Market Lane 6-1-16

Building Height Discussed in Last Zone-Change Hearing for Corbin-Post Downtown Redevelopment

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Is five or six stories just too high for a Darien building, even downtown? Or will those buildings loom less over downtown and nearby homes than some fear? Those questions were behind a lot of the discussion Tuesday night at the Planning & Zoning Commission’s last public hearing on a zoning change proposal that would allow higher structures on the triangular site bounded by Corbin Drive, the Post Road and Interstate 95. In a slide presentation from developer David Genovese and his team, the commission saw sketches showing how high the buildings would appear from various angles downtown, some as far away as Darien Library and the intersection of Brookside Road and the Post Road. The commission members also asked questions about how much height was needed for multi-story buildings, how many parking spaces would be provided.

Closer rendering front and side 4-19-16

Shake Shack Now Faces Higher Hurdle in Darien, Even as P&Z Approves Application

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Shake Shack’s application to open a restaurant on the Post Road received unanimous approval from the Darien Planning & Zoning Commission Tuesday, but the major hurdle before another crucial town board recently got higher. The P&Z voted unanimously to approve the restaurant’s application to open a restaurant at 1340 Post Road, the former site of Chuck’s Steak House. But a major sticking point with town land-use officials over the restaurant’s application has always been the larger signs that Shake Shack wants — bigger than what town regulations currently allow. The largest proposed sign would be 22 inches high; town regulations now set the maximum at 10 inches. That argument is before the Zoning Board of Appeals, which recently hired a consultant to do a “peer review” on the signage proposed in Shake Shack’s most recent application.

Corbin Post Road Rendering 4-7-16

Developer’s Hopes for Corbin/Post Road Redevelopment Described to Packed Room

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Although he didn’t announce any changes in the plans to transform the Corbin Drive/Post Road/I-95 block of commercial buildings, the chief developer of the project gave out more details to a packed Community Room at Darien Library on Wednesday night, and answered a lot of questions from the audience. Some information that’s new or hasn’t been emphasized before about the project:

Developers are trying to work with the U.S. Postal Service to keep the Post Office on the block and even hope to keep the delivery postal employees based there, although the post office may need more space than the area that’s been discussed. The Bank of America building has not been bought by the owners of the rest of the site. A late-night email to the CEO of L.L. Bean started the ball rolling in discussions with that retailer to bring that store to town. That L.L. Bean store may include a bicycle shop.

Corbin Post Road Illustration 3-30-16

Overview of Baywater’s Downtown Darien Proposal

David Genovese, founder of Baywater Properties, will present to the public an overview of the downtown Darien redevelopment project proposed by Baywater Properties and its partner, PG Properties. 

A full presentation of the project will be given to attendees, with significant time available for questions and comments. The Baywater venture began work on acquiring the properties from Corbin Drive to the Bank of America Building, including the US Post Office at 30 Corbin Drive and 10 Corbin Drive, in 2005. In July of 2015, Baywater presented the initial concept for its redevelopment proposal to a joint meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Architectural Review Board.  Baywater will soon be filing its next application to the Planning & Zoning Commission, with a goal of attaining all approvals by the end of 2016. __________

— an announcement from Darien Library


To create maximum transparency for the zoning and development process, Baywater created a website,, on which town residents and interested parties can find significant information about the project as proposed. All presentations made to the Town of Darien and other groups are available for viewing from the site, as are the written presentations, studies, and inspirational materials which have influenced the decision-making of Baywater and its team.

Shake Shack 9

Is There Still Hope for Shake Shack Coming to Darien? Maybe.

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Shake Shack has walked away from their application to site a store at 1340 Post Road in Darien after deciding there was too much resistance from the Zoning Board of Appeals to their proposed 24-inch-high signs —but there may still be a possibility they’ll return. Here are two signs of hope:

1. There’s a lot of interest in town
First, the restaurant’s bid to open a store in Darien is of huge interest in town. Take a look at the number of Facebook “recommends” for’s original article about the restaurant chain’s decision to withdraw it’s Darien bid:

That 464 “recommends” is as large a number as any story has had.’s Web page for the article has garnered more than 2,800 unique visitors since it was published Thursday morning, and readers are still flocking to the story.

