t undergone some serious changes to the town since I can remember and I have lived in Darien for almost 10 years.


A picture of David Harvey jewelers, one of many stores in Darien. (Doug Kerr)

I can see how some people who have lived in Darien even longer are desperate for something new. While new stores have popped up and spiked the Darien towns popularity, like Playa Bowls and Whim, there is only so far a few stores can go. With new restaurants, offices, shopping, and residences. The Corbin District offers so many new opportunities for Darien to expand and succeed. 

The new up and coming Corbin district has raised the concern of many across town for the past few months we’ve seen progress. Ever since small businesses and much alike started being demolished due to the ‘renovation’ that was going to take place in the years to come, residents of Darien have been left to question what is going to be new to offer. Darien High School Students expressed their dislike towards this. An anonymous Junior says, “They’re really filling it up with these new ‘bougie’ restaurants and shops or whatever, but [making the new plaza] really got rid of the homey feeling [it] had before.”

What a current street in downtown Darien looks like. (Doug Kerr )

Many others talked about their distaste with some of their favorite shops and businesses previously being demolished for this new center. It may come across as rapid change to some, but seeing as how the peeks we’re getting at the new center are receiving negative feedback will it, in the end, really be worth all the hype?