Greene: ‘SoNo Hotel’ headed for construction

NORWALK, Conn. – A plan for a South Norwalk hotel that was approved in April 2009 appears likely to come to fruition, according to Planning and Zoning Director Mike Greene.

Greene told the Zoning Commission Wednesday that it should expect both revisions to the South Norwalk hotel plan and an application for Head of the Harbor soon.

“We are hoping and expecting an application for Smith Street, the Head of the Harbor that you have heard so much about,” Greene said. “Hopefully, with this next deadline, you will see it in November for a hearing in December or January, so we think that’s going to come in, and the hotel approved on South Main Street has an actual hotel builder in mind. They are interested but would like to amend the regulations to allow extended stay and we are expecting that to come in.”

Commission Chairman Joe Santo commented that he thought the hotel would never get a builder.

“Well, if it didn’t have extended stay it might not, but this company … would like to do extended stay there, to continue with valet parking and everything else.”

The “SoNo Hotel” at 43-47 South Main St. was designed by architect Bruce Beinfeild and is a TR Sono Partners, LLC project. Plans are for a 121-room hotel with 7,764 square feet of office and a 70-space indoor valet parking garage in a new building, which will “fit seamlessly into and enhance the architectural character of South Main Street,” according to a section of the application on file in the Planning and Zoning office.

The property is currently occupied by the parking lot just north of the Norwalk Police headquarters and a vacant building just north of that. The application states that the project will create 55 permanent jobs and 200 construction jobs. The application, written in 2009, states that the property taxes will increase from $25,000 to $150,000.

The proposal has been granted a series of one-year extensions.

On the other side of town, Head of the Harbor South LLC managing member Michael F. DiScala and Mayor Harry Rilling in August signed a stack of papers to allow that project to go ahead.

A press release described the details:

“The intended project calls for the construction of two structures on the site containing 60  residential units and 6,000 square feet of office space, landscaping, pedestrian sidewalks, a waterfront boardwalk, a public plaza, a gazebo and pedestrian connections between the development site and historic Mill Hill.  In exchange for the public property totaling .5 acres, the developer will bring to the site a minimum of $660,000 of public improvements and provide the city a public easement over Smith Street and 15 on-site parking spaces for the city’s exclusive use, which are to be assigned to the Historic Commission. Under the terms of the agreement, the city also addresses certain improvements to the city-owned retaining wall on Wall Street.

“Under the Agreement, the developer has 90 days from the signing of the agreement to file with the Zoning Commission all applications necessary to complete the project and any required zoning modifications and three months to obtain such approvals from the Zoning Commission. Upon the requisite portion of Smith Street being successfully abandoned, the necessary utility relocation being completed and the developer evidencing their construction financing, the public property will be conveyed.  It is anticipated that the project construction period will be 18 to 20 months from conveyance.”


5 responses to “Greene: ‘SoNo Hotel’ headed for construction”

  1. Tony P

    Glad to see this finally happening – will definitely add to the neighborhood. It’s a handsome building, actually.

  2. Taxpayer Fatigue

    So, we’ve given the developer of the proposed SONO hotel four one-year extensions. We should tell them after this application modification, that’s it, build it or your approvals are gone. Same thing to all the other developers in town. The economy is slowly coming back – now is the time to “cut bait and fish”. No more developer “Monopoly” games with Norwalk Zoning approvals.

  3. Ms Ruby McPherson

    I hope this will bring jobs for Norwalk people and not just alot of out of town folks. Diversity also,as people do have skills.

  4. WOW just WOW

    Great News

  5. Maritime Yards Condo Owner

    Great news – but I also agree with “Taxpayer Fatigue” on getting tough on the developers. Some developers have made money in this town off of parcels that they never developed, which is fine, but we need serious developers as the market comes back – time to change the tone.

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