Trumbull, which has been on a development tear of late, is showing no signs of a slowdown. Two major housing developments have received Planning and Zoning approval, four other businesses have made formal commitments and the Westfield Trumbull mall’s controversial proposal to add a residential component to its property has taken a step forward.
“Developers are increasingly looking to come to this area, which is ripe for these types of projects,” said First Selectman Vicki Tesoro. “It’s an exciting time.”
The two new developments are in an industrial zone established in 2017: a 199-unit luxury, market rate apartments project at 2300 Reservoir Ave. and a 130-unit, 55-and-over independent living facility at nearby 101-109 Oakview Drive. They join the 202-unit luxury apartment complex at the former Canon Solutions America building at 100 Oakview Drive, which was approved last year.
“Trumbull has been very proactive,” remarked Bob Dale, managing partner of Cherry Hill, New Jersey-based Buckingham Partners, which is behind the 2300 Reservoir Ave. project. “They’re looking to revitalize and energize that neighborhood.”
Dale said the roughly 17 acres will include “a unique combination of styles,” with 70 townhome units facing the road and the remaining one- and two-bedroom units in three “four-story garden apartment buildings” behind. Included will be a nearly 5,000-square-foot clubhouse, dining area, outdoor pool, community gardens and an area for walking dogs.
He cited the property’s “excellent visibility and highway access to the Merritt and routes 25 and 8” as being particularly attractive for the development, which he said would cost “north of $30 million” to build. Construction is estimated to begin by the end of first quarter 2019, Dale added.
Though this is Buckingham’s first project in Trumbull — the firm has completed similar undertakings in Westport, Darien and Stamford — Dale said he’d been impressed by the town’s willingness to work with his company to bring its plans to fruition, estimating that it took “24 to 30 months” to win P&Z approval.
The zone “is very difficult to find in the better suburban towns,” he remarked. “But they’ve sent a clear signal that they’re open for business.”
The independent living development on Oakview will not include medical services, as do assisted living senior housing projects, noted Trumbull Economic and Community Development Director Rina Bakalar. That project is being developed by Resort Lifestyle Communities, a national firm headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska, whose properties include the Evergreen Crossings Retirement Community in South Windsor.
RLS’s standard building design consists of two wings comprised of resident living suites situated around a core area at the center of the building with living suites and extensive common areas. The latter typically include an open dining room, fitness center, in-house bank and game room.
Trumbull also has secured commitments from national daycare/pre-school operator The Learning Center, opening at 2285 Reservoir Ave.; Technique Tigers Baseball Academy, which is expanding its presence at 25 Lindeman Drive; a DaVita Dialysis center at 7 Cambridge Drive; and a facility for ICE, which provides transportation for children with special needs, at 12 Cambridge Drive.
Tesoro touted the diversity of those projects, which she said would help drive interest in the two new housing developments.
As for the Westfield Trumbull mall proposal, it received approval at a special P&Z meeting on Sept. 27 for the zoning change necessary to allow it to add 290 apartments to its 1.1 million-square-foot property at 5065 Main St. Bakalar cautioned that the developer still needs to go through the approval process for its site plan.
These latest moves come on the heels of the $3.4 million purchase of the long-vacant 250,000-square-foot office building and parking garage at 48 Monroe Turnpike by Senior Living Development LLC and Silver Heights Development LLC. That property, once occupied by United Healthcare, represented more than half of the empty space in town.
“This all proves what we’ve been saying: Trumbull is the place to be,” Tesoro said.