POKO Partners’ new look approved by Zoning Commission

Norwalk Senior Planner Dori Wilson shows a new rendering of POKO Partners' Wall Street Place at Wednesday's Zoning Commission meeting.

Norwalk Senior Planner Dori Wilson shows a new rendering of POKO Partners’ Wall Street Place at Wednesday’s Zoning Commission meeting.

Update, 6 p.m.: PDF of plans attached.

NORWALK, Conn. – POKO Partners’ long-stalled Wall Street development got its final green light from Norwalk on Wednesday from the Zoning Commission.

Zoners approved the site revisions that include losing a story or two and an updated look, agreeing that it is a “minor change,” after Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Tim Sheehan said his agency had also signed off on it.

The RDA always sends architectural reviews out to consultants, Sheehan said. In this case, the Cecil Group, which reviewed the original plan and which wrote the design guidelines for the Wall Street development plan, said the modifications are in keeping with the originally approved design.

While six stories were originally approved for the Wall Street façade, POKO is now approved to build a five-story building there. POKO was planning seven stories along Isaac Street but is now approved for five and six stories there. The plan for eight stories on Isaac and New Street (a new street) remains, as does the total number of apartments, although one more workforce housing unit has been added.

Cecil called the changes in story height minor, Sheehan said.

“There’s two minor issues that we’d like to bring to the redeveloper’s attention,” Sheehan said. “One was there was planters that were originally in the first plan that aren’t in the plan you reviewed; we’d like to see those go back. Then there was Herringbone above the top cornice. We think that from an aesthetic standpoint complicates the design more than it need be, but it’s just a design point that we’d like to bring forward and have a conversation with the developer about.”

Keith Peacock of Kitchen Associates said two weeks ago that the building will be more efficient this way, and in keeping with current codes. Commissioner James White, who complained at that meeting that the new look is too industrial, was not present for Wednesday’s meeting.

The vote was unanimous, although Zoners complained that they hadn’t gotten the information, which included revised drawings, before the meeting.

Senior Planner Dori Wilson said she had mailed it to them.

“No one got their packets?” Mike Greene asked.

Nora King asked if packets could be emailed in the future, but Wilson said they were huge.

Ken Olson of POKO Partners did not return a Thursday email asking about the status of the project’s construction loan.

2015-01-21_Zoning renderings



Kevin Di Mauro January 22, 2015 at 9:34 pm

I think live reporting of events via the web may have something to do with an improved performance of our public commissioners.

Maritime Yards Condo Owner January 23, 2015 at 2:55 pm

More good progress – Head of Harbor and Poko, let’s hope they actually get built. 95/7 has a long way to go before it is a “good” project…

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