Goldfish Swim School to open Stamford site

By Paul Schott, Stamford Advocate, June 21, 2020

Goldfish Swim School


STAMFORD — Goldfish Swim School is expanding to Stamford, with the upcoming opening of a center in the Springdale section marking its second location in the state.

Scheduled to open in November, the franchisee-owned establishment will occupy about 11,800 square feet in Building 9 of the River Bend Center business park off Hope Street. Its center at 112 Main St., in Norwalk., opened in 2018.

“We have been interested in the Stamford market from the beginning,” said Laurie Houseknecht, general manager of the Stamford location. “Once we opened the Norwalk location, we worked diligently until we found the right location to make our home.”

Founded by husband-and-wife team Chris and Jenny McCuiston, Goldfish provides year-round swim lessons for children ages 4 months to 12 years and for swimmers of all abilities.

Since opening its first franchise in 2009 in Farmington Hills, Mich., Goldfish has grown across North America. It has more than 90 schools open or in development across more than 30 states and in Canada.

The organization says it teaches more than 100,000 students each week.

Goldfish’s Norwalk location remains temporarily closed in response to the coronavirus crisis.

Connecticut’s second phase of reopenings started Wednesday. Swim lessons that require physical contact between instructors and students are not allowed during the second stage. Lessons that do not involve physical contact between students and instructors — such as “swim team sessions with older children” — are permitted.

“We are closely monitoring reopening guidelines set forth by Gov. (Ned) Lamont and his appointed reopening committee, as we work toward determining an appropriate reopening date,” Houseknecht said.

For 2021, Goldfish intends to open a center in Manchester, with plans to launch in additional locations in the Hartford area.

In the leasing negotiations for the Stamford site, the landlord was represented by commercial real estate firm Newmark Knight Frank senior managing director Tim Rorick and director Brad Soules. Bill Montague, of Cushman & Wakefield, represented Goldfish.

“River Bend Center has evolved into a park that can accommodate a multitude of businesses,” Rorick said in a statement. “The park’s tenant roster has become increasingly diverse and now includes office users, manufacturing, disaster recovery, schools, a trampoline park and a sports academy. We see the addition of a swim school for the community as a perfect fit.”

Hosting about 640,000 square feet of buildings across 40 acres, River Bend is approximately 75 percent leased.

“We are looking forward to the Goldfish Swim School coming to River Bend Center, and we were happy to accommodate their unique requirements,” Jonathan Turner, director of property management and leasing for River Bend, said in a statement. “River Bend Center has become a destination property for area business since we offer some of the most cost-effective and flexible buildings in Stamford.”; Twitter: @paulschott