Waypointe businesses lining up, Norwalk developer says

NORWALK, Conn. – It’s looking like West Avenue will see a Bonefish Grill restaurant and the return of Joe the Shoemaker sometime in the relatively near future, according to Paxton Kinol of Belpointe Capital, the company behind The Waypointe.

Almost all of the retail space in the new building is accounted for, Kinol said to the Zoning Commission last week in a conversation that also included an explanation of modern sound-proofing techniques.

Kinol said the development’s office space on the corner of Wall and Merwin streets is temporary and is likely to become a Wells Fargo bank. “That deal is not done but we think they are going to move down the road and take that space,” he said.

Waypointe office Norwalk
Waypointe has been leasing since early February.

Bonefish Grill was on board to move into the space next to the office, he said, but there’s been a snag.

“Bonefish Grill got a new president and a new head of real estate, so they’re going through the reapproval process, but if I had to guess I would say Bonefish Grill would be the first restaurant open in our development because they’re an engine. It only takes them four months from the start of construction to opening. They’re asking a lot of questions right now. I am guessing they’re reapproved within a month or two and then opening this fall sometime,” Kinol said.

Restaurant tenants are being encouraged to design their own facades and to be creative with it, he said.

“We are setting up a protocol with the Redevelopment Agency where they have an architect/ADA who is going to review each of the plans that come in for the specific restaurants,” Kinol said.

Bonefish Grill has an attractive tan façade with blue awnings, which would replace the “big green wall” there now, he said.

“Out of 60,000 square feet, more than 50,000 is already reserved and leases are working. We are filling in little things, like an ice cream store and the candy store, those kind of smaller spaces now are being filled in, SoNo Baking, for example,” Kinol said.

Joe Ancona of Economy Shoe Repair is being grandfathered into the building after being forced out of the West Avenue storefront he occupied for 42 years more than two years ago to make way for the new development. He is last on the list, Kinol said, and will be shoehorned into the space that is left.

Joe Ancona of Economy Shoe Repair
Joe Ancona of Economy Shoe Repair is awaiting a return to West Avenue after two years in this building.

Ancona has been doing business on the neighboring Butler Street in a deal arranged by Kinol.

That information came via a question asked by Zoning Commission Chairman Joe Santo. But Zoning Commissioner Mike Mushak brought up another topic – noisy apartments.

Mushak said he lived on Water Street when he first came to Norwalk but sound problems eventually inspired him to leave 15 years ago.

“Sound issues are the No. 2 issue we deal in with apartments. No. 1 is water leaks,” Kinol said.

To deal with this, “We build two walls separate from each other so each apartment is literally a separate building from the other. Each wall has drywall on it, has sound attenuation inside and then has a one-inch gap. So sound hitting this wall in this apartment doesn’t transfer through to the other wall,” he said.

Waypointe features floor trusses that are made from layered plywood, which compartmentalizes the sound better than a traditional joist, he said.

“From the buildings we built in 2007 to now the technology has already changed,” Kinol said. “So we use in this building a 3/8-inch rubber mat and an inch-and-a-quarter Gyp-Crete (underlayment). The Gyp-Crete, since I came into this 20 years ago, has gotten tremendously better.”

Back in 2007, developers were forced to put in carpeting to make the code-required soundproofing levels, but now Belpointe puts in vinyl flooring that looks like wood, he said. It tests out better than required by the building code, he said.

“In the six years I have been on this commission, that is the best answer I have ever received,” Mushak said. Kinol went on with advice, things Mushak could have done to make his apartment bearable.

“Mass kills sounds. On your outside walls, add another layer of drywall, that would be the best thing you could possibly do,” Kinol said. “On the floor, the person above you unfortunately is going to make noise but if you have an extra level of drywall on the ceiling that would kill that as well.”

Zoning Commissioner Nate Sumpter said he had toured Waypointe and been puzzled by electrical boxes protruding from walls.

“Our building is the only one in this town that actually meets the code,” Kinol said. “Unfortunately the ADA (American Disabilities Act) code in Connecticut is one of the strongest and most-strict in the country.”

A typical counter top is 25 inches deep but Connecticut ADA code requires that the surface of an electrical outlet must be 24 inches from the edge of the counter, Kinol said. The company’s architect is “very thorough” and insists the code be met, he said.

“We have tile on wall,” Kinol said. “We have to put a 1-inch extension on each outlet. I don’t agree with it, but it’s the law in the state of Connecticut.”


2 responses to “Waypointe businesses lining up, Norwalk developer says”

  1. Don’t Panic

    Will this development be LEEDS certified and are there initiatives to encourage green installations in each of the new businesses coming in? Will the restaurant recycle its cooking oil? Will lighting systems be CFL and LED to save on electrical use? Will there be bike friendly amenities like convenient bike racks and possibly (as one recent letter writer on this site suggested) shower stalls?

  2. Suzanne

    Mr. Kinol should try living in a wheel chair or with another kind of chronic disability before he objects to ADA standards.

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