Shake Shack 3

GONE? Genovese: After Zoning Board Denies Sign Request, ‘Shake Shack Walked Away’

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Shake Shack “walked away” after the Zoning Board of Appeals on Wednesday night denied the company’s request for larger signs at its proposed location on the Post Road, developer David Genovese said. “[T]he Zoning Board of Appeals denied our application tonight for Shake Shack’s signage program,” Genovese said in an email late Wednesday night, after the board meeting. Shake Shack was on the agenda for a public hearing to get a zoning variance for a Post Road site. Genovese is principal of Baywater Properties LLC and owner of the site through a related company. “Shake Shack walked away,” Genovese continued.

Downtown Darien Redevelopment Baywater Genovese 3-19-16

Presentation of Baywater/PG Properties Downtown Development Plan on April 6

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On Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at 7 p.m, David Genovese, founder of Baywater Properties, will present to the public an overview of the downtown Darien redevelopment project proposed by Baywater Properties and its partner, PG Properties. A full presentation of the project will be given to attendees, with significant time available for questions and comments. The presentation takes place at Darien Library. The Baywater venture began work on acquiring the properties from Corbin Drive to the Bank of America Building, including the US Post Office at 30 Corbin Drive and 10 Corbin Drive, in 2005. ________________

Editor’s note: This is an announcement from Baywater Properties and PG Properties.

Shake Shack 3

P&Z Savors Shake Shack Proposal, But Board’s Chair Dislikes the Topping

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Planning & Zoning Commission Chair Susan Cameron doesn’t like the unusual roof line proposed by architects for Shake Shack, the popular high-end, fast-food joint with a new location proposed on the Post Road. Most of the roof starts high near the front of the building and slopes back toward the rear. At a commission meeting earlier this month, Cameron said she doesn’t like the modern look — she’d prefer something that looks more traditional — and pressed Shake Shack designers to reconsider. Cameron even brought to the meeting some images she’d found of Shake Shack restaurants (which the company calls “shacks”) that had more traditional roofs sloping forward to show to the architects. Hers was the most prominent criticism of the proposal at the Feb.

Darien Shake Shack 2

More Details on Darien Shake Shack Proposal Come in Formal Filing with P&Z

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With a formal land-use application to locate a Shake Shack restaurant at the former site of Chuck’s Steakhouse at 1340 Post Road, more details about the proposal have now come out. Owners of the chain and of the property have said they hope to get the restaurant up and running by late summer or early fall. The application was filed by Baywater 1340 BPR, LLC, an affiliate of Baywater Properties LLC, an owner of a number of downtown commercial properties and headed by David Genovese. According to the formal application, the restaurant would have:

Indoor seating for 76 diners at 19 tables in a 1,228-square-foot area (but “the number of seats, tables and booths may change over time”)
Another 582 square feet for customers to line up (and also including a corridor, vestibule and restrooms)
Total “customer space” of 1,810 square feet in a one-story building that has 3,100 square feet
An 800-square-foot patio for outdoor seating for 44 at about eight tables
Hours open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day of the week
About 12 employees (on average) on-site together (meaning the total number of employees would be higher), with some there as early as several hours before the restaurant opens
Kitchen space of 393 square feet, another 370 square feet for “active storage,” a 64-square-foot office and 103 square feet for “mechanical” space and “dead storage.” An already existing “densely vegetated area about 50 feet thick” in the back of the property, along Old Kings Highway South, remaining.

Shake Shack Darien 1

Shake Shack Coming to Town, But They Want to Bring Their Big Signs with Them

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Shake Shack, a popular, upscale fast-food-like restaurant, has signed a lease for the former Chuck’s Steak House site on the Post Road and wants to open for business by late summer or early fall 2016. It also wants a “Shake Shack” sign two feet high in the front of the building, although current zoning regulations allow for businesses to have 10-inch-high signs. Some other retail businesses in town have larger signs than the regulations allow, usually granted through variances to the rules, including nearby H&L Chevrolet and Nielsen’s Florists. A representative from Shake Shack, along with David Genovese, principal at Baywater Properties, which owns the 1340 Post Road site (as well as much of the land and buildings downtown), gave an informal description of their proposed project to build the restaurant to the Planning & Zoning Commission on Tuesday. The store would have about 3,100 square feet of interior floor space in a building on the front corner of the three-quarter-acre lot, closest to nearby Interstate 95.

