Back in July, the former owner of the Ridgefield sports bar Tigers' Den, posted on Facebook that his place was closing. Now, the Planning and Zoning Commission in the town has approved new plans for the site.

After the Tigers' Den closed, the property was purchased by Sturges Properties, who submitted a special permit for renovations of the building. The Ridgefield Planning and Zoning Commission has just voted to approve the renovations and turn the former sports bar into an apartment complex.

According to newstimes.com, Attorney Bob Jewell, who represents Sturges Properties, said that since the renovations have been approved the construction will begin to convert the address into five residential units, and also use part of the building for a rentable office.

The plan calls for two one-bedroom units on the top floor and two one-bedroom units and a studio apartment on the bottom floor. The office space, which is only around 200 square feet, would also be located on the bottom floor.

Having residential apartments in the heart of Ridgefield's Central Business District was a concern for the board. Commission member John Katz, however, told newstimes.com that the commission does not have a “prohibition” against residential apartments in the zone, and that shops and businesses in the Main Street business area would benefit by having more residents within walking distance.

Our downtown benefits from the people that live there. There’s been such spotty history of restaurants through there, I’ve gotten at least six phone calls asking me about this since the story first broke.

There is some concern from other Commission members that allowing residential housing in the business district could hurt other downtown businesses. A push has been made by other Commission members who supported this vote, that regulations be revised regarding mixed residential and business developments.

Sturges Properties plans to start construction inside the building this winter, then it will have to appear before the Inland Wetlands Board in the spring and have a plan in place to pipe the brook next to the property to prevent it from eroding the building's foundation.