WESTPORT — Kenneth Olson, a real estate developer who fought to reshape Wall Street with dozens of affordable apartments, died Sunday. He was 58.

The cause was Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

“He felt very passionately about revitalizing Wall Street but doing it in a way that would provide affordable housing for the city and for the region,” state Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, D-Norwalk. “He was also generous from a nonprofit standpoint. He was very much involved in charitable causes but did so in a quiet way.”

Olson, a Westport resident, was president and CEO of POKO Partners, LLC and POKO Management Corp. Based in Port Chester, N.Y., the company’s mission is to “create high quality, affordable, and mixed income housing and mixed use communities.”

In September 2005, the Norwalk Common Council approved POKO as the city’s preferred developer for the Isaac Street portion of the Wall Street Redevelopment Plan.

POKO broke ground on the first phase of Wall Street Place — 101 housing with 30 percent priced as affordable — in June 2015. Olson pressed passionately for the project, which relied upon a complex financing plan to achieve its affordability component. Construction halted in 2016 amid financing problems.

Mayor Harry Rilling was among upward of several hundred people who attended Olson’s funeral service at Temple Israel in Westport on Tuesday.

“He was always a gentleman to me,” Rilling said. “It’s a very, very sad thing that he became ill and passed at such a young age. He was a well-liked man.”

Brian Griffin, president of The Greater Norwalk Chamber of Commerce, said Olson will be remembered as “someone who sincerely cared about affordable housing and the concept that economic development has the power to improve lives and communities.”

“Ken also did a tremendous amount for the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra and other local nonprofits,” Griffin said. “He could be highly opinionated and slightly cantankerous, but he was always passionate and always interesting. Our condolences to his family and loved ones.”

Olson began his career in 1981 with Bank Leumi where he worked in commercial construction lending. He later was senior vice president of GTE Realty Company. His “comprehensive understanding of the debt and equity markets and structures has provided him with the insight on the utilization of various federal and state tax credit programs for development of affordable housing,” according to his biography posted on POKO’s website.

Olson founded POKO Management Corp in 1993 and POKO Partners in 1995. The latter has developed and managed more than 1000 housing units and built properties for itself as well as for the New York City Department of Housing and nonprofit organizations.

He was a board member of the Connecticut Real Estate Finance Association and sat on the executive committee of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing. In Connecticut, he sat on the Governor's Advisory Panel on Affordable Housing, the Department of Economic and Community Development’s Permitting Task Force, and assisted with the creation of the Connecticut Historic Tax Credit legislation in 2006.

Real estate development wasn’t Olson’s only passion. He was a former president of the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra board and a recipient of the Anti-Defamation League's Mid-Fairfield County community leader award.

In 2016, as part of a cost-cutting measure, the orchestra relocated to a Wall Street space donated by Olson, who was past president at the time.

“Ken was larger than life. He was a kind, gentle soul who was extremely generous to those in need,” said Norwalk Assistant City Clerk Irene Dixon, who attended Olson’s funeral and served as symphony vice president under him. “He supported local charities anonymously. Ken was a family man. He was a devoted husband to Pam and loving father to Jordan and Spencer. He was a dear friend. I will miss him.”