Genovese 10-15-15

Corbin/Post Rd Redevelopment Idea Looks a Bit Less Radical in Latest Presentation

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Commercial Real Estate Developer David Genovese gave a presentation to the public at Town Hall (and on TV79) Thursday evening, providing some updates on his proposal to redevelop the triangle between Corbin Drive, the Post Road and Interstate 95. The proposal doesn’t add that much more retail space to the downtown about another 20,000-square feet, Genovese said. And a new street that would run parallel to the Post Road (and that might be extended to Center Street) is something that previous government studies have suggested, he said. Genovese addressed concerns about underground parking, the addition of a five-story building to downtown, the impact on traffic, and whether the new apartments would increase the school-age population. He mentioned some small changes in the proposal and some other ways the idea might be changed before a formal proposal is presented to town land-use boards.

Public Meeting Thursday on Downtown Redevelopment Proposal

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Darien Board of Realtors has joined with David Genovese of Baywater Properties to present a public forum about the proposed downtown redevelopment between Corbin Drive, the Post Road and Interstate 95. Titled  “A New Vision for Downtown Darien,” the informational meeting takes place from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday in Darien Town Hall, 2 Renshaw Road, according to a post on the Darien Board of Realtors Facebook timeline. The post continues: “You won’t want to miss this exciting presentation! RSVP today to:”

For more information on the proposal, click on the “tags” (words in short blue bands) at the bottom of this article, under “Filed Under.”

Baywater Properties Logo

Baywater Properties Hires Jon Sabrowski to Direct Leasing and Other Projects

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Baywater Properties, a full-service real estate investment and development company based in Darien, Connecticut, announced today that Jon Sabrowski has joined Baywater as Director of Leasing and Special Projects. _____________

An announcement from Baywater Properties:


Sabrowski’s responsibilities will be to enhance Baywater’s leasing, acquisition and development efforts in Fairfield and Westchester County. “We have worked with Jon for nearly 14 years on a number of different projects, and I am delighted that he has agreed to join us as we take Baywater Properties to the next level in its evolution as a real estate investment and development company”, said David Genovese, CEO of Baywater Properties. Genovese added that “Jon’s significant and deep understanding of the retail and office markets and his track record in leasing high quality properties throughout Fairfield County will be of enormous value to our efforts in Darien and throughout the region”. Baywater has developed several commercial buildings in Connecticut since 2003, including 195 Danbury Road in Wilton, 1020 Boston Post Road in Darien, 17 Old Kings Highway South in Darien, and 745 Boston Post Road in Darien.

1090 Post Rd 8-20-15

Downtown Post Road Property Goes for $2.85 Million

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The building and land at 1090 Post Road, in the middle of a proposed downtown redevelopment project now in its early stages, has been sold to an entity connected to Baywater Properties, one of the businesses proposing the project. The Double Exposure store is now on the site of the property, sold by Paulson Properties of 146 West Rocks Road, Norwalk to Baywater 1090 BPR, LLC. The sale occurred on Aug. 12 and was filed on Aug. 13 in the Darien Town Clerk’s Office, according to that office.

Looking East Post Road Rendering

Proposers of Corbin Dr/Post Rd Project Describe It on New Website

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The partnership proposing to replace the commercial block between the Post Road, Corbin Drive and Interstate 95 say on their new website that it should help, not hurt traffic and parking downtown. David Genovese, president of Baywater Properties (which owns the land, together with developer Penny Glassmeyer’s PG Properties), recently sent a letter to news organizations announcing the new website, “We hope that this site will help residents of Darien get information about our proposal with ease,” Genovese wrote in the letter. “On the site, residents can download our P&Z presentation video, as well as the presentation itself, and many videos and documents which are important to consider as it relates to parking, public space, and pedestrian flows downtown.” One part of the website has a FAQs (“frequently asked questions”) format discussing concerns about the proposal, such as traffic, parking and other issues.